Friday, November 20, 2009

The Daily Strike-11/20/09-Countdown to the Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Counting down to tomorrow's vote doesn't seem right. They're voting on whether to cut off debate...on a motion to debate. Ladies and Gentleman, the United States Senate. But we'll do a countdown anyway, what the hell!

HEALTH CARE: Tomorrow at 8pm, the Senate will vote to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to debate on the health care bill. Of course, the vote must meet the 60 Senator threshold. So far, 58 Democrats have committed to voting yes on starting debate. The two outstanding votes are those of Senators Landrieu (LA) and Lincoln (AR). Landrieu will almost certainly vote the right way. She praised the bill earlier in the week, and she's not up for reelection until 2014, so she doesn't face any immediate political pressure. Senator Lincoln is a different story. She has been silent so far on both the bill and tomorrow's vote. Lincoln is up for reelection next year in a very conservative state. Every vote on advancing health care reform will probably hurt her politically, at least in the short term. But I can't imagine her being the one Democrat that won't allow the bill to come up for debate. I'd put the odds at 75/25 that Democrats will succeed tomorrow.

Stay tuned with us throughout the day, as we'll be providing a live Twitter feed (though it may be sporadic before 8pm).

GALLUP: Neither chamber of Congress held votes today, nor did President Obama hold any events, so it was a bit of a slow news day. Unfortunately, the slow news day coincided with news that President Obama sunk below 50% approval in the Gallup Daily Tracking poll for the first time. This seemed to be big news on all of the major political websites. I'm not terribly concerned about it, because he's been teetering around 50% for a few months now. His "fall" also is not very precipitous compared with recent Presidents. Bill Clinton went under 50 in 4 months. Ronald Reagan did around the same point in his Presidency. Both of these men recovered and won strong reelection. George W. Bush was headed below the 50% mark as well before 9/11 boosted his approval ratings into stratospheric territory.

If anything, it's yet another reminder that as long as the job situation remains bleak, the more President Obama will be blamed. All the more reason to pass robust jobs legislation as soon as possible!

That's it for today, we'll be back tomorrow with coverage of the Senate's test vote. See you then!

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