Top of the ballot

All eyes are on the four or five dozen (or less?) House lawmakers who are undecided on the health care bill. While different whip counts peg the number differently, one thing is clear: Democratic leaders need to get that vast majority of them. According to the Washington Post’s count, of the 64 undecided members, all but seven voted no last time. In The Hill’s vote count, 36 members are leaning no or are firm no’s, meaning Democrats can only lose one more member if all members are voting. The last votes are going to be torturous to get, and there will be stories down the road about the Democratic leadership’s whipping efforts – much like the 2003 GOP Medicare prescription drug bill.

Dems still recruiting

If former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) can beat Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) or at least damage him sufficiently, Democrats may have an opportunity. Now, they may have landed someone who could take advantage. Businesswoman Nan Walden is taking a serious look on the race, and Democrats think she could raise the kind of money needed to make the race competitive. Remember, Hayworth lost one of the more disappointing races for the GOP in 2006, and national party types aren’t exactly salivating over the thought of him being their nominee. Walden sounds like a good insurance policy for the Democrats.

Poll in Murtha’s district

We’re not sure what to make of this polling firm yet, but for good measure, We Ask America finds that former Murtha district director Mark Critz (D) leads businessman Tim Burns (R) 39-35 in the race for Murtha’s old seat. Neither man is well known at this point, so this is likely more of a generic ballot-type poll. Either way, it shows this could be an opportunity for Republicans. If polling is actually this close, the NRCC has little excuse not to give it a shot and go after the seat.


More in Ballot Box

White House says Trump owes vets an apology

Read more »