Blue Dog Democrats are under intense pressure leding up to another vote on health care reform in the House of Representatives. Democratic leadership is leaning on these Blue Dogs hard to come into line and vote for President Obama’s health care reform.
It’s been reported today that House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) is looking to turn at least four Blue Dogs from “no” votes on health care reform to “yes.” Clyburn says he’s looking at Democrat Representatives Brian Baird of Washington, Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Bart Gordon of Tennessee and John Boccieri of Ohio.
However, a new poll suggests their constituents may hold them accountable for their votes this November. “The Polling Company” has been surveying voters in up to 19 specific House districts, many of them in places where John McCain won in 2008. Now some Blue Dog Democrats find their 2010 re-election runs extremely vulnerable to their position on health care reform.
In Jason Altmire’s suburban Pittsburgh district 76% “oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions,” and 58% “would be less likely to vote to re-elect Congressman Altmire if he votes for healthcare legislation that includes federal funding of abortion.”
Jim Oberstar (D) represents Minnesota’s 8th, where polling suggests 31% of those surveyed think congress should “start from scratch,” while 24% think congress should “pass current legislation with minor changes.” Another 16% think congress should “pass current legislation with major changes.”
The polling Company conducted the surveys on behalf of a conservative group called “The Susan B Anthony List.” Officials at the group say they are committed to electing pro-life women to congress.
The list of Blue Dogs also includes Mike Ross (D) of Arkansas, where 65% would be “less likely to re-elect Congressman Ross if he votes for healthcare legislation that includes federal government funding of abortion.”
Brad Ellsworth (D) faces a similar situation in his home state of Indiana, where 80% “oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions.”
The Polling Company says it surveyed 300 people from each district and that the poll has a margin of error of +/- 5.65%. To see the detailed polling information click here.
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.