Iowa Democrats reported last night that their biggest priorities were beating President Trump and health care — but the meltdown of their election reporting systems left their presidential choices unresolved.
Why it matters: We've been writing for months that Democrats have a major choice ahead, either picking an advocate of Medicare for All — and siding with the plan that's less popular with the rest of the country — or a public option advocate.
- The Iowa debacle means the path the party will take won't be clear for a while longer.
By the numbers: Several polls — including ones by NBC News, the National Exit Poll and AP Votecast — found that around four in 10 caucus voters said health care was their top issue.
- Previous polling has found that Medicare for All is less popular overall than a public option, but both were popular among Democratic caucus-goers last night.
- Seven in 10 said they back a single-payer plan, and almost nine in 10 said they support a public option, per AP Votecast, which was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News.
Yes, but: Caucus-goers said they prefer a Democratic candidate who can beat Trump over one that agrees with them on issues, CNN reports.
The big picture: Republicans are more than happy to talk about Medicare for All — and its subsequent tax increases and expanded government role in health care — instead of protecting and building on the Affordable Care Act.
- Whereas the former gives them an opportunity to go on offense, the latter puts the GOP on defense against its 2017 repeal-and-replace efforts and ongoing lawsuit that would strike down the whole health care law, including its protections for pre-existing conditions.