Campaign finance issues related to the Citizens United decision have been dominating election reform headlines, and a new poll conducted by the New York Times/CBS gives insight into what the majority of Americans want: Reform.
According to a story published in the New York Times recently, the poll asked this question:
Are changes needed to the way political campaigns are funded in the United States?
A whopping 46 percent of those polled said they believed that the system needed to be “completely” rebuilt, with another 39 percent indicating they thought “fundamental changes” were needed. Only 13 percent of those polled said they believed only minor changes were necessary.
Here’s how the New York Times analyzed the responses:
The 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.
In recent years, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has steadily chipped away at restrictions on political donations while narrowing the constitutional definition of corruption. In a series of decisions, the court has rejected the notion that the access and influence afforded big donors can justify further restrictions on campaign money, while dismissing concerns raised by the court’s liberal wing that unrestricted political money skews policy-making in favor of the wealthy.
The broader public appears to see things differently: More than four in five Americans say money plays too great a role in political campaigns, the poll found, while two-thirds say that the wealthy have more of a chance to influence the elections process than other Americans.
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