BREAKING NEWS: We Agree on Something!
Americans overwhelmingly want citizen-funded elections
Today, Every Voice released a poll showing broad, cross-partisan support for small-donor financing of elections. It turns out, 72% of Americans believe such a plan would be good way to address the role of big money in politics.
This poll strongly reinforces the findings of a NYTimes-CBS News poll conducted in June showing 84% of Americans believed money had too big an influence on the political system. And it further reinforces a recent poll conducted by MAYDAY.US that showed that both Democrats and Republicans believe our system needs fundamental reform.
“Americans — and particularly millennials — understand that when our presidential elections are funded by a small set of unrepresentative, elite donors, the voices of everyday people are not heard. Small-donor reform is good policy and good politics, and candidates should rally Americans to this cause.” -David Donnelly, President and CEO, Every Voice
Groups like Every Voice and MAYDAY.US are putting resources toward polls that quantify the overwhelming support for fundamental campaign finance reform. We all know this system isn’t working for most of us. The small minority of ultra-wealthy have a shockingly disproportionate impact on our political system. It’s not a surprise the rest of us are sick of being cast aside in a system that is focused on the needs of the elite.
These polls provide a blanket of political cover for candidates willing to stand up to this system. An open question to candidates everywhere: Will you be one of them? Or will you continue to support an elite, private financing system?
Fighting corruption with small-donor funding of elections is a win-win for candidates. They’ll save themselves call time with big donors, which currently makes up between 40–70% of a Congressperson’s day. And it offers electoral advantages as well. The Every Voice poll found 63% of voters reacted positively to a message from a democratic candidate embracing reform. This number jumped to 81% for voters under 30 — highlighting the priorities of younger voters that establishment candidates can’t seem to win over.
The poll further illustrates that voters are increasingly concerned that big money donors are more often white, old, and male. This means if people of color, younger voters, and women hope to someday be heard by their government, it won’t happen with the campaign finance system we’ve got. With a small donor, citizen-funded election system, political power would once again be in the hands of regular citizens.