Poll: ‘Likely Voters’ Do Not Like the Marketplace Fairness Act

From the "we-could-have-told-you-that-without-a-poll department" comes this story from Politico about the public's opposition to Internet taxes. The polls – conducted for two separate conservative groups – found that most voters oppose federal Internet sales tax legislation and suggested that lawmakers who voted for it could face serious challenges in the 2014 mid-term elections.

The poll comes from July surveys for conservative groups the National Taxpayers Union and R Street. The results show approximately 57 percent of likely voters oppose changing how states collect sales taxes from Internet purchases, while one-third indicated support for changing the system. Mercury found that suburban voters, women, and independent voters oppose the measure. In a separate poll specifically of Republican voters, 66 percent opposed changing the system. Politico notes that these polling numbers are "relatively consistent" with a Gallup poll taken in June of this year.

The two polls were conducted by polling outfit Mercury. The first was a national poll conducted from July 10-11 that surveyed 1,000 likely voters, with a margin of error +/- 3.1 percent. The second survey was conducted July 10-14 and surveyed 700 likely GOP primary voters. The margin of error for the GOP-specific poll was +/- 3.7 percent.

The polling was meant to measure the public's thoughts on the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that was passed by 69 Senators and had the backing of the White House. The bill would allow states to collect sales tax on purchases from out-of-state retailers that do not have physical locations in their jurisdiction.

National Republican strategists plan to use the vote against Democratic senators up for reelection in 2014 including Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. But Democrats are not the only ones that may find this issue used against them during the mid-terms: 21 Senate Republicans voted for it too, while 22 opposed it.

Liz Cheney may use it against Sen. Mike Enzi during the Wyoming Republican primary. Other incumbents who voted for the legislation this spring like Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) could feel some backlash from voters during the primary.

Politico does a pretty good job of drilling further down into the numbers, including how voters responded when the message about Internet taxes was changed using key words and phrases. This could give us an early indication of how political operatives will use specific messaging about Internet taxes to attack incumbents next year. You can check it out here.


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