I think so. I'm going to predict that Alan Nunnalee will take his seat come election time, unless Childers does something quickly to repair fences where they are broken. In my view, his health care vote cut a lot of holes in certain segments of his fence and some of his livestock . . . er . . . voters . . . are in danger of stampeding.
I know that Childers is fighting for his political future in a majority conservative district, and conventional wisdom says that if he voted for the Health Reform bill that the House just passed, it endangered him in his majority Republican district, but I think Childers has a different dynamic with the entrance of the highly visible and well-financed Alan Nunnalee.
Here's how I break it down: Childers won the seat vacated by Wicker by a coalition of voters, getting independent, moderate and liberal votes, as well as a portion of conservative votes. Nunnalee is highly regarded in conservative Republican circles and well-known throughout the state. By voting NO on Health Reform, Childers has alienated his independents, moderates (both Republican and Democratic moderates) and liberals, but I don't think he gained any support with conservative Republicans, who, I believe, are going to vote for Nunnalee, come hell or high water. I don't think Childers can sway them, and I think those are the voters who wanted a NO vote at all costs.
A lot of moderates who are strongly against abortion probably objected to the bill because of that issue, but once the limitations on abortions paid by the government plan were written in, he should have (politically speaking), voted yes. He's said, and will continue saying, that he voted against it for fiscal reasons, but he's a practical man, and I don't want to call him a liar, I just want to note that he is a politician and enough said there. That excuse comes closer to flying with Gene Taylor in south Mississippi because of his long record on fiscal issues.
I'm not arguing the morals of this, just the political realities. Personally, I hate to see poorer women denied the access to an abortion if they have a compelling reason (and poverty and inability to raise a child because of that poverty is a compelling reason in my view), but if it allowed this bill to pass, I can live with the restrictions for now. That's a battle that can be taken on later, and fought on it's own merits rather than being the hole that sank the ship of health care for all.
I'm not sure what Childers could do, at this point, to win back moderate, independent and liberal votes, but I'm sure he better start working on it, because I don't believe he can win without them.
I know that I'm voting write-in or third-party (if there is a third party candidate) unless he can change my mind, and I doubt he can. I'm not much given to that behavior, being fairly pragmatic, because I realize it helps the deeply conservative side, but at this point, I can't see much difference between the two of them, so I see no reason to vote for Childers again.
And, really, given the artificially whipped-up hysteria over health reform recently, Childers may have been lost, whatever he did. I just believe he tried to play it smart and got so blinded by the loudest hype that he was played a fool instead. Guess we'll find out next year.