Political wonk and stats guru, Nate Silver says there’s enough yes votes available in the Senate to get the climate bill passed but there will be probably be more compromises.
After the House approved the climate bill, Silver created a regression model to determine how a Representative would vote. His model was pretty accurate, so he applied it to the Senate to see how it will vote. The model factors in ideology, partisan nature of a state, carbon emissions per capita, poverty, lobbying and employment in carbon intensive industries.
Overall, Silver’s analysis finds there are 52 voters likely to be in favour of the bill, but thinks there are 62-66 votes up for grabs. Here’s the breakdown:
- Silver sees 44 highly likely yes votes, all Democrats, and 34 highly likely no votes, all Republicans.
- In the middle there are 6 democrats that Silver deems “likely” yes votes. That would be 50 yes votes, enough for Biden to cast a deciding vote in favour of the legislation.
- There are 3 more “possibly maybe” votes from Mark Begich (D-AK), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME) putting the total yes votes at 53.
- There are 9 “problematic Democrats” that include: Evan Bayh (D-IN), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landireu (D-LA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Ben Nelson (D-NE). These folks can expect calls from Rahm Emmanuel as the vote draws near.
- There’s four long shot Republicans: John McCain (R-AZ), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Mel Martinez (R-FL), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
While this should be assuring to any climate bill supporter, the real number that matters in the whole debate is 60. That’s the number needed to bring the bill to vote and shut off filibustering. On major pieces of legislation, like the climate bill, Silver says the votes in favour of the bill usually fall in line with the votes against filibustering.
So, the bill isn’t a slam dunk. There’s going to be lots of compromising to get from 53 possibly approving Senators into 60 Senators definitely willing to have a vote on the bill. Once the bill is put to a vote, it looks likely it will be approved, unless the compromises kill the bill. As Silver puts it, “The question is how many ornaments the Democrats could place on the Christmas Tree before it starts to collapse under its own weight.”
image: flickr/Randy Stewart
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.