New Poll: Voters Push Back Against Big Money Politics

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Washington, D.C—The American people are tired of our broken campaign finance system, believe it’s corrupting our democracy, and want elected officials to take action, according to new polling released today by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and Public Campaign Action Fund.

"The detrimental impact of big money in our political process is one issue in a divided electorate that crosses party lines,” said David Donnelly, executive director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “Republicans, Independents, and Democrats all agree—our political system too often rewards those with the most cash and elected officials should take action to restore our democracy to one that is of, by, and for the people.”

Key points from the Poll:

  • Democrats and Republicans, Obama voters and Romney voters alike, are equally concerned about the level of spending in this year’s presidential campaign. Among all 2012 voters, 61 percent give the current level of money in politics an unfavorable rating, including a nearly identical 62 percent of Obama voters and 60 percent of Romney voters.
  • Two thirds (64 percent) of 2012 voters said that big donors and secret money that control which candidates we hear about undermined democracy in this election.
  • Accordingly, more than three quarters (78 percent) say there needs to be reasonable limits on campaign spending. This survey finds strong majority support (56 percent) for a plan to replace the current system with one that relies on small contributions and public funding of campaigns.
  • SuperPACs are overwhelmingly unpopular with American voters of all political affiliations, but especially independents, who give SuperPACs the lowest rating of any group.
  • Voters give strong support across the board to a series of reforms like closing the revolving door (81%), increased disclosure of outside money (85%), and matching small donations with public funds (67%).
  • Votes prefer a package to “overhaul of the way elections are paid for” (46%) over more modest changes to election laws like disclosure (23%), keeping the system as is (11%), or eliminating contribution limits (10%).

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted a national survey of 1,000 likely 2012 voters from  November 6-7, 2012 for Democracy Corps and Public Campaign Action Fund. Unless otherwise noted, margin of error= +/- 3.1.

Download the full memo.

Download the slides from Stan Greenberg’s presentation.


Public Campaign Action Fund works to raise the voices of everyday people in our political process and holds politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations. Learn more at