- Beto O’Rourke has dropped out.
- Joe Biden has pulled ahead of the other candidates in the endorsement primary.
- Elizabeth Warren has released a plan to pay for Medicare-for-all.
- Kamala Harris has pulled out of New Hampshire and is focusing entirely on Iowa.
- Biden is at 27 percent support in recent polls, followed by Warren at 21, Bernie Sanders at 17, Pete Buttigieg at 8 and Harris at 5.
- Biden is down from a high of 40 percent in May, when Warren was polling at just 8 percent. Read more “Democratic Primary News”
Replacing private health insurance with a single-payer, government-run system is hugely unpopular in the United States, but that hasn’t convinced two of the Democrats’ three top-polling presidential candidates — Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — to back away from it.
In the most recent televised debate, Warren, who is polling neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden, couldn’t say how much “Medicare-for-all” would cost or who would pay for it. She has since promised to release a detailed plan.
Sanders, to his credit, admitted it would require tax increases. But by how much, and for whom, he didn’t say.
He can’t. Nationalizing health insurance for 327 million Americans is such a huge and complex undertaking that nobody knows how much it would cost.
Which calls into question the wisdom of doing it at all. Read more “Who Pays for Medicare-for-All?”
Ten candidates have qualified for the third Democratic presidential debate, to be held in two weeks’ time, putting pressure on the low-polling candidates to drop out.
New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who failed to qualify, ended her campaign on Wednesday, joining John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Seth Moulton and Eric Swalwell.
Michael Bennet, Bill de Blasio, Steve Bullock, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Tim Ryan, Tom Steyer and Marianne Williamson remain in the race, although they have little support.
The ten candidates who qualified are: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.
Of those, Biden is the clear frontrunner while Sanders and Warren share second place in the polls. Read more “Democratic Race Stable as Ten Candidates Qualify for Debate”
Good news: Democratic presidential candidates are coming to their senses on health care.
Senators Cory Booker, Kirstin Gillibrand and Kamala Harris have all backed away from abolishing private health insurance in favor of Medicare-for-all.
Even Senator Elizabeth Warren has given herself wiggle room, saying “there are a lot of different pathways” to achieving universal coverage.
The exception is Bernie Sanders, the author of Medicare-for-all and a self-declared democratic socialist. Read more “Democrats Back Away from Abolishing Private Health Insurance”
First, Bernie Sanders suggested the Democratic Party teamed up on him in 2016 to deny him the presidential nomination. (Of a party of which he is not even a member.)
Now he is suggesting The Washington Post is giving him negative coverage because he has been critical of its owner, Jeff Bezos.
America already has one party that regularly calls the legitimacy of institutions like universities, the FBI and NATO into doubt. It doesn’t need Democrats to do the same. Read more “Down in the Polls, Sanders Echoes Trump on Media Bias”
Imagine you’re an American swing voter and you listened Tuesday and Wednesday night to the twenty Democrats vying for their party’s presidential nomination. What did you hear?
- Three of the four highest-polling candidates want to abolish private health insurance and replace it with a single government program.
- Virtually all candidates would decriminalize illegal entry into the United States and all of them praised immigration.
- Many would give free health care to undocumented immigrants.
- Some, like Bernie Sanders, would even give them a free college education.
This is not a winning program. Read more “Democrats Are Not Talking to Swing Voters”
If 2016 taught me anything, it is not to make predictions. I don’t know who is going to win the Democratic presidential nomination in the United States, so take what follows with a grain of salt — and remember that we’re still more than half a year out from the Iowa caucuses, which will kick off the official nominating process in February. A lot can (and almost certainly will) change.
Former vice president Joe Biden is ahead. He places first in the national polls and the early voting state polls. He is also first in the endorsement primary, which measures support from elected officials. For Democrats pining for a restoration of the Obama era, Biden is the obvious choice.
I would put California senator Kamala Harris in second place. She is second in the endorsement primary and shares second place in national polls with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. She made a strong impression in the first debate, but she has flipflopped twice on whether or not she wants to abolish private health insurance. This is not a trivial issue. Her vagueness on what many Americans rank as their top concern (health care) is worrying.
Sanders is probably in third place, but I don’t think he has a lot of potential for growth. I’m biased, though. I don’t like Sanders’ style. Whenever he is pushed for detail, he argues that a “political revolution” will make his far-reaching policy proposals somehow feasible. I prefer plans over slogans.
If I had to bet right now, I would put my money on Warren. Read more “Elizabeth Warren May Be the Strongest Democratic Candidate”
In a recent column, I argued Democrats in the United States have moved to the left but Republicans have moved farther to the right. The former, at least in their policies, are still more centrist than most center-left parties in Europe while the latter now have more in common with far-right populists than they do with Britain’s Conservative Party and Germany’s Christian Democrats.
Centrists (myself included) still worry that Democrats might become too left-wing for voters in the middle — who, the turnout fantasies of partisans on either side notwithstanding, tend to decide the outcome of national elections. Read more “Democrats Are Closer to the Center Than Republicans”
Four of the Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination committed to replacing private health insurance with a government-run system in debates this week: Senators Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York.
Harris later maintained she had misheard the question and supports Medicare-for-all with supplemental private insurance.
She, as well as Sanders and Warren, stand a real chance of becoming the nominee (de Blasio is a long shot), so it’s worth pointing out why abolishing private health insurance is such bad policy for Democrats. Read more “Abolishing Private Health Insurance Is Bad Policy for Democrats”
Democrats don’t have a good answer to what Ezra Klein calls the “Mitch McConnell question”.
The Republican leader is likely to retain his majority, or at least a blocking minority, in the United States Senate next year. Then what will come of the Democrats’ plans?
In two debates on Wednesday and Thursday night, none of the party’s twenty presidential hopefuls had a good answer. Read more “Democrats Don’t Have a Good Answer to the Mitch McConnell Question”