Sanders in Canada: U.S. drug prices ‘an embarrassment’

July 28, 2019

The Detroit News

Jonathan Oosting 

The FDA is hoping a new congressional mandate to regulate medication like insulin as “biologics” rather than a drug could encourage production of “biosimilar competition” and lower-cost versions.

Sanders is a leading advocate for a nationalized health care proposal known as Medicare for All that would eliminate private insurance in favor of a single-payer government system. He said the plan would cap yearly prescription drug bills at $200 and drive down costs by using Medicare to negotiate with drug companies.

The proposal appears relatively popular with Democratic primary voters, but Michigan general election voters oppose the strict Medicare for All plan by a margin of 52%-37%, according to a July 17-20 poll conducted by Glengariff Group Inc. and commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Republican President Donald Trump has bashed Medicare for All, arguing it is a “radical socialist” idea that would cause taxes to “skyrocket” and could jeopardize the traditional health insurance program for seniors.

Sanders has introduced Senate legislation that seeks to reduce prescription drug prices by giving the federal government power to authorize generic versions of name-brand medication if pharmaceutical companies charge more than the median price in five other major industrialized countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.

View the full article here

Flashpoint 7/28/19: Preview of Democratic debates; what matters to voters heading into 2020

July 28, 2019

Click On Detroit

Devin Scillian – Anchor, Natasha Dado

Sunday’s episode of Flashpoint featured a discussion on the upcoming Democratic presidential debates being held at Detroit’s Fox Theatre.

Segments One and Two:

Roundtable discussion featuring Nancy Kaffer, columnist at the Detroit Free Press; Reggie Turner, attorney, Clark Hill; Mike Bishop, former Michigan congressman and Dennis Cowan, attorney, Plunkett Cooney.

Segment Three:

Brad Williams of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

View the full article and video segments here


Democrats Have an Uphill Climb to Win Back Michigan From Trump

July 29, 2019


David Welch and Tyler Pager 

Democrats say they’ve got lots of answers for Michigan’s woes — automotive and agriculture sectors suffering from the trade war, racial economic inequalities, and a lack of affordable health care. But they face a skeptical audience when they arrive for this week’s debates.

Hillary Clinton in 2016 was the first Democratic presidential candidate to lose the state in 28 years, by a slim 11,000 votes. The party seems to understand it can’t take Michigan for granted this time around.

State and local officials want the candidates to know that they need to not just show up, but to show up with a clear message on key working-class issues like health care, trade and jobs. Even with the U.S. economy growing, plant closings in Michigan and Ohio have many factory workers on edge.

Unemployment is 8.8% in Detroit, double the state’s average, and there’s a strong sense that prosperity is concentrated in seven miles near downtown, among white-collar workers at big employers like GM and Quicken Loans Inc., Grossmann said. Democrats will try to exploit that disparity and get the city’s voters to come out for them.

A recent poll from the Detroit Regional Chamber found that 51% of likely Michigan voters think the national economy is on the right track and 62% believe the state economy is on the right track. But the poll showed a stark racial and gender divide. Some 62% of women and 83% of black voters said they believe the national economy is on the wrong track.

View the full article here

Detroit Moves Celebrates What’s Ahead for Annual Mobility Festival

Detroit Moves gathered the automotive community on Thursday, July 25, for an evening of networking and discussion on the future of the annual mobility festival. Over the course of the evening, attendees heard from MICHauto’s Glenn Stevens, PlanetM’s Seun Phillips, and a host of other mobility leaders, about not only Detroit Moves’ future, but that of the mobility landscape in Detroit.

The event focused on Detroit Moves’ recently announced change to June 2020, to align with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Tavi Fulkerson, president of The Fulkerson Group, shared a NAIAS preview, highlighting the show’s expanded footprint throughout downtown Detroit and new and improved activations. Fulkerson noted the 24 outdoor activations that will span the Cobo Center campus and parks throughout the city as well as changes coming to the Charity Preview, NAIAS’ annual fundraising gala, to make it accessible to broader, more diverse audiences.

A panel moderated by CoMotion’s Greg Lindsay and featuring Detroit Councilman Scott Benson, New Economy Initiative’s Maria LaLonde, Bosch’s Kevin Mull, and Michigan Mobility Institute’s Jessica Robinson, tackled the impact of mobility on communities.

