An interesting table from The New York Times profiles the House Democrats who voted “no” on health reform last night. Mostly it’s people from districts that went for John McCain, oftentimes heavily so. There’s also Artur Davis whose district suggests he ought to be a solid Democratic vote but who’s running for governor of Alabama and thus tacking way to the right of what his district requires. You’ve also got idiosyncratic nos from Brian Baird and Dennis Kucinich and a clutch of freshman Dems from districts Obama won.
This last group, I think, provided the House leadership with a margin of error on the vote. The leaders want to hold these seats, so are happy to let these folks vote no if their votes aren’t necessary. But it’s far from clear that a Larry Kissell or a John Adler (both from districts Obama won by five percent) actually does need to vote need to vote no in order to stay viable. Arms could be twisted in other words. Given how close the vote was in the end, it’s noteworthy that there was no real sign of nervousness from the House leadership all day—they had this in the bag.