Six Senate Swing Votes

From Dems who swing right to left-leaning GOPers, debate promises suspense
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2009 12:55 PM CDT
Six Senate Swing Votes
Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill.   (AP Photo)

As health care reform bills merge and change on the Senate floor, the pool of legislators to watch has grown. The Wall Street Journal takes a look:

  • Olympia Snowe, R-Maine: Her vote for the Finance Committee bill was clutch, but "doesn't forecast what my vote will be tomorrow," she says.
  • Susan Collins, R-Maine: The more conservative of the Maine senators would be a great catch for Dems, but she's even more opposed to a public option than Snowe.

  • Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas: Lincoln is in the hot seat, up for reelection in 2010 in a state John McCain won last year. Like Snowe, she voted for the Finance bill but said "my support today does not ensure my support for a final product."
  • Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska: A conservative Dem who's lukewarm on a government plan and has publicly hoped that a bill pass with a truly bipartisan—and legislatively astronomic—65 votes.
  • Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana: Not up for reelection, but voters in her red state made a huge ruckus at an August town hall, and Landrieu appears to be doing all she can to appease them.
  • Roland Burris, D-Illinois: The only one of the 6 who swings the other way, the retiring Burris faces no electoral consequences and has said he will only vote for a bill with a public option.
(Read more Olympia Snowe stories.)

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