Poll: Voters Prefer Closing Loopholes to Fund Bridge, Grimes Leads McConnell
Though neither plans to finance the $2.6 billion Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project were met with great applause locally, a new poll shows voters prefer Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes's proposal over Senator Mitch McConnell's.
The two are in a tight race for McConnell's US Senate seat and the poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling at the request of Americans for Tax Fairness, gives Grimes a two-point lead.
McConnell came to Northern Kentucky last Friday and announced that he would introduce legislation to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, the federal prevailing wage law, which he said would generate $13 billion over ten years, funds that the Brent Spence project could then compete for. Moments earlier, Grimes issued a plan of her own that was heavy on closing corporate tax loopholes that she said would save $75 million over ten years.
Local leaders were ultimately underwhelmed at the prospects of each proposal, but the poll shows that 63% of respondents favor funding bridge and road projects through the closing of tax loopholes while 10% would pay construction workers less. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow called the Brent Spence Bridge on Tuesday, "a very unusual corner of American politics".
76% of poll respondents said they would be much more or somewhat more likely to support a candidate that would work to make sure "the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes", 66% support a candidate that would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, 64% would support a candidate in favor of raising the minimum wage; 57% support a repeal & replace of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); 80% want millionaires to pay a higher tax rate than the middle class; and only 31% support cutting taxes for the wealthy.
“Kentuckians clearly prefer a Senate candidate who will close corporate tax loopholes and end tax breaks for the wealthy,” said Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling. “These issues are as important to them, if not more important, than issues currently being debated in the campaign. The poll suggests that tax fairness could be a sleeper issue in this race.”
“When Kentucky voters say they want a fairer tax system by two or four or six to one, it’s time to pay attention,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund. “They know instinctively that when corporations and wealthy individuals game the system to avoid paying their fair share, ordinary Kentucky families pay the price.”
The poll surveyed 682 Kentucky voters from June 20 to 22 using automated telephone interviews. The margin of error 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. 52% of respondents were Democrats, 37% Republicans, and 11% were independents. 21% lived in the 859 area code.
See details on the poll by clicking here.
Photo: Grimes & McConnell at Fancy Farm in 2013/RCN file