So why did it fail? According to a very plugged in Senate aide, Senators debating the issue were very aware that the polling was on their side. Yet, paradoxically, this ended up tipping the balance against holding the vote. Senate Dems felt they were already winning on the issue, and in the end they thought a vote risked upsetting a dynamic that was already playing in their favor.
"People felt like, Why rock the boat on a good situation?" the aide tells me. "People weren't sure how how having a vote would effect that dynamic. We would have lost Democrats on certain aspects of the vote. Who knows if the media would cover that as Democrats being splintered? In a way the good polling gave people faith that we dont need to do anything on the issue because we're already winning."
Let me amplify that a little: in the end, Democrats felt the vote was unnecessary because everything is going so well.
If this were a boxing match, I'd be worried that the guy in the blue trunks was taking a dive. But the fact is that, while their policy ideas are better, Democrats just suck at this partisan politics stuff. A lot.
A whole lot.