Unless it's Bernie and that's just not going to happen. Check out the Quinnipiac Poll results below. Notice any difference between voter reaction to single payer Medicare for All and public option Medicare for All Who Want It? Yup, pretty drastic including absolutely massive swings among both white college and white noncollege between the two questions.
I just don't think any nominee, including Warren who's already backtracking, can ignore these data and associated political trends.
The Times has run two useful articles in the last few days highlighting these political trends. The first was on how the public option is drawing in voters who aren't sure about Medicare for All/single payer.
"Polls suggest that some voters have become unnerved by the price tags of the Warren and Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plans and the fact that they would abolish private health insurance. Support for such an approach has narrowed in recent months, as people have begun to understand what it would involve. A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll of voters in four battleground states — Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — found that 62 percent of those who are undecided or are still persuadable believe that “a national Medicare-for-all plan that would eliminate private health insurance” is a bad idea....
If Ms. Warren was hoping for a second look from Democrats alarmed by her single-payer plan, she found one in Betsy Loughran, 79, of Tamworth, N.H. Ms. Loughran, who used to run a nonprofit social services agency, said she found Ms. Warren’s proposal for an interim public option “much more palatable, frankly” — so much so that she would now consider donating to her campaign.
“It would be no slam dunk even to get a public option through Congress,” said Ms. Loughran, adding that Ms. Warren’s full-throated support of “Medicare for all” had made her more interested in centrist candidates like Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Klobuchar. “But if Elizabeth backs off and has a transition plan that would allow people to keep their private health insurance, that makes much more sense.”
The other Times article covered the many Democratic politicians and leaders who are running hard toward the public option and see Medicare for All/single payer as politically unviable in the 2020 election.
"Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who has said it would be a “terrible mistake” for the party nominee to support Medicare for all, is urging Democrats to embrace a more unified message against Mr. Trump. That feels unlikely in the midst of a heated primary campaign where health care has emerged as a significant difference between the candidates.
“Democrats need to start talking about the contrast with Trump on this,” said Mr. Brown, who has not endorsed a candidate in the primary race. “The conversation should not be Democrats fighting over the path to universal coverage.”
Congressional candidates are frequently asked whether they agree with the policy; candidates in all 10 of the most competitive Senate races have said they do not support it, preferring to keep their health care message focused on expanding Medicaid, protecting the Affordable Care Act and slamming repeal efforts by Republicans."
When Sherrod Brown talks, I listen! Anyway, I think the wind is blowing pretty hard toward Medicare for All Who Want It. I expect it to carry the day.