The Effect of Supporting Medicare for All on Congressional Outcomes (MoveOn)

By Jacob Coblentz (@Jacob_Coblentz) and Sean McElwee (@SeanMcElwee)


Data for Progress analysis of election results finds that support for Medicare for All didnot have an effect on candidate vote share. We caution analysts on the center who claim thatMedicare for All harms candidate performance that the evidence for this thesis is incrediblytenuous. Instead, our findings are in line with the political science literature suggesting thatunderlying district partisanship, campaign tactics and candidate qualities are often moreimportant than policy platform positions.

Key Findings:

  • Support for Medicare for All is not associated with electoral performance in the 2018 midterms.

  • Dropping Medicare for All support and exclusively using CF-scores to measure ideology showed that there was no relationship between candidate ideology and vote share.

  • In addition, we analyzed national and swing district polling suggesting little public opposition to Medicare for All.

  • These data suggest that there was no systematic bias against progressive candidates by voters.

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