Crunching the numbers on Waxman-Markey in the Senate

Political analysis blog FiveThirtyEight has extrapolated from the House voting patterns on Waxman-Markey to see the bill’s chances of getting a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate. The Democrats now have a majority of 60 in the Senate, but FiveThirtyEight estimates nine of those – mostly from states with high per-capita carbon emissions – are likely to be ‘problematic’. In total, they put 50 votes in the ‘likely’ to ‘nearly certain’ ranges.

Nearly certainly yes – 24
Extremely likely yes – 14
Highly likely yes – 6
Likely yes – 6

Then it gets to the possibly maybes, of which there are three, including Republican Senators Snowe and Collins are likely to be crucial:

Snowe and Collins are almost certainly going to be necessary parts of any path to 60 votes and are almost certainly going to be easier gets than at least half a dozen Democrats. And I tend to think the model has erred a bit pessimistic on them here. But that doesn’t mean their votes are assured.

Adding up the Problematic Democrats (9), the Possibly Maybes (3) and the Republican Long Shots (4) would be enough to carry it.

As the site points out, the crucial vote will not be passing the actual bill but the cloture, or filibuster-breaking vote:

It’s not all that uncommon for a senator to vote for cloture and then against the underlying bill, or vice versa, although it seems to happen less often for major issues like climate change legislation.

Read the full post for a very clear description of their methodology.

Related links:

How can the climate bill get to 60 votes? (Five Thirty Eight, 06/07/09)

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