Erin Murphy was one of the first declared DFL candidates. Based on this article, it appears as though she’s all but officially dead in the water.
First, it’s worth noting that “Murphy criticizes capitalist models of health care, saying that a for-profit model of any part of the health care system is bad for Americans.” It isn’t surprising to read that “Murphy also supports Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) plan for Medicare for all across the United States.” From a DFL primary convention perspective, this isn’t a foolish strategy. She’s essentially just rolled out the red carpet for Bernie Sanders’ voters. Let’s remember that Sen. Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by a 61%-38% margin in Minnesota’s caucuses.
This tends to support the belief that DFL voters are further left than a decade ago and significantly further left than during the Perpich era. But I digress.
Later in the article, it quotes her as saying “Let’s start by making MinnesotaCare an option available to everyone. Like Medicare, it’s tested, trusted, and affordable coverage, available everywhere in Minnesota.” The bad news for Murphy is that she’d be history if she made it to a general election. Here’s why:
NPR reported in May 2016 that expanding Medicare coverage to cover everyone in the United States would add $18 trillion to the national debt in just the next ten years. The current national debt is just under $20 trillion.
Murphy’s strategy appears to be to win the endorsement by winning over Sen. Sanders’ supporters. It likely also means she’s going hard left in the general election, too. Here’s what she said on her campaign website:
But for too many that’s not their reality. Too many of our neighbors are feeling forgotten, working harder than ever just to survive. Too many are at risk of falling further behind, and too many are not getting the opportunities they need to make progress.
That sounds like a repeat of Bernie Sanders’ or Elizabeth Warren’s stump speech.
Potentially, this sets up an interesting fight for the DFL endorsement for governor. Tim Walz appears to be running as a Blue Dog Democrat. That’s probably wise because I don’t think he can convince Sanders voters that he’s one of them. Murphy, however, appears to be running as the Bernie Sanders candidate. Here’s the question that we don’t have the answer to: will this split the DFL? Here’s another question: will the Iron Range finally reject a DFL gubernatorial candidate? At this point, that’s a distinct possibility if Rep. Murphy is the DFL’s candidate.