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‘Medicare for All’ Is a Loser at the Polls, Analysis Finds

Yuval Rosenberg

Democratic House candidates who supported Medicare for All in the 2018 midterm elections fared considerably worse than those who did not back the plan, according to a new analysis by Alan I. Abramowitz at Sabato's Crystal Ball, a political newsletter run by the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Democrats who supported Medicare for All in competitive districts in 2018 won 45% of their races compared with 72% for those who did not support the health-care overhaul. Even controlling for other variables that affected the races, Democrats who endorsed Medicare for All “did significantly worse vthan those who did not,” Abramowitz writes, and the gap was large enough to have affected the outcome of some elections.

“It is possible that the estimated effect of Medicare for All was a byproduct of other differences between supporters and non-supporters. For example, supporters might have taken more liberal positions on a variety of other issues as well as Medicare for All,” Abramowitz concludes. “Even if that is the case, however, these findings are not encouraging to supporters of Medicare for All. They indicate that candidates in competitive races who take positions to the left of the median voter could get punished at the polls.”

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