One of the more surprising findings from our January poll was that voters in North Carolina now favored Democrats over Republicans by 11 points when asked which party they trusted more to hold taxes down (45-34%).
Why is it that Republicans, who have staked their claim as being the anti-tax party, would now be losing the issue?
A lot of it has to do with mixed messages voters receive from the Party when some of its members go off and support higher taxes.
The sole lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate was Republican Richard Stevens of Wake County. Also listed as a co-sponsor was Republican Senator Fletcher Hartsell (Cabarrus).
In the House, immediate-past Republican Whip Bill McGee of Forsyth County is one of four primary sponsors. Three other Republican House members also signed on as co-sponsors: McComas, Johnson and Barnhart.
So how are voters supposed to get the message that Republicans are always the Party to trust against tax increases when some Republicans are primary sponsors of bills to raise taxes?
These mixed messages do nothing but confuse the voters on the definitions between the Republican and Democrats and blur the lines on where Republicans stand in regard to taxes.
If Republicans want to get back to being trusted on taxes (or any other issue) in North Carolina, they need a clear, consistent message. And a little party discipline to walk-the-walk wouldn't hurt either.