Poll: Vast Majority Say Anti-Public Option Dems Should Face Primaries

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Here’s a snapshot of the electorate, at the moment when a small handful of Democrats have teamed up to tank the public option. A new Research 2000 poll, commissioned by Democracy for America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee finds that the overwhelming majority of likely voters believe Democrats who vote against the public option should face primaries from their left.

When asked: “If a Democratic member of Congress votes against a public health insurance option, would you want a more progressive candidate to run against them in a Democratic primary?” 84 percent of respondents said “yes,” 11 percent said “no,” and 5 percent said they weren’t sure.

Those are fairly striking numbers, particularly given last night’s news that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is standing in the way of public option alternatives. Lieberman, along with Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) joined forces several weeks ago, insisting they’d filibuster a health care reform bill if it included a public option. That threat laid the groundwork for a new compromise, but Lieberman’s saying even that’s a no-go.

The overall survey, which will be released later today, polled 802 from December 11 through the 13th–it’s margin of error is 3.5%. For the above question, which went to Democrats only question, 256 were polled, yielding a 6.1% margin of error.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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