Michael Barone

Seven months ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent a busy week rounding up votes to pass the Senate version of the Democrats' health care legislation.

It wasn't easy. She had to get Democrats who had voted no in November to switch to yes in March. And she had to get Democrats who had refused to vote for the bill in November without an anti-abortion amendment to vote for a bill in March that lacked that language.

She took the unusual step of scheduling the roll call for Saturday -- so members wouldn't go back to their districts and be besieged by Obamacare opponents.

Those opponents, according to polls at that time, included most American voters. But Pelosi, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton predicted the bill would become more popular after it was passed (and, Pelosi said, after people had a chance to read it).

National polls indicate that hasn't happened yet. But what about the districts of the House Democrats who cast the key votes that made Obamacare law? Those Democrats have an interest in persuading constituents of the law's merits. So how are they doing?

In general, not very well.

Take Betsy Markey of Colorado 4, who in 2008 beat a Republican who seemed fixated on the same-sex marriage issue. Markey cast a late-in-the-roll-call no in November, then publicly switched to yes in the week before the March 21 roll call. She's currently trailing Republican Cory Gardiner by an average of 44 to 39 percent in three polls. Her website links to a video she cut the week after the vote saying she had "the honor" to vote for the bill. But otherwise it seems to be silent on the issue.

Or consider John Boccieri of Ohio 16, who switched from no to yes in a TV press conference in which he said the bill would do great things for his constituents. Boccieri's district was represented by Republicans for 58 years until he was elected in 2008.

It looks like it will be again next year. In three polls, Republican Jim Renacci leads Boccieri by an average of 46 percent to 36 percent. Boccieri's website links to a recent interview in which he defends Obamacare and challenges opponents to say which provisions they'd give up.

Then there is Suzanne Kosmas, a longtime real estate agent who beat a Republican with an ethics issue in 2008. She announced her switch from no to yes late in the week before the roll call. She's now running behind Republican Sandy Adams by an average of 47 percent to 40 percent in three recent polls.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM