POLL-Healthcare the top concern for many Super Tuesday voters - Edison Research

NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - Voters in Super Tuesday Democratic presidential primaries named healthcare as their top political issue, with more than half backing a Medicare for All plan championed by candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, according to Edison Research exit polling.

Voters in five of the bigger states holding primary elections on Tuesday also said the coronavirus outbreak was a factor in their decision, the poll said. The political and economic crisis over the outbreak, which has infected some 90,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,000, is escalating.

Edison, which compiles voter polls and live election results for media organizations including ABC News, CBS News, CNN, NBC News and Reuters, also found that voters would back whoever the party ultimately picks to challenge President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 general election.

Here are other highlights from the poll, which was based on interviews with people who voted on Tuesday in 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states, including Texas, California, Massachusetts and Virginia. The proportions may change as more polling is conducted and votes are tallied:

** A large majority of Democratic primary voters said they will support the party’s nominee regardless of who it is, including nine out of 10 primary voters in California, eight of 10 in Virginia, eight of 10 in Massachusetts, and eight of 10 in North Carolina.

** Late deciders varied in significance from state to state: two of 10 of Texas and California Democratic primary voters say they made up their minds in the last few days, compared with five of 10 in Massachusetts and Virginia.

** Less than two of 10 voters in the Super Tuesday primaries are first-time primary voters.

** Super Tuesday voters named healthcare as their top issue, and more than half support a government-run single-payer system.

** At least seven out of 10 voters in California, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee said that the recent coronavirus was a factor in their decision. Those were the only states in which the question was put to voters.

** Edison polled voters in 12 of the 14 states holding primaries on Tuesday. It did not conduct exit polls in Arkansas and Utah. (Reporting by Chris Kahn Edited by Sonya Hepinstall)