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Thu Feb 7, 2019, 12:54 PM

Democratic focus groups may have identified a hidden vulnerability for Trump

The Plumb Line

Democratic focus groups may have identified a hidden vulnerability for Trump

By Greg Sargent at the Washington Post

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/2019/02/07/democratic-focus-groups-may-have-identified-hidden-vulnerability-trump/

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Specifically, Greenberg found that working-class white voters who switched from Barack Obama to Trump are deeply angry about soaring prescription drug prices. As a result, they vehemently oppose a key provision benefiting Big Pharma at the core of Trump’s renegotiation of NAFTA — which he touts as proof that he’s delivering for his working-class white base.

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That’s why many Democrats are now vowing not to pass it without big changes. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) put it, the new NAFTA is “stuffed with handouts that will let big drug companies lock in the high prices they charge for many drugs,” gouging “seniors and anyone else who needs access to life-saving medicine.”

Working-class whites in Greenberg’s focus groups apparently agreed. As his memo notes, these voters “hate” pharmaceutical companies and are deeply convinced that high drug prices are the result of their political influence.

In effect, Greenberg concluded, this debate links corporate power directly to soaring medical costs, providing a gateway to a larger argument about the ability of big corporations to rig market rules in their favor. These voters, Greenberg noted, “especially distrust the way that corporations bend the system to their will,” with lobbyists and big campaign donations, “so that they can earn more profits while hurting workers and consumers.” As one Macomb man put it: “They are buying their laws, basically.”



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