A solid majority of Democratic voters want a presidential candidate who supports Medicare for All, or socialized medicine. Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris, who supports such legislation, seems to be benefiting from that preference.
According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday, the more Democrats cherish universal, user-pay medical care, the better Harris is looking as a potential presidential candidate.
Fifty-seven percent of Democrats said they would be “more likely” to vote for a candidate who supports the Medicare for All pitch that has been promoted by Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Only 22 percent of respondents to the poll indicated that a candidate’s support for universal medical care would make them “less likely” to vote for that person.
A poll released last week indicated a similar support for universal medicare — 56 percent — among all American voters. But the poll also indicated that number dropping significantly to 32 percent when respondents were told they would have to pay higher taxes to support that user-pay system. (RELATED: Report: Sanders’ Universal Medicare Could Top $32 Trillion)
But despite the gathering collection of progressive Democrats supporting the health care proposal, the poll, conducted between Jan. 25-27, indicates that Harris is by far the largest beneficiary of the policy’s momentum.
The California senator, who arguably received positive media treatment at her presidential campaign kick-off event in Oakland and a large public viewing audience at her recent CNN town hall, is suddenly in the number three position for preferred Democratic nominee for president, according to the poll.
Harris has jumped from three to 10 percent support, though she is still far behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders — neither of whom have officially entered the race. (RELATED: Sanders Lauds Canada’s ‘Innovative’ Universal Health Care)
“While Sanders and Biden continue to outpace other potential nominees, Kamala Harris appears to be gaining strength with Democrats since launching her presidential bid,” Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president, said.
The nearest example of a country where universal medicare exists is Canada. The system there shows increasing strain. The Fraser Institute demonstrated how wait times for simple operations have more than doubled in the last 25 years, while 63,000 Canadians sought medical assistance outside of their country in 2016 — usually in the U.S.
The poll surveyed 685 people who say they vote Democratic and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.