Pro-life may win and health reform pass, thanks in no small part to the Women Religious (Catholic nuns), the Catholic Health Association and others who broke with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Perhaps their faith should have been prediction enough. Looking back, though, Nate Silver was very optimistic at midweek.
In the first minutes of this day, the Washington Post and others reported House member shifts into the "yes" column. Similarly, Talking Points Memo, which does this sort of thing very well, found a late change in momentum toward passage as votes changed, one after another, to "yes."
Statements like this by Rep. Dale E. Kildee, an anti-abortion Democrat from Michigan after he decided to support the Senate bill, presaged it all:
I will be 81 years old in September. Certainly at this point in my life, I’m not going to change my mind and support abortion, and I’m not going to risk my eternal salvation.
The nature and strategies of the opposition matter too. Like the Southern Baptist Convention's chief political operative, Richard Land, who again weighed in against health reform. He sent a variation on his earlier error-ridden proclamation in a letter to Republican leaders, and given his gift for sowing confusion about what he means, gave them nothing like a counterbalance for the emergent support.