More than half of Democrats believe that health insurance should be provided through a national, government-run insurance system, according to a new Pew Research survey. This represents a significant jump from past surveys.
Fifty-two percent of Americans who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party now favor a single-payer system, up from 33 percent in 2014 and 43 percent as recently as this January.
Younger Democrats are especially enthusiastic: Two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic leaners under age 30 say they’d like to see a single-payer system.
Support remains lower outside the party, with just 12 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners, and one-third of the public as a whole, favoring the idea.
The poll also finds a larger shift on Americans’ views about the government’s role in the health care system.
During former President Barack Obama’s tenure, a significant share of the public renounced the idea that the government should ensure all Americans have health coverage. As his signature health care law was facing a troubled launch in 2013, just 42 percent said the government had that responsibility.
But after President Donald Trump, who has pledged to repeal the current health care law, came into office, views seesawed back. Sixty percent of Americans now say the government does have a responsibility to ensure universal health coverage.
OTHER NUMBERS ON THE CURRENT DEBATE OVER HEALTH CARE:
A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that just 38 percent of Americans know that the House GOP’s bill to repeal Obamacare would involve major reductions to Medicaid. Medicaid itself is broadly popular with the public, nearly three-quarters of whom view it favorably. The survey also finds majority support for Obamacare for the first time in Kaiser’s polling since the law passed seven years ago.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey finds that just 16 percent of Americans think the health care bill passed by the House is a good idea, while 48 percent consider it to be a bad idea. The public is closely divided on what Congress and the president should do next, according to the poll, with 38 percent saying they should continue attempting to repeal Obamacare, and 39 percent that they should not.
A HuffPost/YouGov survey finds that although few Republicans are enthusiastic about the GOP health bill, 68 percent say they’d rather see it pass than to have no repeal at all. The public overall would like to see the current health care law kept in place, according to the survey.
MORE OF THE LATEST POLLING NEWS:
FEW BELIEVE AMERICA IS MAKING PROGRESS ON GUN VIOLENCE ― HuffPollster: “America’s most recent bout with high-profile gun violence has done little to shake people’s attitudes about guns, which remain both complex and deeply polarized, according to two newly released surveys. Just 12 percent of the public thinks American society has gotten better at preventing gun violence since the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds….A new, wide-ranging Pew Research report, also released Thursday, sheds some light on the attitudes underlying Americans’ opinions about firearms….Nearly three-quarters of gun owners say they can’t see themselves ever giving up gun ownership, and that they consider the right to own guns essential to their own sense of freedom. But a sizable share of the public has also had harmful experiences with firearms. Forty-four percent say they know someone who has been shot, whether accidentally or on purpose, and nearly a quarter say they or someone in their family have been threatened or intimidated by a gun.” [HuffPost, more from Pew]
SUPPORT FOR GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS CONTINUES TO GROW ―- Antonia Blumberg: ”[A]ccording to a new report by the Public Religion Research Institute, support for religiously based service refusals is quickly declining. PRRI’s report, based on a survey of roughly 40,000 interviews, found that more than six in ten Americans oppose allowing small business owners in their state to refuse to provide goods and services to gay or lesbian people on religious grounds….‘For the first time in a PRRI poll of this size, no major religious group reports majority support for religiously based service refusals of gay and lesbian Americans,’ said PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones in a statement.” [HuffPost, more from PRRI]
HILLARY CLINTON’S IMAGE HASN’T SEEN A POST-ELECTION BOUNCE ― Justin McCarthy: “Americans are no more likely to view Hillary Clinton favorably than they were before last year’s presidential election. Forty-one percent have a favorable view of the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, within the 41% to 43% range Gallup has recorded since November….Clinton’s current favorable rating is just a few percentage points higher than her all-time low ― 38%, last recorded in late August/early September 2016….Over the past quarter century, the favorable ratings of losing presidential candidates generally have increased after the election ― some in the immediate aftermath and others in the months that followed….November’s election was unlike any other before it, with both major party candidates having some of the lowest favorable ratings of any candidates in Gallup’s history. This situation has had unique consequences for the losing candidate as well as the winner.” [Gallup]
‘OUTLIERS’ ― Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
– An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll gives Democrats an 8-point edge over Republicans on the generic House ballot. [NBC]
– CBS finds Americans are unhappy with congressional Republicans, but not persuaded that Democrats would be better. [CBS]
– Quinnipiac’s latest look at the Virginia gubernatorial race gives Democrat Ralph Northam an 8-point edge over Republican Ed Gillespie. [Quinnipiac]
– Steven Shepard reports that pollsters were surprised by high turnout in the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. [Politico]
– Nate Silver takes a look ahead to Democrats’ 2018 midterm chances. 
– Andrew Dugan notes that health care costs top Americans’ list of financial concerns. [Gallup]
– Kaeli Subberwal writes on a study finding Republicans are more concerned about “climate change” than “global warming.” [HuffPost]
– Alvin Chang delves into the divide between Americans who leave their hometowns and those who stay. [Vox]
– Sean Trende offers some thoughts on media coverage of polls. [@SeanTrende]
– Elisa Shearer finds few mode effects in polling on Americans’ news consumption. [Pew]
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