(Note: all numbers in the post are for each Senate seat's most recent election. They were compiled using data from Dave Leip's website. You can see the raw data here.)
So check this out:
- The 40 Republican senators currently in the Senate, all of whom are expected to filibuster a public option, received 44.2 million votes in their elections.
- The 5 Democrats (Conrad, Baucus, Lincoln, Landrieu, and Nelson) who seem most likely to filibuster health care reform including a public option received 2.5 million votes in their elections.
- The remaining 55 Senators (53 Dems plus Lieberman and Sanders), all of whom would likely vote for cloture on a reform plan including a public option, received 79.8 million votes (this includes votes cast for the Democratic predecessors in CO, NY, IL, and DE).
- Votes for seats held by GOP filibuster supporters: 44.2 million
- Votes for seats held by Dems who may filibuster: 2.5 million
- Votes for seats held by Dems who would support cloture: 79.8 million
Obviously, there's a ton of ways you can slice numbers, but this analysis yields a fairly salient factoid: nearly twice as many people voted for senators likely to support a cloture motion than voted for a senator who is likely to thwart health care reform with a filibuster.
Moreover, the two Democratic Senators leading the charge against a public option -- Kent Conrad and Max Baucus -- have received fewer votes combined (498,345) than 41 Democratic senators have received on their own. Indeed, Kent Conrad -- with 150,146 votes in his last election -- received fewer votes than any other member in the caucus.
Conrad actually received just 0.1% of all votes cast for current Senators (or their predecessors, if they were appointed). Meanwhile, despite the fact that the typical senator in his caucus received ten times as many votes as he has, he's tried to position himself as the kingmaker on health care reform.
Kent Conrad and Max Baucus might have all the confidence in the world that they can thwart the public will, but any politician who wants to keep his or her job ought to look at these numbers and think whose side they really want to be on.