Home Politics 'Medicare for All' looks like a political loser for Democrats – CNN

'Medicare for All' looks like a political loser for Democrats – CNN

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On one side are Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) who support “Medicare for All,” a proposal that would eliminate the private health care industry totally and replace it with a government-run system. On the other side are former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom have said the best course of action is to improve upon the current law of the land — the Affordable Care Act — rather than undergo a(nother) wholesale change in the health care delivery system.
According to a new analysis of the 2018 midterm election results by Emory University Political Science professor Alan Abramowitz, Democrats who supported “Medicare for All” in the 60 closest House elections did significantly worse than those who did not.
In the districts Abramowitz examined — places President Donald Trump won in 2016 by less than 10 points that were either open seats or a Republican incumbent — just 42% of Democratic candidates who publicly supported Medicare for All won in 2018 while 72% of Democrats who did not support the legislation came out on top.
Obviously, it is not as simple as that. House races aren’t solely decided by where a candidate stands on a single issue — even one as high-profile and intensely felt as Medicare for All. But even when Abramowitz ran a regression model to control for other factors in these five dozen most competitive contests, he found similar results.
“After controlling for all of the other variables affecting the outcomes of these contests, Democratic candidates who endorsed Medicare for All … the estimated coefficient of -4.6 indicates that support for Medicare for All cost Democratic candidates in these competitive districts almost five points of vote margin — a substantial effect in a close election,” concluded Abramowitz.

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Which is verrrry interesting — and consistent with polling on the subject. In a Kaiser Family Foundation poll last month, 55% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they would prefer to vote for a candidate who will build on the existing law while 40% said they wanted a candidate who supported replacing the ACA with Medicare for All. The bulk of polling on the issue affirms the Kaiser findings; Democrats, when given the choice, would rather make the current law better than rip it up and replace it with something new.
This data comes even as Warren has fully embraced Medicare for All — to the point where, after months of public pressure, she released a detailed plan on how she proposes to pay for it. It also arrives as the surge Warren enjoyed over the summer has clearly come to an end — both nationally and in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Coincidence? Those don’t happen all that much in politics at this level.
The Point: Warren (and Sanders) are all-in on a proposal that the majority of Democrats don’t want, and which exerted a drag on Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms. That should worry them (and their supporters).

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