In the House, we have about half of the cosponsors we need to pass Medicare for All. Democrats who are not currently cosponsors (and constitute the other half we need to win) represent districts that are whiter and wealthier than the districts we’ve already won. What does this mean for our movement and how do we organize in this next phase?


Show Notes

Ben and Stephanie provide an update on the Medicare For All Act and explore the demographic and political data about the remaining districts where our movement needs to get Democrats on board to win (full slideshow presentation here!).

As of February 24th, the Bill in the House of Representatives has approximately 75 original co-sponsors, but has not been filed yet. A majority of Democrats cosponsored the bill with 118 co-sponsors at the end of the last session.

In light of the upcoming bill, Stephanie and Ben take a deeper look into the districts where the grassroots movement has had success and compare it to those districts where gaining support for the bill has been more challenging. This data helps us understand the next steps that must be taken to further advance the movement!

Geographic Distribution of Current House Co-sponsors vs. Democratic Non-sponsors:

  • In most regions of the country, the majority of House democrats are co-sponsors of the bill. However, many more representatives need to get on board before we can see the bill get passed in Congress.
  • Rocky mountain region states (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho): greatest success with 60% of House Democrats co-sponsoring the bill
  • Plains region (Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Dakota, Nebraska): least success with support from only ~27% of House democrats
  • Southeastern region (Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, D.C., Georgia, Maryland, Virginia): less than 1/3 of democrats are cosponsor board
  • Southeastern region is a critical region for the movement due to the sheer number of democratic representatives. However, these representatives seem to be less inclined to social justice issues which may explain their lack of support for the bill.

Demographic Margins and Swing Districts of Current House Co-sponsors vs. Democratic Non-sponsors:

  • Of the 114 co-sponsors, only 5 co-sponsors represent swing districts. This is no surprise as our movement has targeted very few swing districts.
  • Of the next 118 co-sponsors we need to get on board, about 1/3 of them represent swing districts.

Demographics of House Co-sponsors vs. Democratic Non-sponsors:

  • Gender: No differences between male vs. female representatives who were co-sponsors of the bill.
  • Race/ethnicity: More than 50% of co-sponsors were people of color (POC) in the House, with representatives who were women of color overwhelmingly in support of the bill.
  • Intersection of race/ethnicity and gender: White female representatives were the least likely to support the bill.

Demographics of House districts with Co-sponsors vs. Democratic Non-sponsors:

  • Of districts with co-sponsors, more than ½ of the district’s population represented POC as majority.
  • On average, co-sponsor support has come from representatives of lower income districts.
  • For the next 118 districts where we need to get co-sponsorship, ¾ of the them are majority white districts.
  • We need co-sponsorship from 31 districts with a majority POC. Those districts are mainly in 3 states: California, Texas, and Florida.

Demographics of Senate co-sponsors vs. Democratic non-sponsors:

  • Of the co-sponsors in the Senate, 80% were white vs. 20% were POC. This is in stark contrast to the House, where the majority of co-sponsors were POC. This is partly because the Senate does not reflect the racial demographics of the population.
  • Of the remaining democrats in the Senate we need on board – over 90% are white; less than 10% are POC
  • There is much more work that needs to be done to win over the Senate. We may need to have a different approach with the Senate as there are economic, political and demographic differences in the populations represented by senators compared with the House districts.

Takeaways:

  • This data is important for organizers and activists as changes to the current approach of organizing may be needed to win over the support needed to pass the bill in Congress.
  • POC & in particular women of color should be recognized for their efforts to uphold the bill. This includes Reps like Ayanna Pressley who is a woman of color and one of two original co-sponsors here in Massachusetts.
  • Since POC have been disproportionately supporting this bill, organizing to gain the support of the white community is critical to win over the remaining districts we have yet to get sponsorship.
  • As we move from a progressive left movement to a broad-based, truly majority movement, there will be challenges to organizing people who do not politically align with the full slate of progressive positions.
  • Call your legislators – #202-224-3121

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