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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: Public Option vs. Medicare-for-All – General Election Match-Ups



Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, August 13


Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls, ranging from 41% (Morning Consult) to 47% (Rasmussen). Without these two extremes, it would be 45%. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today (same as yesterday), which is 10 points higher than his approval rating.


Among voters nationwide

Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R): +8 (50-42)
Bernie Sanders (D) over Donald Trump (R): +8 (50-42)
Elizabeth Warren (D) over Donald Trump (R): +2 (46-44)
Kamala Harris (D) over Pres. Donald Trump (R): +1 (45-44)

RON’S COMMENT: In this poll, both Biden and Sanders lead Trump by a substantial 8 points…. Among independents, Trump leads Harris by 3, runs even with Warren and loses to Biden by 6 and Sanders by 10…. Among suburban women, a constituency Democrats are heavily relying on, Biden beats Trump by 24, Sanders tops Trump by 20, Warren is ahead by 17 and Harris leads by 16 …. In Evangelical households, Trump beats Warren and Harris by 25, tops Sanders by 21 and defeats Biden by 19…. In union households, Biden beats Trump by 10 and Sanders leads Trump by 9. But, Warren and Harris are roughly even with Trump…. In households with active duty military or veterans, Trump leads Harris and Warren by 21, tops Sanders by 14 and beats Biden by 13…. It’s worth noting that quite a few Democratic operatives tell us that Sanders’ numbers in this survey are hard to believe.


Among Democratic voters nationwide

Joe Biden: 33%
Bernie Sanders: 20%
Elizabeth Warren: 14%
Kamala Harris: 9%
Pete Buttigieg: 5%
Beto O’Rourke: 3%
Cory Booker: 3%
Andrew Yang: 2%
Candidates with 1% or less not listed

RON’S COMMENT: Since last week, this poll finds little movement––Sanders is up 1, Warren is down 1 and Buttigieg is down 1…. In the subsample of early primary states (IA, NH, SC and NV), Biden leads with 35%, then Sanders 18%, Warren 11%, Steyer 6%, Buttigieg 6%, Harris 6% and Booker 6%. The early states are interesting because this is where most of the campaigning is being done.


Among voters nationwide

Do you support or oppose, the “public option”, a national health plan in which Americans could buy health insurance directly from the federal government?

Support: 45%
Oppose: 33%
Not sure: 21%

Do you support or oppose “Medicare for all”?

Support: 50%
Oppose: 41%
Not sure: 10%

RON’S COMMENT: Interestingly, the “public option”––considered the more moderate expansion of government into health coverage––received 5 points less than the more extensive (and some would say, more radical) Medicare-for-All proposal. 58% of Democrats, 40% of independents and 25% of Republicans favor the “public option.” 72% of Democrats, 44% of independents and 26% of Republicans favor the Medicare-for-All. Maybe Bernie Sanders is right: the bigger and simpler the proposal, the easier it is to capture public support? Discuss.


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
HEALTHCARE REFORM: The Economist/YouGov, Aug. 3-6

L = Libertarian candidate
G = Green Party candidate
O = Other candidate(s)
D poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Democrats.
R poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Republicans.

Lunchtime Politics is owned and published by Ron Faucheux. For interviews or speeches about polling and political trends, contact Dr. Faucheux at

The publisher of this report cannot attest to the reliability or methodology of surveys that it does not conduct.

Copyright 2019 Ronald A. Faucheux


Ron Faucheux

Dr. Faucheux is a nationally respected public opinion analyst with a unique background in public policy and legislative research, public communications and message strategies. He combines professional competence with pragmatic problem solving skills.