Rasmussen Reports recently released the results of a poll conducted in Arizona earlier this month. The poll found that Gov. Jan Brewer’s push for higher taxes in the Grand Canyon State has hampered her chances for re-election.

The Rasmussen poll found the Democrats’ presumptive gubernatorial nominee, Attorney General Terry Goddard, leading Gov. Brewer 45% to 36%. However, Gov. Brewer is facing stiff competition in the Republican primary from state Treasurer Dean Martin and successful entrepreneur and businessman Buz Mills. Unlike Brewer, Rasmussmen found both Martin and Mills leading Goddard in head-to-head polls by no less than five points.

It should be noted that Mills and Martin are the only candidates in the race to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a commitment to voters that they will oppose and veto any and all tax increases. Additionally, Mills and Martin have joined Sen. McCain, Sen. Kyl, and Rep. Flake in stating their opposition to Gov. Brewer’s $3 billion sales tax increase.

It is clear that Gov. Brewer signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in her previous gig as Secretary of State for reasons of political expediency, knowing that as Secretary of State she would never be put in a position to uphold this principled commitment. Upon her ascension to the governorship a little over a year ago she discarded her Pledge and proceeded to push a massive tax increase in the midst of an economic downturn as her flagship policy initiative.

Facing a tsunami of higher taxes from Washington as a result of the recently passed health care bill and the pending expiration of 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, Arizona voters are looking for candidates who will stand up for their economic interests and reign in the unsustainable growth of government.

By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Martin and Mills have made clear that they will stand up against the spending interests and protect taxpayers. It is no coincidence that they are also leading in the polls.