MoveOn members strongly back reform

MOVEON MEMBERS STRONGLY BACK REFORM…. As health care reform enters the home stretch, proponents are going to need all the help they can get. There’s been some question, though, about whether progressive groups are prepared to step up.

We learned yesterday that several powerhouses on the left — Americans United for Change, AFSCME, SEIU — are gearing up for one last push. And what of MoveOn.org? The grassroots organization has polled its membership, asking whether to back the Democratic package. With MoveOn’s membership on board, the group was prepared to launch an “aggressive grassroots campaign,” which would include media advertising.

The result of the MoveOn membership poll was not a foregone conclusion. There are still some prominent progressives — Dennis Kucinich, much of the FireDogLake team — that oppose the Democratic effort. Would MoveOn members agree? Apparently not. Greg Sargent got an early peek at the results from a MoveOn official.

Should MoveOn support or oppose the final health care bill if it looks like the plan recently proposed by President Obama?

Support 83
Oppose 17

As Greg noted, it seems pretty clear that “the kill-the-bill camp overwhelmingly lost the argument” among liberals. When the results are more than four-to-one in favor, it’s hard to draw any other conclusion.

In terms of practical implications, MoveOn will have to act quickly. Not only is time running out, but the Chamber of Commerce, the insurance industry, and their allies are launching a campaign that will invest $10 million (on top of the millions already spent) to kill reform and make hand-wringing Dems that much more nervous.

The sooner MoveOn can help with the pushback, the better.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.