Democrats going to the polls are very worried about health care, virus

Florida Democrat Donkey Flag
Most Florida Democratic voters are worried about the new coronavirus.

Perhaps ironically, in a Florida presidential primary that former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to win in a landslide, Democratic voters surveyed for The Associated Press are most concerned about the issue Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders represents, major health care reform.

Roughly 40% of Democratic voters said they are very concerned that they or a relative will get the virus, according to a wide-ranging AP VoteCast survey of the Democratic primary electorate in Florida. Roughly the same proportion of voters were somewhat concerned, while only about one in five expressed little to no concern.

The Democratic presidential campaign has featured a contentious debate among candidates over the best way to tackle health care, an issue seen as the most important facing the country by close to half of Democratic voters in the Florida survey: 46% identified it as their top issue, while 19% said the economy or jobs, 16% climate change, 5 percent gun control, 5 percent race relations. Foreign policy, immigration, taxes, and abortion drew less than the margin of error.

There is majority support for a government-run health care system for all Americans, with about three-quarters of voters saying they are in favor. Roughly a quarter are opposed.

But support for a public option, where every American could buy into a government-run insurance plan if they wanted to, is even higher. Roughly 9 in 10 Florida Democratic voters who participated in the survey are in favor that idea

About two-thirds of voters are in favor of either proposal, while about a fifth say they favor a public option but oppose a single-payer system.

Those are among preliminary results from AP VoteCast, a survey of 3,256 voters, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 3,256 voters in Florida was conducted for seven days, concluding as polls closed. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The margin of error is estimated to be 3.4 percentage points.

The survey sample found 22% identifying as very liberal, 19% somewhat liberal, 50% moderate, and 9% conservative.

Among other findings in the snapshot released by The Associated Press Tuesday evening:

— Voters in Florida’s Democratic primary were closely divided over whether they wanted a candidate who would bring fundamental change to Washington or one who would restore the political system to how it was before Donald Trump was elected in 2016.

— But a majority of voters said they preferred a candidate who will pursue practical, centrist policies to one pursuing bold liberal policies.

— A wide majority say they would vote for Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders against Trump in the general election. Still, 15% say they would vote for Biden but not for Sanders, while 5% say they would vote for Sanders but not Biden.

— Voters are skeptical that the Democratic Party’s nomination process is fair. Just about a third say they are very confident that the process for selecting a presidential nominee is fair. Roughly 2 in 10 have little to no confidence, while about 4 in 10 say they are somewhat confident.

— Meanwhile, only about 4 in 10 voters are very confident that the Democratic Party’s leadership represents their values; roughly half are somewhat confident. About 1 in 10 are not confident.

Associated Press


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704