Key takeaways:

  • Creating access for all citizens is essential to a thriving economy. “Everyone deserves quality transit options in the city of Detroit,” Benson said.
  • Beyond automotive, different infrastructure — like bike lanes — will need to become part of the region’s mobility culture as they provide low-cost ways to navigate the city without a car.
  • As autonomous vehicle technology becomes more mainstream, it will be crucial to establish consumers’ trust in the combination of government and industry to create safe, reliable products and systems.
  • The only way to establish successful mobility is to get to know the users and account for their needs in the technology and infrastructure being developed.
  • This year’s NAIAS will be “Detroit’s moment to show the world its leadership in mobility,” Robinson said. It will be unique in its ability for visitors to test products and technologies in their real-world, intended environments.

Two $30,000 shots in the arm just beautified a Detroit neighborhood and restored a historic Theater

Fox 2 News

July 25, 2019

DETROIT (FOX 2) – Maybe it’s the nostalgic chime of an ice cream truck. The convivial atmosphere echoed by children’s laughter. These sounds of delight are ubiquitous in a Detroit neighborhood between Gratiot Avenue and East Outer Drive.

“It’s the most wonderful sound you can hear is children laugher, having a wonderful time,” said Karen Knox, a neighborhood resident.

But it wasn’t always that way.

View the video here.

Detroit Regional Chamber Statewide Policy Survey | What Matters Most to Michigan Voters?

From tariffs and immigration to climate change and education, Michigan voters are in consensus over most national issues, according to a statewide survey by the Detroit Regional Chamber. Ahead of the second of 12 Democratic presidential primary debates taking place in Detroit July 30 to July 31st, results from the survey are now live.


  • 51.2% of Michigan voters believe the nation is on the wrong track (8.2% no response).
  • However, 62% believe the nation’s economy is on the right track (9.3% no response).
  • When asked if over the past three years their household had improved, been hurt or remained the same, 63% did not see an improvement in their financial situation in the past three years.
  • Fewer than one in five voters report benefits from the federal tax reform legislation passed in 2017.
  • When asked in an open-ended question, “What is the most important issue facing our nation right now?” the top four responses were: border security/immigration, the President, economy and jobs, and health care costs and availability.

Key Issues

Tariffs: A majority of Michigan voters indicated tariffs are hurting automotive companies, farmers, and consumers.

  • 40.8% of Michigan voters believe tariffs on cars made in foreign countries hurt Michigan’s automotive industry (14.7% no effect, 12.2% no response).
  • 47.3% believe tariffs on Chinese imports hurt Michigan farmers (14.2% no effect, 16.3% no response).
  • 47% believe tariffs on foreign-made products hurt consumers like themselves (21.7% no effect, 7.8% no response).


Immigration: A clear majority of Michigan voters believe immigrants are good for the state economy, oppose a wall but support non-wall security; they don’t want children separated from families, and they would to see a path to citizenship for undocumented adults without criminal record.

  • 56.5% of Michigan voters believe immigrants are good for Michigan’s economy (17.5% no effect, 8.8% no response).
  • 57.3% oppose increased federal funding to build a border wall between Mexico and the U.S. (2.7% neither support/nor oppose, 0.5% no answer).
  • 81.7% strongly support increased federal funding for enhanced security at the border, airports, and ports of entry if it does not include funding for a wall between Mexico and the U.S. (3% neither support/nor oppose, 1.3% no answer)
  • 77.3% oppose the separation of children from immigrant parents who have come across the border either illegally or to ask for asylum (4.5% neither support/nor oppose, 2.3% no answer); while 69% strongly oppose the policy to separate children from their parents.
  • When presented with three scenarios on how to address adult immigrants who had come to the United States illegally and then asked which route they would support, Michigan voters responded with the following:
    • 54.5% said undocumented adults who have not committed any major crimes should be given a pathway to citizenship in the U.S.
    • 26.2% said that any undocumented adults who came to the U.S. illegally should be deported no matter how long they have been in the country.
    • 14.2% said that all undocumented adults should be given a pathway to citizenship.
    • 5.2% did not respond.


Climate Change: By a nearly 2-1 margin, Michigan voters say climate change is a threat to Michigan and the Great Lakes.

  • 60.8% of Michigan voters believe that climate change is a threat to Michigan’s economy (5.3% no response).
  • 65.2% believe that climate change is a threat to the Great Lakes (4.3% no response).


Fixing the Soo Locks: An overwhelming majority of Michigan voters support fixing the Soo Locks.

