The first question was this one: “Do you support or oppose Medicare for All, which is a system where all Americans, not just older ones, get health insurance through the government’s Medicare system? Nearly two-thirds of respondents answered yes, with only 27% opposed (and the rest undecided). When the description of the proposal was phrased in a different way — that Medicare for All entails the end of their existing health insurance, which is what several prominent proponents have conceded — support for it ebbed, but not by as much as Republicans might think.

“Do you support or oppose Medicare for All, which is a system that will eliminate all private health insurance companies, and where all Americans, not just older ones, get health insurance through the government’s Medicare system?” Even with that caveat, 55% were in support, with 34% opposed.

Nevertheless, Republican strategists, including some in the White House — as well as many moderate Democratic Party officeholders — are convinced that Medicare for All is a losing issue. Specifically, they believe that in the hothouse of a political campaign, conservatives will be effective in pointing out that by making it a federal government program, Americans wouldn’t only lose their existing health insurer, they would be likely to lose their doctors, too, and would have to pay much higher taxes to fund it. Perhaps this is so, but some prominent White House policy advisers have concluded that the administration must produce its own alternative to Medicare for All if it wants to counter the liberal argument, which nearly half of Republicans are open to supporting.