Poll: Supporting ‘Medicare for All’ helps presidential candidates

Presidential hopefuls who back universal, government-provided health care are more likely to receive public support than candidates who don't, according to a new poll.

Fifty-three percent of registered voters in a new Hill-HarrisX survey said they would be more likely to back a presidential candidate who supports expanding Medicare to include all Americans. Twenty-three percent said taking that position would have no effect on their vote, and 24 percent said it would make them less likely to support the candidate.

Seventy-three percent of Democratic respondents said they were more likely to vote for a White House hopeful who favors “Medicare for all.” Just 9 percent of Democrats said candidates with that position would be less likely to attract their support.

At 45 percent, independent voters were not as supportive of universal Medicare as Democrats, but only 22 percent said they would be less likely to back a presidential aspirant who supports Medicare for all. Thirty-three percent said it would make no difference with their vote.

Forty-three percent of Republicans said they would oppose a candidate running on Medicare for all, though 37 percent said they would back a contender with that position.

The poll found strong differences between age groups, with younger voters much more likely to support candidates running on a Medicare for all platform. A strong majority of voters between the ages of 18 and 34 -- 61 percent -- said they would be more inclined to back a presidential aspirant with this position, a sentiment shared by 59 percent of voters between 35 and 49.

Older voters were less likely to support a candidate backing Medicare for all. Forty-nine percent of respondents between 50 and 64 said they would support such a candidate, with 30 percent saying they would be less likely to give their support and 21 percent saying it would make no difference.

Voters 65 and older were the most likely, at 36 percent, to oppose a candidate running on Medicare for all. Forty-one percent said they were more likely to support a candidate with that position, and 23 said it would not influence their vote.

The poll was conducted Feb. 1-2 and has a sampling margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

—Matthew Sheffield