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March 15, 2010: "I have no intention of not passing this bill," says Speaker Pelosi. She doesn't have the votes, as her own whip, James Clyburn, said yesterday on Meet the Press. But pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak told National Review late Friday, "they've been able to peel one or two of my 12," and he sounds discouraged: "It's almost like some right-to-life members don't want to be bothered." That sounds more like five or six. Fox News calculates Pelosi has 211 of the required 216, with many still undecided, while Nate Silver guesses she'll get "between 216 and 218." Nobody has a clue, but the mood is upbeat. Chance of passage: 55 percent.
March 12, 2010: The House leadership's efforts to win over pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak appear to be faltering. Stupak says Speaker Nancy Pelosi lacks the votes, and he's probably right. But does Stupak control as many as 12? Democrat Dale Kildee, previously cited as a pro-life holdout by Republican Whip Eric Cantor, now says, "I'll probably vote for it." Is this the start of a trend? Meanwhile, a leaked House leadership memo maps a path to passing the bill by March 21. Chance of passage: 45 percent.
E-mail Timothy Noah at firstname.lastname@example.org.