Voters in Alabama’s Democratic primary ranked health care as the most important issue facing the country, well above climate change, the economy, race relations, foreign policy and many other social issues.
More than a third named health care, an issue that has intensely divided the field of Democratic candidates. Roughly two in 10 had the economy on their minds, according to a wide-ranging AP VoteCast survey of the Democratic primary electorate in Alabama.
Here’s a snapshot of Democratic voters in Alabama — who they are and what matters to them — based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, a survey of 1,110 voters, conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Do they want a big change?
Voters in Alabama’s Democratic primary were closely divided over whether they wanted a candidate who would bring fundamental change to Washington or one who would restore the political system to how it was before Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
Slightly more voters said they preferred a candidate who will pursue practical, centrist policies to one pursuing bold liberal policies.
What else voters want
About eight in 10 said it was very important that a nominee can beat Trump, care about people like them and be a strong leader.
Roughly seven in 10 said it was very important that a candidate have the best policy ideas, while about as many said the same of one who has “the right experience.”
A Democratic nominee’s willingness to work across the aisle was considered very significant by about seven in 10 voters.
Largely united against Trump
A wide majority say they will definitely vote for the Democratic candidate against Trump in the general election. Still, about two in 10 say their decision will depend on which Democrat is on the ballot in November.
Primary process skepticism
Voters in Alabama are mostly confident that the process for selecting a presidential nominee is fair, though just about three in 10 say they are very confident. Roughly a quarter have little to no confidence, while about 4 in 10 say they are somewhat confident.
Debating health care
The campaign to date has featured a contentious debate among candidates over the best way to tackle health care, an issue seen as the most important facing the country by more than a third of voters.
There is majority support for a government-run health care system for all Americans, with about six in 10 voters saying they are in favour. Roughly a third are opposed.
But support for a public option, where every American could buy into a government-run insurance plan if they want to, is even higher. More than eight in 10 are in favour.
Close to six in 10 voters are in favour of either proposal, while about three in 10 say they favour a public option but oppose a single-payer system.
Climate change, the economy and other issues
About one in 10 voters said climate change is the most important issue facing the nation. A majority — about six in 10 — expressed support for a tax on the use of carbon-based fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas.
Roughly two in 10 called the economy the top issue. But a significant majority described the economic system in this country as unfair. That includes about four in 10 who said it’s very unfair.
About one in 10 named race relations as most important. Small shares of voters considered immigration, gun policy or abortion most important.