The first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary is perhaps the most significant of the four early primaries, and Granite State voters made it clear they want the Democratic nominee to support Medicare for All.

On Tuesday, Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts released its latest poll of voters who intend to cast a ballot in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, and surveyed respondents both on candidates they’d prefer to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 2020, as well as issues they support.

Among candidates, “undecided” ranked #2 with 20.8% of voters selecting that option, as Granite Staters are typically known to take their time to decide on which candidate they want to support until much later in the election cycle. Former Vice President Joe Biden ranked #1 at 21.4% support, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) ranked #3 at 16.8% support, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) was fourth, garnering 13.6% support.

The issues section of the Suffolk poll suggests that both Sanders and Warren could gain ground in the first-in-the-nation primary state, as both candidates support implementing a single-payer, “Medicare for All” healthcare system in the U.S. if elected.

Healthcare ranked #1 among issues voters said was most important in deciding who they wanted as the Democratic nominee, and when asked about Medicare for All specifically, 56.2% of New Hampshirites said it was “very important” for the nominee to support the proposal, and another 28.4% said it was “somewhat important.” Nationally, Medicare for All has been popular among poll respondents since August of last year, among both Democrats and Republicans.

And perhaps as a way to make it clear to respondents that Medicare for All would mean the eventual elimination of private health insurance companies in place of a national, government-funded healthcare plan, Suffolk pollsters asked those it surveyed if they supported replacing private insurers with a single-payer plan. 60% of Democratic voters in the Live Free or Die state still supported the policy.

(From page 5 of the Suffolk University poll of New Hampshire Democratic primary voters released August 6, 2019)

In addition to Medicare for All, Suffolk asked Granite Staters if they felt it was important for the Democratic nominee to support the Green New Deal — a broad-based proposal to revamp the U.S. economy to build up green energy infrastructure as a means of reducing the effects of global warming. More than two-thirds of respondents (67%) felt it was either “somewhat important” or “very important” to support the proposal.

The support for both Medicare for All and the Green New Deal is fairly surprising, given how respondents identified their political views and the policy proposals being branded by establishment voices as too radical for Americans to support. A plurality (40%) of respondents described themselves as “moderate,” 26% described themselves as “liberal,” and only 19% identified as “very liberal.”

Both the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary, respectively, are always the first presidential contests in both the Democratic and Republican primary races. Northeastern University noted that candidates have to often engage in face-to-face “retail politics” in the early races if they want to stand out and remain competitive.

“In the modern era, it is important for candidates to win or place in the top three of either Iowa or New Hampshire,” Northeastern wrote.

(Featured image: Ken Lund/Creative Commons)


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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