Health Care Brawl: Why Obama's Team Thinks It Can Win

President Obama's team is ready for a brawl over health care reform legislation, no matter what the polls say

G. Paul Burnett / New York Times / Redux

White House chief pollster Joel Benenson says surveys have their limitations.

Barack Obama's top pollster, Joel Benenson, talks fast. "Like a New Yorker, because I am," he says. The night before we spoke, he slept four hours, and after more than a year of watching the numbers slide around his big client's signature initiative, health care reform, one can forgive him for betraying a bit of frustration. "It's never enough to just say people are unhappy," he explains. "You've got to understand why they are unhappy."

Since August, he's had to deal with "death panels," the "cornhusker kickback" and daily proclamations of a "government takeover" of health care....

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