Obama pollster: Voters turning toward Dems on health reform

U.S. voters are becoming increasingly comfortable with Democrats' new healthcare reform law, President Barack Obama's pollster argued Monday.

Joel Benenson, the president's campaign pollster, said that the healthcare reform law the president signed into law in March is settling in with the public, which is also "resistant" to Republican lawmakers' pledges to repeal part or all of the law.

Benenson said in a memo that voters are "becoming increasingly comfortable with the law" as "misinformation" about the bill recedes.

And while the memo acknowledged some public ambivalence over the law, it set an election-year backdrop against which the Democratic pollster advised that candidates who took a more cautious approach to seeing how the law unfolds — rather than rushing to repeal it — would fare better in the polls this fall.

"In sum, the passage of healthcare reform does not appear to be the winning issue Republicans had hoped for and could lead to a backlash if their rhetoric against reforms becomes too strident," Benenson wrote.

Democrats blasted out the memo on Monday morning as they build a public-relations effort to defend and promote their healthcare bill, the signature accomplishment for Democrats and Obama over the past year and a half.

Part of that effort is an expected multimillion-dollar campaign, headed by former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), to defend and promote the new law.