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Poll: Health Care Most Important Issue to Dem. Primary Voters

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during an event to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” on Capitol Hill in 2017. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Health care ranked as the most important issue to likely Democratic primary voters in a new poll released Tuesday.

About 25 percent of such voters said health care is their top priority, while 22 percent said economic issues are most important to them, according to the Morning Consult survey.

Supporters of South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Bernie Sanders all said health care was the most important issue to them. Economic issues ranked second for Sanders and Warren supporters, while seniors’ issues ranked second for Buttigieg supporters. 26 percent of voters backing former vice president Joe Biden said seniors’ issues were the most important to them, while 24 percent of Biden supporters said health care was most important.

Various proposals to expand Medicare have taken center stage in the crowded Democratic presidential race. Sanders’s Medicare for All legislation has been cosponsored by Senators Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker, all contenders for the Democratic nomination. Harris has nevertheless indicated she would also be open to other more moderate proposals, and Booker has shown reluctance to eliminate the private-health-insurance market despite signing onto Sanders’s plan. Buttigieg, meanwhile, has said he supports an expansion of Medicare but opposes a single-payer system that would eliminate private health insurance.

The Morning Consult poll found Biden, who has not officially announced a presidential run, outpacing his competitors at 30 percent support among Democratic primary voters. Sanders came second at 24 percent support, while the previously little-known Buttigieg sat in third place at 9 percent.

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