Both Democrats and Republicans favor a large-scale overhaul of the American campaign financing system, according to a new poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS News.
Its findings reveal a deep weariness among citizens with the ability of capital to influence the political process—a power exacerbated by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling that political campaign contributions are a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment.
Among all respondents, 84 percent said they felt money has too much influence on politics. Also of note, 55 percent said they believed candidates who win public office work to promote policies that directly help the people and groups who donated to their campaigns. In comparison, 30 percent said this is sometimes the case, 9 percent said rarely and the remaining respondents were split.
Participants also expressed a strong desire to completely rebuild the political financing system by limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute to campaigns, limiting the amount that groups not affiliated with campaigns can spend and requiring unaffiliated groups to publicly disclose their donors if they spend money during a campaign.
According to the New York Times, the poll responses “suggest a growing divide between the nation and its highest court on constitutional questions that have moved to the heart of the American system, as the advent of super PACs and the abandonment of public financing by both parties in presidential elections have enabled wealthy donors, corporations and unions to play a greater role in political fund-raising.”
Read more about the results and their possible implications here.