But What About New York 23?
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 04:31:03 PM EST
The 2009 election results are certainly not going to make it easy for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to round up the needed 218 votes for Democrats' health care bills.
Wrong. In a race that Barone doesn't even mention in his "[l]essons from the 2009 election results," the Democrats won in a district a plurality of which had not been represented in Congress since 1850. (You think the race would have been omitted from his write up had it turned out the other way?)
In the simplest terms, the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district did exactly what Barone thinks last night's elections did not do -- get Nancy Pelosi closer to 218 votes in the House in favor of healthcare reform (by electing a pro-reform Democrat instead of an anti-reform Conservative to replace a Republican Congressman who was not a vocal supporter of reform). Bill Owens' victory in the race, along with the easy win by John Garimendi in the California 10 special election also held last night, give the Speaker two votes for reform she didn't have yesterday. Further, they showed Democrats on Capitol Hill that Democrats can win running in favor of reform in a climate dominated by discussion of healthcare.
The House will be voting on healthcare reform on Saturday, so we'll know soon enough who's right -- whether last night's results will inhibit Speaker Pelosi in her quest for 218 or not. I'd bet she gets to 218. And if Barone wants to take me up on that bet, I'm sure we could come up with some charitable purposes that could serve as the beneficiary of such a wager.