I can't help but wonder what legislators say to their constituents when they're asked to explain their opposition to policies that help struggling families. Especially those that just squeaked out wins in 2008 -- how do their spin their votes to inspire supporters for 2010?
Consider some basic stats that must be going through their minds, sliced into 163 pieces:
- More than 200 individuals in the average House district could receive health care -- at no cost to the state -- if Republicans drop their opposition to the hospitals' health care agreement.
- Last month, House Republicans blocked a proposal to reduce health care premiums and increase access for about 125 children per House district.
- All told, there are more than 825 uninsured children in the average House district.
And then consider how close these contests were in 2008:
- In District 121, Denny Hoskins only won by 122 votes
- In District 120, Scott Largent only won by 353 votes
- In District 7, Mike Lair only won by 428 votes
Doing the math, it doesn't seem like these freshman legislators have much leeway with voters to be pursuing an ideological agenda with such adverse consequences for their families and communities. And it wouldn't take much for any of those races to come out differently. It will be interesting to see if they hold firm, or change their minds with a fresh Spring perspective.