Americans Are Ready for a Solution to the Problem of Money in Politics

In an intensely anti-Washington mood, voters in top battleground states are tired of our big money campaign finance system and they will reward politicians who show leadership on solutions that empower everyday people in our politics, according to new polling released today by Democracy Corps and Every Voice.

This polling not only underscores the popularity of a constitutional amendment to undo the damage that the courts have done to our campaign finance laws and a small donor public financing proposal similar to what Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. John Sarbanes have introduced. It also shows that candidates that back a big, bold solution receive a significant bump at the polls with voters.

Here are the key findings:

  • Only 7 percent of voters feel good about Super PACs. Sixty-five percent believe spending in politics this year is worse than in the past and is very corrupting.
  • There is overwhelming cross-partisan support (73%) for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United that can translate into added support for Democratic candidates who support the amendment and damage Republicans who oppose it.
  • Importantly, there is more than two-to-one support for a plan to provide limited public matching funds for small donations to candidates who reject big donations. This system can be seen in bills like Sen. Dick Durbin’s Fair Elections Now Act (S. 2023) and Rep. John Sarbanes’ Government By the People Act (HR 20).
  • When asked about a Republican National Committee lawsuit on contribution limits, 34 percent of voters became less likely to vote for the Republican candidate.
  • Engaging in a debate about money in politics, when it includes both a push to overturn Citizens United and the matching funds campaign finance proposal, moves the Senate vote a net 5 points toward Democrats. 

The American people are ready for a debate on big solutions to the problem of money in politics and they want their elected officials to take action.

“I think people should pay a lot of attention this,” Democracy Corps’ Stan Greenberg said on a conference call with reporters this morning.

Download the full polling memo.

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