(CNN)Support for a government takeover of health care is Exhibit A in the charge by President Donald Trump and other Republicans that the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has lurched to the left.
Have House Democrats lurched left? Not those from swing seats
But a close examination of sponsorship for the House legislation recently introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state to establish a single-payer government-run health care system shows instead the obstacles that progressives still face in fundamentally redirecting the party.
Though the single-payer idea is generating much more conversation than previously from prominent Democrats -- including endorsements from several candidates seeking the party's 2020 presidential nomination -- it has attracted very little support from House members beyond the most reliably Democratic districts, a CNN analysis has found. Unless and until the idea wins more House Democrats who represent swing districts that voted in 2016 for Trump, or even backed Hillary Clinton only narrowly, it cannot approach the 218 votes needed for passage. The same pattern -- and challenge -- is evident to an even greater extent on the Green New Deal resolution introduced by first-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
The single-payer bill introduced last week by Jayapal has 104 cosponsors among voting members of the House. (Two nonvoting delegates, from Washington, DC, and the Northern Mariana Islands, have also cosponsored the bill). Though Jayapal says the supporters expect to add more cosponsors, that list is currently down from the 124 who backed similar legislation from Rep. John Conyers of Michigan in the last Congress.
To assess the pattern of support for the single-payer idea, CNN producer Aaron Kessler compared those who have, and have not, cosponsored the bill through a database tracking the political and demographic characteristics of all 435 House districts. That analysis shows that the 105 voting Democrats supporting the single-payer bill this year present a distinct profile.
The vast majority, 103 of the supporters, represent districts that voted for Clinton over Trump in 2016. Just two of the cosponsors -- Rep. Matthew Cartwright in Pennsylvania and first-term Rep. Jared Golden of Maine -- hold seats that backed Trump in 2016. Only four more cosponsors represent competitive districts that Clinton carried narrowly over Trump: Josh Harder in California, Jahana Hayes in Connecticut, Tim Ryan of Ohio and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania represent Clinton-won districts where Trump attracted at least 44 percent of the vote.
Put another way, the cosponsors represent just over half of all the House Democrats holding districts that Clinton carried (103 of 204 in total). But they constitute fewer than 1 in 4 of those in Clinton-won districts where Trump captured at least 44% (four of 18.) And the cosponsors represent only about 1 in 16 of the Democrats from districts Trump carried (two of 31).
The same imbalance is evident when looking at seats that Democrats flipped from Republican control last fall. Of the cosponsors, just seven represent districts that Democrats won from the GOP in 2018. That's only about one-sixth of the 43 Democrats in all holding such seats in the House. (Four of the seven cosponsors in flipped seats are from California: Katie Porter, Katie Hill and Mike Levin, all in Southern California, and Harder, from the Central Valley.) By contrast, 98 of the sponsors represent districts that Democrats controlled before November. That's just over half of all the Democrats in such seats.
The pattern is very similar on the resolution from Ocasio-Cortez to create a Green New Deal. Support for that idea so far is limited even more narrowly to Democrats who hold the party's safest House seats, the analysis found.
Counting Ocasio-Cortez, 88 voting House Democrats have endorsed the plan. All of them except Sean Maloney in New York's Hudson River Valley hold seats in districts that voted for Clinton over Trump; just four are in Clinton-won districts where Trump carried even 44% of the vote. Only two hold seats that flipped from Republican to Democratic control last fall: Levin, whose district straddles Orange County and San Diego in Southern California, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who won a Miami-area seat.
The patterns of support for both single-payer health care and the Green New Deal point toward the new fault lines likely to shape the legislation that emerges from the Democratic-controlled Hous