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Tax return bills could kick Trump off the ballot in some blue states

Trump
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A number of Republican Party officials and Trump advisers are studying a trend that has received scant national media coverage but could pose a jarring dilemma for the president: Will Trump have to choose between releasing his tax returns and having his name on the ballot in some blue states for the 2020 election?

Driving the news: Illinois' state senate recently passed a bill that would require people running for president or vice president to disclose their tax returns from the past five years.

The big picture: Illinois is not alone. Per the National Conference of State Legislatures...

"As of February 20, 2017 legislators in 18 states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia) have introduced bills" to require "future presidential candidates to disclose income tax returns in order to be placed on the general election ballot."

The bottom line: None of these bills have been signed into law (yet). But it seems possible — even likely — that at least one blue state might put it in place. And that potential scenario is giving Trump allies pause.

Our thought bubble: Given Trump's determination so far to keep his taxes hidden, it's not crazy to imagine that he'd rather not be on the ballot in a state he's certain to lose than turn over his taxes.

  • Keep your eye on this — as Republican Party officials will surely do.