*It’s sure starting to look like both the momentum and the math favor the Democrats and that something will have to go wrong to prevent them from getting to 216 votes on health care.
Recall that what we have here is a collective action problem. The overwhelming majority of Democratic members believe that this bill would be good for their party politically. They may very well be wrong — but that’s what they believe. And something close to 100 percent, I’d imagine, must think that it would be good policy. However, some number less than 216 would in a perfect world want to vote for it themselves. The optimal outcome for a lot of these guys is that the bill passes in spite of their objection — box ‘C’ in the table below.
With that paradigm in mind, I’d think a well-run whipping operation would proceed in essentially two phases. The first phase would consist of counting the hard no’s. These are the people in box D: they’re not prepared to vote for the bill even if it causes the bill to fail. There’s a big difference between these Congressmen and those in box C, who would rather not vote for health care but probably would if they absolutely had to. Read more from Nate Silver HERE.