  • 78.3% of Michigan voters say that funding and fixing the Sault Ste. Marie Locks is urgent or very important, and 15.3% said it is important but there are other priorities (4.3% no response).

Education: A strong majority of Michigan voters believe it is important to receive a postsecondary education or certificate, and a majority supports taxpayer-funded, “free” college tuition.

  • 93.7% of Michigan voters believe it is important to attain more than a high school education.
  • 56.8% support taxpayer-funded, “free” college tuition.


Health Care: While there is a consensus on the majority of issues, Michigan voters are divided on health care.

  • 51.5% of Michigan voters oppose the elimination of private insurance in favor of a “Medicare for All” plan (9% neither support/nor oppose, 2.8% no response).
  • 44% are statistically split on repealing the Affordable Care Act (8.3% neither support/nor oppose, 5.5% no response). 34.3% strongly support its repeal while 34.5% strongly oppose its repeal.



Civility: When asked if Americans have been more or less civil toward one another over the past five years, or see no change in civility today, Michigan voters strongly agree there is less civility, and they widely blame the President. Since 2017, the Chamber has led a call to restore civility in public discourse. Given civility is a signature priority for the Chamber, Michigan voters were asked their opinion on the nation’s current state.

  • 69.2% of Michigan voters believe Americans have become less civil towards each other over the past five years (18% no change, 1.3% no response). When asked who specifically is to blame for the decline in civility in an open-ended question, 40.2% answered President Trump.

Perception of Equality of Opportunity by Race and Party: Michigan voters were
asked if people of color in our nation were treated fairly by the criminal justice system, were provided equal quality of health care, equal quality of education, and equal access to mortgages and loans.

  • 56.8% said the criminal justice system did not people of color fairly.
  • 40.3% said people of color have fair access to quality health care.
  • 50.7% said people of color do not have fair access to quality education.
  • 41.2% said people of color do not have fair access to mortgages and loans.

Black voters widely believe people of color are treated unfairly on every marker. White voters, however, are relatively split in every category. 

Category Blacks Fairly Blacks Unfairly Whites Fairly Whites Unfairly
Criminal Justice 3.4% 94.3% 40.1% 49.1%
Health Care 17.2% 73.6% 43.4% 32.8%
Education 10.3% 88.5% 47.6% 43.2%
Mortgages/Loans 10.3% 86.2% 44.3% 32.6%

Voters’ Source for Political News Matters: On many issues the group of Michigan voters not part of a consensus opinion showed alignment in the media outlet they identified as their source for political news. Three issues that highlight this alignment:

1. Climate Change: Is climate change a threat to the Great Lakes?

Party Affiliation Threat Not a Threat
Strong Dem 92.6% 4.2%
Lean Dem 84.8% 4.3%
Independent 65.6% 30.5%
Lean GOP 37.5% 55.4%
Strong GOP 32.1% 64.3%
Primary Source of
Political News
Threat Not a Threat
Local TV News 72.8% 23.7%
Fox News 23.9% 70.1%
CNN/MSNBC 79.2% 15.6%
Network News 79.2% 11.3%
Radio 75.0% 25.0%
Newspaper 61.9% 34.5%
Social Media 67.9% 26.9%

2. Immigration: Do you support or oppose the separation of children from immigrant parents who have come across our border whether illegally or to ask for asylum?

Party Affiliation Support Oppose
Strong Dem 3.7% 95.7%
Lean Dem 2.2% 93.4%
Independent 12.6% 77.4%
Lean GOP 25.0% 60.7%
Strong GOP 37.9% 52.2%
Primary Source of
Political News
Support Oppose
Local TV News 14.0% 79.8%
Fox News 44.8% 46.2%
CNN/MSNBC 2.6% 92.2%
Network News 5.7% 90.6%
Radio 12.5% 82.1%
Newspaper 13.1% 79.8%
Social Media 20.5% 71.8%

3. Education: Do you support or oppose free, taxpayer-supported tuition for college or
skilled trades education for all students?

Party Affiliation Support Oppose
Strong Dem 73.1% 11.1%
Lean Dem 73.9% 21.7%
Independent 57.6% 35.8%
Lean GOP 30.4% 57.2%
Strong GOP 24.3% 70.0%
Primary Source of
Political News
Support Oppose
Local TV News 57.9% 33.3%
Fox News 23.9% 71.7%
CNN/MSNBC 74.0% 20.8%
Network News 71.7% 24.5%
Radio 51.7% 40.3%
Newspaper 58.3% 38.1%
Social Media 66.7% 25.6%

The survey is a live operator telephone survey of likely 2020 Michigan voters conducted from July 17-20, 2019. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.0% with a 95% level of confidence. 40% of respondents were contacted by cell phone, and 60% of respondents were contacted by landline.

