Sanders, Warren and even Harris have shopped their views on policy ….
Move strongly to the left…
Joe Biden has given slightly….
But not much….
His numbers keep him in the lead 2-1…..
The others are STILL fighting for second place….
The former vice president used the debate to underscore his moderate positioning, even if that dynamic was frequently obscured by the crossfire of attacks he faced from rivals across the stage. Biden strongly made the case against a single-payer health-care plan that would eliminate private health insurance and instead argued for expanding the Affordable Care Act by creating a public option. He opposed treating unauthorized border crossings as a civil, rather than criminal, offense, and he said he would reopen negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership rather than scrap it entirely, as many on the left prefer. Compared with other Democrats, he took a relatively more restrained position on climate by indicating he wanted the economy to become carbon-neutral by 2050, well beyond the 2030 date specified in the Green New Deal. (Although it didn’t come up yesterday, his campaign clarified after the first debate that he would allow undocumented immigrants to purchase health insurance through the ACA with their own money, but would not provide them any public subsidies to do so.)
As last night’s debate showed, Biden has moved left on some issues since announcing his candidacy: He made clear that he has renounced his earlier support for mandatory-minimum sentences, the death penalty, and the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortions. But with those exceptions, Biden took pains to plant himself toward the moderate end of the party on most issues.
That created an especially stark contrast with his three principal rivals, who solidified their left-wing bona fides. Over the two nights, Harris, Warren, and Sanders all called for decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings. Harris endorsed the highly ambitious goal of decarbonizing the economy by 2030. Warren and Sanders were unwavering in their desire to eliminate private health insurance as part of a move to a single-payer system. And while Harris distanced herself from that position this week by releasing a health-care plan that would maintain a role for private insurers, Biden sharply criticized her plan over its cost and elimination of employer-based insurance coverage. Warren, Sanders, and Harris have also indicated they would allow undocumented immigrants full access to health benefits under their plans.
A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College poll underscores the challenge Democrats may face selling many of those ideas. In that survey, 54 percent of Americans opposed eliminating private insurance; 62 percent opposed covering the undocumented in any national health-care system; and 66 percent opposed decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings.
Even among Democrats who identified as moderate or conservative, nearly half opposed covering the undocumented, and a clear majority opposed decriminalizing the border, according to detailed results provided to The Atlantic by Marist. A solid majority of those more moderate Democrats also rejected ending the death penalty, which every major Democratic contender has now embraced. In the survey, a national health-care system that eliminates private insurance did register support from a clear majority of both liberal Democrats and moderates. But, for Democrats primarily concerned about electability, the overall public’s opposition to that idea may still make them hesitant about supporting a candidate who advocates for it…..