Raising taxes could be ‘determining issue’ in Iowa race, VP Pence’s former chief of staff predicts


DES MOINES, Iowa — If Democrats choose to raise people’s taxes, they lessen their chances to hold the majorities in Congress, former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short told WHO 13. But U.S. Representative Cindy Axne, a Third District Democrat from West Des Moines, believes that the majority of Iowans support raising taxes on wealthier individuals and corporations.

Short currently serves as partner of Coalition to Protect American Workers, a 501 (c)(4) organization that formed to oppose President Joe Biden’s $3 trillion infrastructure plan. His group hired the polling company eighteen92, which said that it contacted 400 likely voters in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District through cell phones and landlines.

Read the poll results here.

“Many Democrats, if they choose to vote for these massive tax increases, you could see those seats flip,” Short said.

The poll asked this question in regards to taxes: “When it comes to taxes, should Congress increase taxes, lower taxes or leave taxes the same as they are?”

Here were the results of those who responded:

  • Support Congress increasing taxes: 21%
  • Want Congress to lower taxes: 40%
  • Prefer than Congress keep taxes the same: 29%

The largest support for increasing taxes came from Democrats (44%), while just 3% of Republicans indicated that they support the idea. Sixty percent of Republicans said that they wanted to lower taxes compared to 18% of Democrats who said that they preferred that Congress reduced taxes.

The poll showed that when it comes to Independents, 41% said that they wanted Congress to lower taxes, while 18% of them said they wanted to see taxes increased.

An NBC News national poll found that the majority of American adults supported President Biden’s infrastructure plan.

Here is the way that that poll asked the question about the plan. It did not mention raising taxes to pay for the plan.

(Image courtesy: NBC News).

A Morning Consult national poll in March found support for Biden’s infrastructure plan if the president financed it by either raising taxes on those making more than $400,000 annually or increasing the corporate tax rate.

(Image courtesy: Morning Consult).

“Democrats are smart to frame their taxes ‘only the wealthy and only corporations,'” Short said but questions whether they can raise the necessary revenue by only increasing taxes on those groups.

Axne, who is serving her second term in Congress, told WHO 13 that she doesn’t see her support for raising taxes on a small percentage of individuals and companies as a problem with most voters, regardless of the criticism from the Coalition for American Workers.

Axne said, “I’m not sure what workers they are protecting when the only tax increases are for people making more than $400,000…We don’t have very many people who fall into that category in Iowa.”

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2019 the median household income in Iowa is approximately $61,000 per year.

See a further breakdown of Iowa household incomes here.

Axne said that she doesn’t support raising taxes on Iowans making less than $400,000 per year. “We need to make sure that working families, middle class families in Iowa don’t get stuck with a tax bill when large corporations and the wealthiest don’t pay their fair share. We’re not raising taxes on 99% of the people in this country at all.”

Reuters reported that President Biden is open to dropping his plan to raise corporate tax rates from 20% to 28% if Republicans agree that companies should pay a minimum of 15% rather than effectively no taxes as some companies have previously paid.

“They really should be paying their fair share,” Axne said.

The eighteen92 poll also asked voters in the 3rd District to choose between generic candidates for both political parties.

The poll asked: “In next November’s election for Congress, will you vote for the Republican candidate or the Democrat candidate?”

Generic Republican candidates fared slightly better than a generic Democratic candidate in the poll.

  • Republican: 44%
  • Democrat: 39%
  • Undecided: 17%

Short said that Axne, though, enjoys an advantage in a head-to-head matchup when her name is used. “Generic ballot has Republicans ahead in a lot of places including Cindy Axne’s district, “Short said, “The reality is…that she candidly…performs well on a named ballot.”

Iowa’s Congressional district boundaries will change next year. The Iowa Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission is waiting on final data from the U.S. Census Bureau before it can approve the the state’s four new Congressional district boundaries. The legislature would then need to approve those boundaries when it meets in special session in August or September.

Currently, the 3rd District has 4,071 more registered Democrats than Republicans.

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