Republicans Showcase Health Care Whip Tally

By Chris Good

As House Democratic leaders, Republican leaders, and Rep. Bart Stupak whip their various target lists on health care in the House, the GOP's campaign arm is maintaining an updated whip tally online to keep its supporters informed.

Currently, it's at 196 "no" votes, 187 "yes" votes, and 48 undecided, which purports much more trouble for health reform than Democrats have indicated. National Republican Congressional Committee staff are managing the count, the NRCC said.

The tally is part of the NRCC's health care campaign, called Code Red; the count is featured prominently on the hub website for the Code Red effort.

It's a very different tally from what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has hinted at: the speaker said today that, if the vote were held now, Democrats would have enough votes to pass health care reform. Hotline OnCall's Reid Wilson is maintaining a list that shows Democrats short of the needed 216 votes, with a robust quotient of swing votes.

As part of the Code Red campaign, the NRCC says it is planning to run TV ads to pressure members in multiple districts, but that plans for paid advertising are fluid and will depend entirely on how votes are shaping up. The NRCC says it will also use tele-town-halls and possibly direct-mail and robocalls to pressure members.

Daily vote-count updates via e-mail, a #gopcodered hashtag on Twitter, and the NRCC's Facebook page are being used to keep NRCC supporters up to date.

NRCC eCampaign Director John Randall says Republicans are "focusing this week on healthcare the way we would focus weeks out from the election."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/03/republicans-showcase-health-care-whip-tally/37328/