Doing the Math

Twenty months, 50 states and tens of millions of voters are only some of the numbers this Obama pollster had to manage as he steered his boss to victory. This is how he did it

Callie Shell / Aurora for TIME

Obama numbers guy Benenson says the candidate paid little heed to pundits.

On election day, with nothing left to do but wait for results, Obama pollster Joel Benenson spoke with TIME's Amy Sullivan. The former reporter turned numbers man talked about how the Obama team developed its strategy for taking on John McCain, how Obama managed to sustain a consistent message for the duration of the race and why the Obama campaign resisted calls to aggressively woo Hillary Clinton voters. Here's Benenson's inside take on how Obama won:

On the effort to define John McCain:

One of the things that struck us as we entered the general election was that two pieces of...

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