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Breaking down the House stimulus vote

From NBC's Mike Viqueira
Here's your quick down-and-dirty guide to the House vote on the stimulus.

There were seven Dems joining Republicans in opposition: Colin Peterson (MN), Gene Taylor (MS), Peter DeFazio (OR), Bobby Bright (AL), Parker Griffith (AL), Heath Shuler (NC) and Walter Minnick (ID).

Video: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi described the passing of an economic stimulus bill as 'transformational' for the U.S. economy.

Peterson (MN) has been here for years, and Dems are just happy to have him among their number, since he comes from a Republican majority district. He frequently sides with Republicans.

Taylor out of Mississippi, ditto.

Defazio is a liberal upset with the cuts that the Senate made, and angry that three Republicans over there had so much sway. He is on the Transportation Committee, and many folks from that group thought that road, bridge, etc., construction was left short.

Bright and Griffith are freshman from Alabama in swing districts.

Shuler is in a similar situation in western North Carolina. 

Minnick is a freshman from conservative Idaho.

On the other hand, Dems this time brought a few Blue Dogs back into the fold, including Allen Boyd and Jim Cooper.

But how did Republicans defy the odds and keep every one of their number in line?

There is the obvious fact that the old breed of "Main Street," Chamber of Commerce-style Republicans, is getting scarce (matter of fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported the measure), and that the vast majority of House Republicans are fiscal conservatives, at the least.

We are told that two Republicans from high-unemployment Michigan, Fred Upton and Candice Miller, were targeted by the White House. Upton was quite conspicuous at the side of President Obama in neighboring Indiana this week, and the president called his name from the podium when he spoke.

But both Upton and Miller were convinced to vote against the bill after their party included a provision to help boost car sales in its alternative. That alternative failed, but it provided enough cover for them after a similar measure was stripped from the final version of the legislation.

We are told that Joseph Cao of Louisiana was one of the last possibilities for a switcher, but that GOP leadership pointed out that he would be out there alone, and so he relented. Dems, are at this moment, writing his political obituary.

The theory on Jim Gerlach, he of the 59% Obama district, is that he wants to run for governor of Pennsylvania, and he is protecting his right flank.

Mark Kirk of Illinois is also said to harbor statewide ambitions.