Apr 13, 2018

Progressive group's tax campaign in Iowa should worry Republicans

Iowa Rep. Rod Blum. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Republicans are starting to see that campaigning on tax reform might not be enough to keep control of the House in November.

State of play: Iowa Rep. Rod Blum's disapproval rating on taxes has gone from 28% to 40% since August, per a new Not One Penny study. And in Pennsylvania, Republicans backed off campaigning on the GOP tax plan in the final days ahead of the PA-18 special election. Progressive groups like Not One Penny are using this to argue that Democrats can win over voters if they make the argument that the tax law benefits millionaires, corporations and incumbent Republicans.

Why this matters: Iowa's first congressional district is the quintessential Obama-Trump district that Democrats are trying to take back — it went 56% for Obama in 2012 and 48% for Trump in 2016. The results show how Democrats' continued attacks on the GOP tax plan can weaken Republicans' main campaign talking point in some districts.

By the numbers:

  • Not One Penny's survey results were compiled after their six-figure, 100-day ad campaign targeting Rep. Blum on taxes.
  • Blum's unfavorable margin doubled to 19 percentage points over the course of the campaign and 43% of independent voters now view him unfavorably.

The other side: Half of all voters in the 10 states that voted for Trump but have Democratic senators say the economy is better off now than it was a year ago. And in nine of the states majorities approve of the GOP tax law.

Go deeper

Premier League players launch fund to help U.K. medical workers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Premier League players have launched an initiative called #PlayersTogether, which will funnel part of their salaries to the National Health Service to support the U.K.'s front-line workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: This decision came at the conclusion of a protracted argument between players, clubs and even government officials over who should bear the brunt of lost revenue in the midst of the pandemic.

Go deeperArrow10 mins ago - Sports

GOP sees more hurdles for Trump as coronavirus crisis drags on

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republicans are increasingly concerned not only about President Trump’s daily briefings but also his broader plan to ease the nation out of the virus crisis and back to work. This concern is acute — and spreading. 

Why it matters: Trump can easily address the briefing worries by doing fewer, but the lackluster bounce-back planning is what worries Republicans most. 

Pandemic forces startups to shift gears

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Spaces CEO Brad Herman had an early warning about COVID-19 because his startup supplies VR attractions to a number of theme parks in China. Realizing that the business he spent the last few years building was going to evaporate, Herman quickly found a new way to apply his team's know-how: helping companies host Zoom teleconferences in VR.

Why it matters: Many startups are rethinking the viability of their core businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. Spaces' move is one of many such pivots likely to crop up in the coming months.