Democratic primary voters believe Sen. Bernie Sanders is the most qualified 2020 presidential candidate to accurately diagnose and solve America's systemic healthcare crisis.
"When are pundits going to start asking centrists if it's a risk NOT to run on Medicare for All?"
—Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders national press secretary
That's according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey released Tuesday, which found that 25 percent of likely Democratic primary voters believe Sanders, a longstanding supporter of Medicare for All, has a better "understanding of the problems with the U.S. healthcare system" than his 2020 rivals.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who last month released a public option plan that would expand Affordable Care Act subsidies, came in second place at 19 percent.
Just six percent of Democratic voters said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has the best understanding of America's healthcare crisis. As Common Dreams reported, Harris's healthcare plan would preserve a major role for private insurance companies, unlike Sanders's Medicare for All legislation.
Democratic voters ranked the Vermont senator as the 2020 White House hopeful who is best equipped to "solve the problems with the existing U.S. healthcare system."
The survey was conducted following the second round of Democratic presidential debates, in which progressive support for Medicare for All set the terms of the healthcare discussion and came under attack from right-wing candidates.
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The Morning Consult/Politico survey comes just days after an ABC News/Ipsos poll showed that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents found Sanders's healthcare arguments on the debate stage more convincing than Biden's.
After being shown two clips from last week's debates in Detroit, 31 percent of respondents said Sanders's case for Medicare for All was "very convincing" while 18 percent said the same of Biden's case for his public option proposal.
"If you want stability in the health care system, if you want a system which gives you freedom of choice with regard to a doctor or a hospital, which is a system which will not bankrupt you, the answer is to get rid of the profiteering of the drug companies and the insurance companies, move to Medicare for All," Sanders said in the clip shown to survey participants.
The Sanders campaign said in a statement Tuesday that the ABC/Ipsos poll shows their candidate has the winning healthcare message.
"Bernie Sanders's fight to guarantee healthcare to all Americans through a Medicare for All system is not only a moral necessity—polls show it is also the most compelling healthcare message to mobilize voters to win the primary and defeat Donald Trump in the general election," Faiz Shakir, Sanders's campaign manager, said in a statement.
In a tweet in response to the survey's findings, Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders's national press secretary, questioned why pundits consider Medicare for All a risky proposal and not the half-measure alternatives offered by other 2020 candidates.
"When are pundits going to start asking centrists if it's a risk NOT to run on Medicare for All?" wondered Gray.