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Expand chart
Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

Health care was voters’ top issue in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and it benefitted Sen. Bernie Sanders as well as his more moderate rivals.

The big picture: Sanders has emerged as a national front-runner thanks in part to a base that’s deeply committed to his Medicare for All plan, even as polling data indicate that more moderate ideas like a public option have a broader base of support.

By the numbers: 37% of voters in the New Hampshire exit poll said health care was their top issue, placing it ahead of climate change, income inequality or foreign policy. Results were similar in Iowa entrance polls.

  • A majority (61%) of New Hampshire primary voters supported both a public option and a Sanders-style single-payer plan.
  • Just 6% support only single-payer, and not a public option, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of AP VoteCast data, while 26% support a more moderate plan but not single-payer.

“Single-payer or bust” voters overwhelmingly supported Sanders, while the “public option or bust” group was split among Pete Buttigieg (35%), Amy Klobuchar (34%) and Joe Biden (12%).

My thought bubble: The hardcore single-payer fans are a small group, even among Democrats. 

  • It’s big enough to win in a crowded primary, but the broader — albeit divided — support for a more moderate plan may be a signal about the general election.

Yes, but: Even among those Democratic voters in New Hampshire who said health care was the most important issue, more said it’s very important to have a candidate who can beat President Trump (89%) than one who has the best policy ideas (60%).

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Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.

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What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”

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Why it matters: The Major County Sheriffs of America noted Gupta “emphasized that she does not support efforts to ‘defund the police'” and highlighted her desire to improve criminal justice through methods that include increased training for law enforcement officials.