Republicans now trying to flip Dem Rep. Chris Carney into the GOP. McCain spoke to him today.

The story was broken by the Politico. And the tell is that the story was leaked to the Politico by a GOP source. That’s almost never what you do when you think you’re about to get the person, unless you’re certain its a done deal. The way these things get done is that you want to surprise the other side, so they don’t have a chance to counter-lobby against the move. So there’s a lot of psych-out going on here, in addition to possibly getting someone to move.

Late Update: The more I think about this, the more it seems clear to me that this is the Republicans trying to gas-light the House Democratic Caucus. You don’t leak something like this when you’re in the midst of a serious negotiation. Doesn’t happen. But if you’re trying to touch off a major freak-out among House Dems this is exactly what you do.

Later Update: I’m not sure how much to credit this. But a reporter on Fox News just said that it was actually a voicemail message (rather than an actual conversation) that McCain left for Carney, which, if true, dramatically increases my sense that this is a gaslighting game.