New Polling: On Anniversary of Citizens United, Voters Want Congress to Act on Campaign Finance

Washington, D.C.—On the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, it’s clear that Americans strongly believe that Washington is controlled by big money interests, according to new polling released today by Public Campaign Action Fund and Democracy Corps.

The polling memo is available here.

“Americans are seeing the impact of the two-year old decision to allow corporations to spend unlimited money in elections, and they don’t like what they’re seeing,” said Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund.

Key points from the poll:

  • Voters are intensely angry with lobbyists and the influence of money in politics. Two thirds of voters give lobbyists a negative rating on our thermometer scale, more than half (54 percent) give them intensely negative ratings. A large majority (57 percent) give money in politics a negative rating, nearly half (49 percent) are intensely negative about the influence of money in politics.
  • Americans strongly oppose the Citizens United decision and a majority (55 percent) believe that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as individuals
  • Voters believe that the system is stacked against them—addressing the role of big money in politics is about giving ordinary voters a voice in Washington again. A strong majority (60 percent) say that the middle class will not catch a break in this economy until we reduce the influence of lobbyists, big banks, and big donors.
  • By a two-to-one margin, voters say reducing the influence of lobbyists and money in politics will be an important factor in their vote. Swing voters, independents in particular, fall strongly on the side of reform, making campaign finance reform a potentially consequential election issue.
  • Voters are broadly supportive of campaign finance reform. They support a plan that would replace the current system of big contributions with one built on small donations and matching funds.

“The time for money-in-politics reform inaction or half-measures is over,” said Nyhart. “Congress and the president must act to put everyday people back in charge of our elections, and they will be rewarded by voters if they do.”

The full memo is available online here.

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Public Campaign Action Fund works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations. Learn more at www.campaignmoney.org.