A new CNN poll released today found that 67% of all Americans and 69% of Independents side with Democrats and believe that taxes should be raised on businesses and the wealthy.
The CNN poll asked respondents what they thought should be included in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction proposal. Over two thirds (67%) of those surveyed thought the proposal should contain a tax increase on businesses and higher income Americans. Only 32% believed that it shouldn’t.
A deeper look inside these numbers reveals almost universal support for increasing taxes on business and higher income Americans. Sixty two percent of men, 72% of women, 64% of whites, and 72% of non-whites all supported the targeted tax hike. Higher taxes on businesses and the wealthy were supported by both those under 50 (71%), and those over 50 (63%). It was supported by both those who make under 50 K (69%), and those who make over 50 K (66%). Those who attended college (66%), and those who didn’t (69%) agreed that taxes should be raised on businesses and higher income Americans.
Independents are widely viewed as a major swing constituency in 2012, and Republicans will be in some trouble if the issue of raising taxes on the wealthy plays an important role in the campaign. Sixty nine percent of Independents agree with the Democratic position that taxes should be raised on higher income Americans. Eighty eight percent of Democrats and 39% of Republicans also believe in the Obama plan to raise revenue. By ideology, 86% of liberals, 79% of moderates, and 47% of conservatives support raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy.
There were only two groups opposed to raising taxes on the wealthy. Fifty nine percent of Republicans and 63% of tea partiers, who are also Republicans, were against the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy. The political problem for the Republican Party is obvious. They have taken a position on tax increases that caters to a narrow wing of their own party that will support them no matter what. The cost of pandering to their base is that the rest of the country is against them on this issue.
If the Republican nominee runs for president based on a no new taxes on the wealthy position, they are going to have some major problems in the fall. Republicans can stomp their feet, and howl class warfare all they want, but the truth is that after a decade of the Bush tax cuts, a tax increase on the wealthy is very popular with a large majority of Americans. President Obama is likely to make jobs and increasing taxes on the wealthy two of the main focal points of his reelection campaign.
Should the Republicans nominate the super wealthy Mitt Romney to argue that taxes should not be increased on his fellow one percent brothers and sisters; the GOP is going to have a major problem on their hands with Independents. Republicans have given Obama an in with Independents that may be big enough to carry him to a second term.
The Republican position on increasing taxes on the wealthy could cause the GOP nominee to win the tea party vote, but lose the country.