While Joe Biden nabbed a much-needed win in South Carolina on Saturday, meeting expectations by besting Sen. Bernie Sanders in the first-in-the-South primary, exit polls in the state also showed—for the fourth time in a row—that a majority of Democratic voters are supportive of the demand for a Medicare for All system to replace the nation's for-profit status quo.
As NBC News political correspondent Sahil Kapur, citing either entrance or exit polls from the first four states, reports: "Support was 57 percent to 38 percent in Iowa, 58 percent to 37 percent in New Hampshire, 62 percent to 35 percent in Nevada, and 50 percent to 44 percent in South Carolina."
New @NBCNews exit polls: Medicare for All goes four-for-four with Democrats in early states.— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 29, 2020
IOWA — 57% support, 38% oppose
N.H. — 58% support, 37% oppose
NEVADA — 62% support, 35% oppose
S.C. — 50% support, 44% oppose
Democracy for America, the progressive advocacy group, was among those pointing out that the proposal put forth by Sanders has received broad support in those early states, "even among folks supporting the insurance lobbyist-backed candidates who oppose it"—meaning Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and others.
"Opponents threw everything and the kitchen sink at medicare for all over the last year, and yet…" —Mike Casca, Sanders campaignSanders has made Medicare for All a signature part of his campaign and declared Saturday morning, "Medicare for All will save tens of thousands of lives every year. In the United States of America, when a person is sick, that person should be able to access health care and see a doctor. When a person goes to the hospital, that person should not end up in bankruptcy."
And while Sen. Elizabeth Warren has also embraced the policy to a degree, progressives have noted the momentum of her campaign stalled after she indicated her willingness to compromise on the measure.
2020 lesson is #MedicareForAll -- what voters now see as the "true universal health care" brand -- is crucial. Mayor Pete could have been the Obama-esque millennial if he hadn't abandoned it. Liz Warren could have gone further as wonk, too. Abandoning it was bad choice for both! https://t.co/hfAEfGpFbJ— Medicare for All (@AllOnMedicare) March 1, 2020
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The broad support for Bernie Sanders' signature issue within the party spans four primary electorates with widely varying demographic makeups.
The exact wording of the NBC News questionnaire was: "How do you feel about replacing all private health insurance with a single government plan for everyone?"
As Common Dreams reported earlier this week, grassroots Medicare for All advocates in South Carolina squared off against a coalition of industry-backed groups and a massive ad blitz in the state as they made the case to voters for a more humane and cost-effective approach to healthcare.
"One of the things that we've found as we've gone around in South Carolina and elsewhere, talking to working people of all sorts," said one organizer with the effort, "is that people do understand that nobody loves their insurance company."
Members of the Sanders campaign took note of the primary trend thus far.
"Opponents threw everything and the kitchen sink at medicare for all over the last year," tweeted Mike Casca, Sanders' communication director, "and yet…"
"I still can't get over how, after being endlessly attacked for over a year with Republican rhetoric on the news, in the debates, and with negative ads, Medicare for All is four for four," declared Tyson Brody, a researcher working for the Sanders campaign, on Twitter.