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Hit the brakes on health-care bill, say two top Dem pollsters

Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen are pollsters for the last two non-GOP U.S. Presidents - Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, respectively. So it's revealing that a commentary in today’s Washington Post by Caddell and Schoen urges Democratic leaders to drop their current effort to ram the Senate-passed health-care bill through the House of Representatives and follow up with a “reconciliation” bill that end-runs a Republican filibuster:

Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November . . . the battle for public opinion has been lost . . . Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats' current health-care plan. . . . Never in our experience as pollsters can we recall such self-deluding misconstruction of survey data. . . . The notion that once enactment is forced, the public will suddenly embrace health-care reform could not be further from the truth . . . Unless the Democrats fundamentally change their approach, they will produce not just a march of folly but also run the risk of unmitigated disaster in November.

Remember, these are Democrats talking - Democrats selected for their expert political olfaction by the rough-and-tumble Darwinian dogfights known as electioneering. And it sounds like they’re saying, “Just. Walk. Away.”

Caddell and Schoen conclude that several points on which both parties agree can be salvaged from the wreckage of the current legislation and stitched together in a much less partisan bill.

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