Poll: Kentuckians Favor Tax Fairness

KentuckySurvey Finds Strong Support for a Fairer Tax System and for Candidates Who Would Close Corporate Tax Loopholes

Analysis by Public Policy Polling, June 2014

According to a new survey from Public Policy Polling, Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has a slight edge against incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell in this fall’s very tight Senate race, as she picks up 48% of the vote compared to 46% for McConnell. Grimes leads by a substantial margin among independents with 56% to McConnell’s 30%.

The poll questioned respondents on a variety of issues that are central to the Senate race, and found that tax fairness issues ranked as high or higher than others. The survey found that Kentucky voters across party lines overwhelmingly support a fairer tax system; they want to make sure that millionaires pay their fair share and do not get a lower tax rate than the middle class, and they want to close corporate tax loopholes, especially for shipping jobs overseas. Among the issues that got the most support:

  • The largest amount of issue support is for a candidate who wants to pass legislation in Congress to create jobs; 89% of voters are more likely to choose a candidate who mirrors that quality.
  • By an almost six-to-one margin, 80%-14%, voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to close loopholes to make sure millionaires do not pay a lower tax rate than the middle class, including 87% of Democrats, 70% of Republicans, and 80% of independents.
  • 78% of voters want a candidate who wants to end gridlock and partisanship in Washington, including 85% of Democrats, 70% of Republicans, and 72% of independents.
  • 76% of voters want a candidate who will make sure the rich and corporations pay their fair share in taxes. This is the case on both sides of the aisle — 88% of Democrats, 57% of Republicans, and 83% of independents say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who takes such a stance.
  • By a two-to-one margin, 63% to 31%, voters rejected cutting taxes of the wealthy and corporations.
  • Other issues that draw a strong and similar amount of support are candidates who want to end tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas (66% of voters are more likely to vote for such a candidate), ending Obama’s “war on coal” (66%), and raising the minimum wage (64%).

Chart 1

One question also delved into a recent issue involving funding for the replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge on the Kentucky-Ohio border. Senator McConnell introduced legislation that would fund bridge construction and repair by lowering wages for construction workers; Grimes released an alternate plan that funds bridge and road repairs by closing tax loopholes benefiting corporations and the wealthy. The poll found that:

  • Kentucky voters overwhelmingly support the Grimes plan to close tax loopholes with 63% support. Reducing contruction workers’ wages only received 10% support.
  • 70% of Democrats, 51% of Republicans, and 65% of independents support funding through closing tax loopholes.

Chart 2

PPP surveyed 682 Kentucky voters from June 20th to 22nd. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.8%. 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20% interviewed over the internet to reach respondents who don’t have landline telephones. The poll was sponsored by Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund, a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund.

Check out these additional materials:

Tell Sen. McConnell: Fix Roads and Bridges by Closing Tax Loopholes

Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to rebuild a $2.6 billion bridge that’s crumbling — but he wants to cover the cost by cutting workers’ wages.

Tell him to rebuild this bridge and our country’s infrastructure by closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and big corporations instead.

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