Advocates, Opponents Target Two Dozen Swing Votes
"As President Obama pushes for a prompt up or down vote on his health initiative, lobbyists and activist groups on both sides of the issue have launched grass-roots and high-dollar advertising campaigns on the roughly two dozen members of Congress who may be the final swing votes on the controversial issue," The Los Angeles Times reports. "At the headquarters of Americans for Tax Reform, 200 conservative activists received briefings on the message that will be carried to the home districts of key House Democrats." And, although the White House also is courting Democratic House swing voters, "in the early going, the enthusiasm and energy appeared to reside with the conservatives." Among the efforts is a campaign by the National Republican Congressional Committee to "press 10 Democrats who voted no in the past not to switch, in addition to 25 or so who voted yes but came from districts that are leaning Republican" and plans by left-leaning groups for a demonstration in Washington Tuesday and an e-mail plea from MoveOn.org "to raise $200,000 Thursday afternoon 'to fight back and pass healthcare reform'" (Geiger and Hamburger, 3/5).
NPR: "An anti-overhaul group called the League of American Voters has begun running TV ads in 11 congressional districts, in hopes of persuading lawmakers to vote against what the ads call, 'a last-minute deal to take over your health care.' A spokesman says the group spent $250,000 on the ads in its first week. ... And while polls show voters support many of the provisions included in the health care bill, they're still uncomfortable with the overall package." Political analyst Charlie Cook said "'Republicans have done a very effective job raising anxieties, raising questions about this, increasing doubt to the point that people just sort of pull back'" (Horsley, 3/5).