Rep. Steve Knight’s tax bill vote won’t help with independent voters

Congressman Steve Knight

Independent voters sour on the tax bill which doled out massive kickbacks to Wall Street investors but leaves working families behind.

Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) once again backed for the Trump agenda when he voted for the Republican tax bill. His vote enriched millionaires, but it has been a failure for most Americans. A new poll shows independent voters are not thrilled with the bill, and some of them are willing to vote out members of Congress who supported it.

In a new poll from the New York Times, support for the tax bill falls predictably along party lines: 69 percent of Republicans say it makes them more likely to support Republican candidates, while 73 percent of Democrats say it makes less likely to support a Republican candidate.

Independent voters, who don’t affiliate with either party, show a decisive tilt against the tax bill, and thus against Republicans who voted for it.

“Just 12 percent of independent voters say the law makes them more likely to vote for a Republican,” writes the Times. “Nearly three times as many, 32 percent, say the law makes them less likely to vote Republican.”

For someone like Knight, these numbers look especially troubling.

Knight sits in a district that supported Hillary Clinton in 2016. But rather than seek to represent those views, Knight has supported the Trump agenda 99 percent of the time through his votes in Congress.

And his district is changing rapidly. As of February 2018, registered Democrats now outnumber registered Republicans in the district by three points. As recently as 2012, Republicans outnumbered Democrats by five points.

However, almost a quarter of voters in California’s 25th Congressional District registered as No Party Preference (NPP). If these voters follow the same pattern seen by the New York Times poll, many more could see Knight’s support of the tax bill as a negative than as a positive.

The Times poll does not go into why independent voters are more likely to oppose than support Republicans based on their vote on the tax plan. But recent headlines may help provide a clue.

The federal government recently announced wages are falling compared to before the tax bill became law, once adjusted for inflation. In fact, economists at the Federal Reserve estimated the tax bill might not help the overall economy at all.

While workers are being left behind, the bill Knight supported is helping the very wealthy. The New York Times recently reported on wealthy Republican donors who are bankrolling a massive advertising blitz on behalf of Republicans, in large part as a thanks for passing the tax bill. And Knight himself is a beneficiary of those wealthy donors he helped.

His constituents might be facing lower wages, but millionaires are showering Knight with television ads to show their appreciation for his vote.