Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meet the Plank Walkers for Pelosi's "Affordable" Health Care

The New York Times has a list of the 39 Democrats who voted against the House health care debacle, otherwise known as the Affordable Health Care for America Act - H.R. 3962.  Other than the inexplicable vote by Dennis Kucinich, most on the list voted with the notion of self-preservation in the coming midterm elections in mind.   Though Artur Davis (AL-7) represents a district that voted for Obama by a cushy 48%, he plans to run for governor next year in a decidedly right-leaning state.  The rest are on the list of targeted seats by the GOP in 2010.

Whether their no vote on H.R. 3962 is enough to preserve reelection next year remains to be seen.  Clearly many of those who hail from districts that voted for McCain and/or Bush in previous presidential elections will find themselves out of work next November as conservatives are "fired up and fed up" with Democratic super majorities.  Credit where credit is due, however, at least they saw the handwriting on the wall and opted to vote against the oxymoronic Affordable Health Care for America Act.

Many of the most vulnerable Democrats whose seats are clearly targeted next year either missed the handwriting on the wall which came in the form of sweeping defeats in New Jersey and Virginia this week or simply chose to ignore it and walk the plank for Pelosi.  The table below shows those plank-walkers sorted by the  percentage of votes in that district for McCain in 2008 from highest to lowest.  Those highlighted in orange have been identified as among the most vulnerable by CQ politics.  You can guarantee the vote last night will be used against those on the following list:

Paul Kanjorski and Jack Murtha have been tainted with corruption and written off in previous elections, yet survived miraculously.  Others, like Loretta Sanchez might be a bit of a stretch but stranger things have happened when the political winds change.  The winds have indeed changed as the votes in New Jersey and Virginia have shown the momentum and enthusiasm is all on the side of the Republicans.  Nevertheless, some of the most politically vulnerable Democrats put on a blinder and took a walk on the plank.  We'll see in 2010 whether they survive the fall.

H/T: Memeorandum
Edit:  Title corrected

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