Facing a similar predicament, California Lt. Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, another potential 2020 Democratic hopeful, has attempted to demonstrate to voters that even though their taxes are high, they are well-served.
Newsom has defended increases to the state gasoline tax and vehicle fees. He has said taxes are funding necessary transportation projects in California.
For blue states to remain competitive, it is certainly incumbent upon Democratic elected officials to demonstrate to voters how important high taxes are to the high functioning of the state. But though this strategy may satisfy voters for a time, it is certainly not a sure-fire way for Democratic leaders to solve the issue of tax migration.
Ultimately, trying to win over voters by blatantly advocating for higher taxes – even if the taxes fund projects that benefit residents – is an uphill battle that no candidate or party wants to fight. Just ask Democratic former Vice President Walter Mondale, who announced he would raise taxes if elected president and wound up losing the race to Ronald Reagan in a historic landslide in 1984. Reagan carried 49 states.