Democrats are out to capitalize on what they believe is growing public sentiment that President Donald Trump, the richest man to call the White House home, is turning his back on the people who got him elected in favor of his wealthy peers. The party is hoping that pitch will pack extra oomph at a time when even some Republicans are raising concerns that the GOP health-care plan could hurt the poor.
Though stung by a series of defeats in special congressional elections, Democrats believe they can make inroads with some of Trump’s most loyal supporters by driving home the combined potential impact of proposed tax cuts that would largely benefit the wealthy and pending health care legislation that would fail to cover tens of millions of Americans enrolled in “Obamacare.”
In a polling memo circulated by the Democratic group Priorities USA, Democrats say they have seen a significant shift in the last two months in the number of people that believe the president sides with the wealthy and big corporations over average Americans. Democrats plan to turn that message into a prominent sales pitch for their candidates and surrogates, and could make it the theme of ads as well.
Guy Cecil, the group’s chairman, said that for the president’s first three months in office, voters who backed President Barack Obama then switched to Trump believed that the new president represented middle-class workers more than he represented the wealthy. But he said that has changed since April.
“People are taking a second look,” says Cecil. “The reason that health care is so powerful is because it directly affects people’s lives and there’s a clear trade-off: You’re giving tax cuts to the rich; you’re taking health care away from everybody else.”
Public polling also turns up growing unease about GOP attention to needs of the middle class. A Pew Research Center poll released last week found 57 percent of respondents said the Democratic Party “cares about the middle class” while 42…