An Idea Whose Time Has Come

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Battling big money in the Senate battleground with real consequences for 2014

A new poll of the 12 states where control of the Senate is being contested, fielded by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps and Every Voice, a major new advocacy effort, shows that voters of all political persuasions are disgusted with the current campaign system and are ready for real reform – and they are ready to vote to get it.

Campaign reforms, from a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United to public matching funds for candidates that reject large donations, are widely popular ideas that actually move voters in these critical battleground states during a simulated-debate.
 
In the simulated debate (using the actual candidate names), Democrats supporting a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and a proposal to reduce the influence of big money in campaigns gain a net five points, with the gains concentrated among swing center-right groups.  Clearly, the debate around these issues puts Republicans squarely on the wrong side of public opinion.

Key findings:

  • There is an intensely Anti-Washington mood in the Senate battleground.

  • Voters are strongly negative towards Super PACs and believe spending in politics this year is worse than in the past and is very corrupting.
  • There is overwhelming cross-partisan support of a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United that can translate into added support for Democratic candidates who support the amendment and damage Republicans who oppose it.

  • Importantly, there is more than two-to-one support for plans to give public matching funds for small donations to candidates who reject big donations.  Support holds steady after balanced debate on the proposal that accuses the supporters of favoring “welfare for politicians” with taxpayer dollars.

  • Republican candidates supporting the RNC lawsuit to eliminate individual contribution limits put themselves in danger of losing support.

  • Engaging in a debate about money in politics, when it includes both a push to overturn Citizens United and the matching funds campaign finance proposal, moves the Senate Vote a net 5 points towards Democrats.  

Read the full memo

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