The math is pretty bleak for passage of the Senate version of health-care reform in the House—the last-ditch effort being considered to save it—but it’s not impossible that 218 votes could be wrangled, Nate Silver writes. One big hurdle is the “Stupak block,” which Silver believes “could deprive the bill of 8-10 votes” over moral objections to abortion funding. And Dems facing re-election in conservative districts could find the calculus spits out a nay vote.
On the other hand, Silver writes on FiveThirtyEight, Nancy Pelosi could whip some former Democratic nays into yeas, including those of retiring legislators, progressives who no longer find a protest vote tenable, and Blue Dogs more comfortable with the more conservative Senate version. More than anything, Silver thinks, the Senate must “prepare a reconciliation sidecar” that would keep debate open on some issues. All in all, he predicts 7-17 defections and 3-17 additions. Remember, the House bill passed by a margin of 2.