Monday night I posted a diary seeking the Daily Kos community's help in tallying the likely congressional votes on White House request for an authorization to use military force in Syria. The response was quite helpful.
But Tuesday, other people got the same idea, and now there are three significant whip counts: at the Washington Post; at ThinkProgress; and at Firedoglake.
I'm still planning to create our own whip count in a different format, but for now I'll focus on these three. As you'll see, the matter is complicated by the different way each has worded their assessments. Many of the categorizations are just educated guesswork.
The Post first. You might first want to check out the newspaper's article on the five-way split over Syria.
Aaron Blake, Darla Cameron and Kennedy Elliott did the work. At the Post's website, you can easily click various links to find out who is thinking of voting which way and whether they've publicly commented about it. Both ThinkProgress and Firedoglake, there are similar details. In the latest update, here's what the Post team has so far tallied:
In the Senate:
• 11 Democratic senators favor military intervention.
• 9 Republican senators favor military intervention.
• 5 Republicans oppose military intervention.
• 10 Republicans are leaning no.
• 4 Democrats and 1 independent, Bernie Sanders, are leaning no.
• 37 Democrats and 1 independent, Angus King, are undecided.
• 22 Republicans are undecided.
In the House of Representatives. (Only 242 of the representatives have been tallied):
• 9 Democrats favor military intervention.
• 7 Republicans favor military intervention.
• 18 Democrats oppose military intervention.
• 29 Republicans oppose military intervention.
• 20 Democrats are leaning no.
• 60 Republicans are leaning no.
• 59 Democrats are undecided.
• 40 Republicans are undecided.
ThinkProgress has only assessed the House based on the public statements of 250 members and come up with a sharply different count. Igor Volsky and Judd Legum tallied
• 32 Democrats will likely vote for intervention.
• 11 Republicans will likely vote for intervention.
• 44 Democrats will likely vote against intervention.
• 97 Republicans will likely vote against intervention.
• 124 Democrats are undecided or their positions unknown
• 125 Republicans are undecided or their positions unknown
Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake has a different count as well:
• 15 Democrats are (in FDL's description) a firm yea.
• 7 Republicans are a firm yea.
• 21 Democrats are leaning yea.
• 6 Republicans are leaning yea.
• 13 Democrats are a firm nay.
• 28 Republicans are a firm nay.
• 37 Democrats are leaning nay.
• 55 Republicans are leaning nay.
To wrap up with prospective vote totals:
Favor Intervention: 16
Opposed or Likely Opposed: 127
Likely to favor intervention: 43
Likely to Oppose: 141
Favor intervention or Likely to: 49
Oppose or Likely to Oppose: 133
Although some considerable fraction of those undecideds are probably not really undecided, the large numbers of them should encourage activists who want Congress to reject the authorization to use military force. In other words, there's an opening for persuading them. But there are some clever and dedicated persuaders who support intervention, too. We've got our work cut out for us.