by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
S.A. Miller of the Washington Times reports some Republican gubernatorial candidates are gaining ground in solid blue states because of concerns about high tax rates.
They call it “crushing the middle class” or “the big squeeze” or just plain “irresponsible.”
Regardless of the description they use, Republican candidates for governor in some of the Democratic Party’s most dependable strongholds are finding receptive audiences of voters fed up with too many taxes.
Incumbent Democratic governors in Connecticut and Illinois, which rank among the states with the heaviest tax burdens, find themselves trailing or tied in polls against Republican challengers a week before elections.
In Maryland, another deep-blue state with sky-high taxes, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a Democrat, had to vow “no new taxes” while struggling to convince voters he deserves a promotion to the governor’s mansion. His Republican opponent, businessman Larry Hogan, has made a top issue of the dizzying proliferation of taxes during Mr. Brown’s eight-year tenure with Gov. Martin O’Malley.
Republican victories in governors races in liberal-leaning Maryland, Connecticut and Illinois would signal a strong anti-tax tide building against Democrats ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.
Perhaps these states could benefit from sweeping tax reform.