New Poll Shows Vast Majority Of Americans Want Money Out Of Politics

A new poll finds people across the political spectrum think the one percent has too much influence over politics and want system overhaul.
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    Sheldon Adelson listens as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition, Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Las Vegas. Several possible GOP presidential candidates gathered in Las Vegas as Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, looks for a new favorite to help on the 2016 race for the White House.  (AP/Julie Jacobson)

    At the outset of an election cycle expected to attract unprecedented levels of outside spending from ultra-rich donors like the Koch brothers, a new poll finds that the American people, in fact, oppose the unlimited flow of dollars into politics, do not think money equals speech, and want to restrict the power of the one percent to buy ballot outcomes.

    Released Tuesday by The New York Times and CBS, the findings “reveal deep support among Republicans and Democrats alike for new measures to restrict the influence of wealthy givers, including limiting the amount of money that can be spent by ‘super PACs’ and forcing more public disclosure on organizations now permitted to intervene in elections without disclosing the names of their donors,” the Times summarizes.

    A stunning 84 percent of respondents said that money has “too much influence” in American political campaigns today.



    Furthermore, 85 percent of respondents said that victorious candidates either sometimes or most of the time “directly help the people and groups who donated money to their campaigns.”

    Interestingly, the majority of respondents—58 percent—think that both the Democratic and Republican parties benefit equally from “money in political campaigns.”

    From across the political spectrum, people in the U.S. are calling for change with “near unanimity,” the study finds.

    “There is strong support across party lines for limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns, limiting the amount of money groups not affiliated with candidates can spend, and requiring unaffiliated groups to publicly disclose their donors if they spend money during a political campaign,” states a summary of the survey’s findings.

    The findings come at a time of record inequality between the ultra-rich and the poor and working classes in the United States. A recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that the richest 10 percent of U.S. households own 76 percent of the country’s entire wealth.

    A report released Tuesday by Reuters finds that, as a result, there are signs of growing awareness—and resentment—of the ability of billionaires to buy elections.

    “Whether these are the beginning of a new trend is far too soon to say, but polls show there is wider discontent about the perceived influence of big money in U.S. politics and a growing gulf between the country’s very rich and very poor,” the report states.

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    • Pingback: Polling results « Flexible Reality()

    • Lars Chiron Cheveyo Bohr

      At heart I am an anarchist. I’m also a student of history and all attempts at creating anarchist societies have failed mostly I believe because they were tried to be put into practice by violence. I truly believe that small decentralized anarchist collectives are going to be the only way we humans as a species will survive blowing ourselves to bits in some future war and will ever succeed at removing the freedom strangulating grip of the insane capitalism based on reckless consumption of limited resources in a constant growth paradigm that largely benefits only a small wealthy elite while leaving the rest of humanity trying to kick each others teeth in while fighting over the leftovers.
      The question is how to reach the goal of small local anarchist collectives while being faced with the fact most countries are ruled by highly centralized corporate and bankster controlled criminal political cabals?
      At one time I thought it made little difference which political parties were in power but upon reflection in the US at least it does make a difference which political parties we try to use to tear down established power structures. In my opinion the Republican party has become an insane institution controlled by right wing fundamentalist Christian extremist that are tools of the banksters and corporatocracy. I feel that the odds to take on corporate power by using the Democratic party especially people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are much greater especially if we can infiltrate the Democratic party with 3rd party candidates much the way the The Tea Party was used to pull the Republican party to the lunatic extreme position it currently resides in.
      We must build mass movements that are allied with independent political parties—a tactic used in Greece by Syriza and in Spain by Podemos. Political action without the support of radical mass movements inevitably becomes hollow. Only by building militant mass movements that are unrelentingly hostile to the system of corporate capitalism, imperialism, militarism and globalization can we wrest back our democracy.

      I leave you with a series of links that explain how we can from the bottom up create anarchist structures in society and thereby largely just bypass the entrenched centralized power structures while working on dismantling yet other entrenched criminal enterprises in banking, politics and corporate structures.

      42 Ways to Build a Liberated Society Beyond Capitalism
      http://www.filmsforaction.org/takeaction/42_ways_to_build_a_culture_and_economy_beyond_capitalism/

      Make the Rich Panic
      http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/make_the_rich_panic_20150503

      FREE BOOK DOWNLOAD
      http://www.jamesherod.info/Getting_Free.pdf

    • GALT

      All of which may be useful in establishing 2 points that seem to escape most
      citizens. 1.) We are not a democracy nor intended to be one, since the “founders”
      were the “elite snobs” of their time. 2.) Every candidate for office should be forced to
      pledge to not only pass legislation to end the effects of “Citizens United” or resign
      for failing to do so: or subject to automatic recall if such legislation fails to pass
      within the first 90 days of the convening of the next congress. 2a.) and that a
      constitutional amendment effecting same be submitted to the several states for
      ratification.

      • Robert Munro

        The stumbling block, obviously, is your point # 2. The American people must FORCE, the corrupt denizens of Washington to obey the people and the law. It has, I think, become too late to do that within the system.

        • GALT

          The “system” of corruption is dual edged, in that those “elected”, begin immediately
          to raise “money” for the next “cycle”. ( and they spend a minimum of 40 hrs a week
          doing so….see Unlocking Congress. ) The Pay to Play element, demands that one
          participate, even as a means of “preventative maintenance” ( as Microsoft discovered )
          even though one might NOT wish to ! ( many entities contribute to both sides as
          insurance for access.) Clearly the “solution” is public funding for ALL elections, but
          this would drastically alter the meaning of “public service”. ( or what it has come
          to mean.)

          You are probably correct in your assessment regarding the likelihood for “change”,
          although it might be possible for Sander’s to raise the “issue” and the idea of a
          pledge, if it “occurred” to him…….since even should he be “elected”, he has little
          chance of accomplishing anything, without any “support”…….and he has none at the moment. ( in government )

          Whether he will alter his “strategy” to address this or if he even understands this,
          is questionable at the moment.

          • Robert Munro

            The entire system is corrupted and broken. It must be taken apart and rebuilt. A Bernie Sanders, IF he were so inclined, could never do the job.
            This is more a job for a bullet-proof version of the Kennedy family. More likely, it will become a bloody mess since Archie Bunker is almost certainly years from being angry enough to get out of his recliner.

            • GALT

              Inspiration for numerous “novel” plots if one were so inclined. A “president”
              with a “plan” and a “mandate” would have to “means” to accomplish it.
              ( and you are right….it will not be Bernie. ) Should your scenario be the reality,
              hopefully I can repair to a safe distance and observe….if there is such a thing
              as a safe distance.

              • Robert Munro

                Tierra del Fuego