The survey was commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber and conducted by Glengariff Group Inc.

Read the press release.

View the full findings of the Michigan Statewide Policy Survey.

Follow the Chamber’s social media for coverage of the debate this week.




In the News

Bridge MI: Michigan to Democrats: Tariffs Hurt, but We Aren’t Sold on Medicare for All

Crain’s Detroit Business: Poll: Michigan Voters Largely Agree on Economy, Tariffs, Immigration and Climate Change

Michigan Advance: Poll: Michigan Voters Say Immigration Helps Economy, Split on Health Care

The Detroit News: Poll: Michigan Voters Oppose Medicare for All As Democrats Head to Detroit

WWMT: Poll: Michiganders See Immigration, Trump As Most Important Issues; Split on Health Care

Poll: Michigan voters oppose Medicare for All as Democrats head to Detroit

The Detroit News

July 25, 2019

By Jonathan Oosting

Lansing — A majority of Michigan voters oppose a strict Medicare for All proposal that would eliminate private health insurance, according to a new statewide poll released Thursday ahead of next week’s Democratic presidential debates in Detroit.

But the survey of 600 likely Michigan voters shows the government-run single-payer health care proposal is popular among “strong” Democrats and supported by a plurality of voters who “lean” Democratic, pointing to a challenge for presidential candidates attempting to win the primary without hurting their chances in a general election.

The July 17-20 poll was conducted by Glengariff Group Inc. and commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber, whose CEO and President Sandy Baruah said he hopes its various findings will encourage candidates from both political parties to “focus on the center” rather than the “fringes” of the Michigan electorate.

View the full article here. 

POLL: Michiganders see immigration, Trump as most important issues; split on health care


July 25, 2019

By Mikenzie Frost

The 2020 presidential election is more than a year away but the polling has begun. A new poll commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce revealed that likely Michigan voters are paying attention to national debates, and those voters named some of the topics splashed across the headlines as among the most important.

The survey asked people about immigration, the economy, health care and President Donald Trump, as well as open-ended questions and Michigan-specific queries. Sandy Baruah, president and chief executive officer of the Detroit Chamber, said the results show that the fringes of political parties are driving the current narrative. The survey was conducted by Glengariff Group Inc.

“The survey results find that overall, Michigan voters are far less divided than many would make them out to be. Other than health care, there is a general consensus to be found on a number of pressing issues,” said Richard Czuba, founder of Glengariff Group Inc.

Read the full article here. 

Poll: Michigan voters say immigration helps economy, split on health care

Michigan Advance

July 25, 2019

Derek Robertson

A survey of Michigan voters conducted ahead of next week’s Democratic presidential primary debates in Detroit shows that despite a rancorous media climate, the state isn’t as closely split as one might think on key political issues.

The poll found that Michiganders think immigration is good for the state’s economy by a margin of almost 40 points, that they think climate change threatens the Great Lakes by almost 35 points, and that they agree by more than 20 points that people of color aren’t treated fairly by the criminal justice system.

Veteran pollster Richard Czuba of the Glengariff Group conducted the survey on behalf of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce.

The one issue where voters were closely split was health care, in which a statistically even number of those polled either support or oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one of former President Barack Obama’s signature achievements. The President Donald Trump administration is backing a federal suit that would toss out the entire law.

View the full article here. 

Poll: Michigan voters largely agree on economy, tariffs, immigration and climate change

Crain’s Detroit Business

July 25, 2019

By Dustin Walsh

Michigan voters across the political divide are lockstep on key hot button issues in the state and nation.

From the economy to tariffs to immigration to climate change, the majority of voters are in agreement, according to a Detroit Regional Chamber poll released Thursday. The poll highlights the similarities and consensus of voters in the middle that should receive more focus, Sandy Baruah, president of the DRC said in a call with reporters.

“The more data out there like this that is public, opposed to internal candidate polling, will make candidates of both parties think twice,” Baruah said. “We’re not going to accomplish anything at the statewide or the national level if we keep electing candidates that can only to speak to their base.”

The poll posed several questions to 600 likely voters in the state, and broke out the the results along demographic and party lines and types of media consumption. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent.

View the full article here.