Pelosi Will Keep Just Enough Dems in Line
She needs 218 on health care, and she's 'very good at her job'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2009 12:19 PM CST
Nancy Pelosi in a Dec. 17 file photo.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – On the surface, it seems logical to assume Nancy Pelosi will have a tough time keeping enough Democrats on board for the final health care vote. After all, the House version just barely passed and now must be reconciled with a more conservative Senate bill. Proponents of reform shouldn't worry, writes Nate Silver. "If I were a conservative, I wouldn't be holding out more than a thin sliver of hope—probably not more than a 10% chance—that the bill could still be defeated."

Expect lots of heated rhetoric over abortion language and the public option. None of it will matter. "This is where Nancy Pelosi comes in," writes Silver at "It's her job to sort out the competing ultimatums," and she's "very good at her job." Pelosi has a field of perhaps 245 potential yes votes from which she needs to get 218. "I don't know exactly which 218 votes she'll get. And she probably won't get a lot more than 218. But the odds remain very high that she'll get them somewhere."