New Poll Shows Broad Support for "Fixing" Citizens United

Americans Want Limits on Corporate Cash in Elections, Would Support a Constitutional Amendment

A national poll of 1,200 Americans commissioned by People For the American Way shows that the Roberts Court is far out of step with the American public over corporate money in elections. It also shows broad support for a wide range of proposals to "fix" the Citizens United ruling, including legislation being introduced in Congress and a proposed constitutional amendment.

“Americans of all political stripes believe that corporations have too much influence in elections,” said Michael B. Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Unlike the Roberts Court, the American people believe that Congress should be able to place limits on how much companies like ExxonMobil can spend to support or defeat candidates for public office. That’s not a liberal or Democratic position – it’s the American position.”

“In the days and weeks following the Citizens United ruling, many Republican leaders rejoiced at the prospect of more corporate money in elections,” said Keegan. “But our poll shows broad disagreement with the ruling and support for reform among Republicans and conservatives. This should be a wake-up call to Republican leadership. They have fallen out of touch with their base on this issue and should work with Democrats to restore reasonable limits.”

The results of the poll include the following:

  • 78% believe that corporations should be limited in how much they can spend to influence elections, and 70% believe they already have too much influence over elections
  • 73% believe Congress should be able to impose such limits, and 61% believe Congress has done too little in the past to limit corporate influence over elections
  • Of the over 60% of Americans who have an opinion on a constitutional amendment to fix Citizens United, supports runs greater than 2 to 1
  • 82% support limits on electioneering by government contractors, and 87% support limits on bailout recipients
  • 85% support a complete ban on electioneering by foreign corporations
  • 75% believe that a publicly traded company should get shareholder approval before spending money in an election
  • 69% think that the President, in the event of a Supreme Court vacancy, should nominate a Justice who supports limits on corporate spending in elections

“Democrats in Congress should take heed of public opinion and implement meaningful reforms well before the fall election,” said Keegan. “But it will take more than a legislative patch to fully mend the damage done by the Roberts Court. That is why People For the American Way has launched an ongoing campaign to amend the constitution. As our poll demonstrates – the more that Americans learn about an amendment to undo Citizens United, the more they support it.”

The full results of the poll, which was conducted by SurveyUSA, are available here: http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollPrint.aspx?g=05cabb5f-599f-47a8-98fb-e3e254e425e4&d=0

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