Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.) has a 15-point lead in the Massachusetts Democratic presidential primary race as she flexes her political muscles in her home state, according to a new WBUR poll.
Thirty-three percent of likely primary voters surveyed said they intend to support Warren, while 18 percent said they would back former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE and 13 percent said they plan to vote for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' MORE (I-Vt.).
No other candidate breaks double-digits in the poll, but 15 percent of likely primary voters said they either did not know who they would support or refused to answer the question.
The poll marks an improvement for Warren, who was virtually tied with Biden in a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll in September. She is also buoyed in the new survey by a net-positive favorability rating, with 67 percent of likely primary voters saying they have a favorable view of her while only 18 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion.
"Elizabeth Warren, across the country, has been climbing steadily, and we see the results of that in this poll," said Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group, which conducts surveys for WBUR. "Yes, [Massachusetts] is her home state, but she's also climbed from where she was in September."
But in a warning sign for Warren, the “Medicare for All” plan she supports appears to be unpopular among Democratic primary voters in Massachusetts. Only 28 percent said they think it is the best approach to health care in America, while 44 percent said keeping the current system and offering Medicare as a health plan for everyone who wants to buy it would be the best option.
"Medicare for All who Want It" is also the most popular choice among all Massachusetts voters.
Health care has emerged as a chief fault line in the Democratic primary, with several candidates pouncing on Warren in last week’s debate after she dodged questions as to whether she would raise taxes on the middle class to pay for the plan, only saying that overall costs would decline for middle-class families.
"Your signature, senator, is to have a plan for everything, except this," said South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership LGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg MORE. "No plan has been laid out to explain how a multitrillion-dollar hole in this Medicare for All plan that Sen. Warren is putting forward is supposed to get filled in."
Warren said last weekend that she will soon be releasing a plan outlining how she will finance the “Medicare for All” health care proposal.
“I plan over the next few weeks to put out a plan that talks about, specifically, the cost of Medicare for all and, specifically, how we pay for it,” Warren said at a campaign rally in Indianola, Iowa.
The WBUR poll surveyed 456 likely Massachusetts primary voters from Oct. 16-20 and has a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.