National Journal today takes readers “inside the Democrats’ plan to oust Pennsylvania’s governor,” and it seems they believe they’ve found one of those rare cases where they can openly argue for higher taxes and win:
Every Democrat in the crowded primary race want energy companies to pay a new tax on their natural-gas production. The proceeds from the proposed “severance” tax on the value of gas produced would help fund education, infrastructure, and other needs.
Many other energy-producing states have such a policy, and Democrats argue that by refusing to push for one in Pennsylvania, the governor is giving energy companies a break at the expense of other critical needs.
The party thinks it’s a winning line of attack. “I’ve seen a lot of internal polling. There’s a reason that all the candidates are talking about it,” said Dan Fee, a Democratic consultant who is not affiliated with any candidates.
The tax battle is playing a prominent role in the effort to unseat the vulnerable Tom Corbett, who as of February held a 36 percent approval rating and trailed his Democratic rivals in a Quinnipiac University poll.
Fracking on its own won’t get the attention of voters, polling shows, but National Journal points out the same polls get hotwhen caididates connect a fracking tax to funding education: 32 percent of Pennsylvania voters say education funding is a top priority in the race.