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U.S. Citizens Firmly Opposed to “Citizen United” Decision

June 22, 2010

A new poll commissioned by People For the American Way shows that Americans of every political stripe resoundingly reject the Roberts Court’s dangerous decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which opened the floodgates of unlimited corporate cash in our elections.

We should have a government of, by and for the people. The polling results show increasing concern among Americans that, in part because of the Court’s decision, which equates corporations with people, we are becoming a government of, by and for the corporations. The poll also shows broad awareness that when corporations spend unlimited amounts to influence the outcome of elections, it infringes on the rights of the rest of us by drowning out the voices of the average citizen.

The Court’s decision in Citizens United was so disastrous that voters overwhelmingly support a constitutional amendment to correct it.

Three-quarters of voters said that they support a constitutional amendment to limit the amount that corporations can spend in elections. A similar majority are more inclined to support a candidate who has spoken out in favor of an amendment. This support cuts across party and ideology, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents in support of the measure.

Leading up to Election Day, People For the American Way, along with Public Citizen and other allies, will be asking congressional candidates to pledge to support a constitutional amendment, and sharing that information with voters.

Here are some of the polling specifics:

  • 85% of voters say that corporations have too much influence over the political system today while 93% say that average citizens have too little influence.
  • 95% agree that “Corporations spend money on politics mainly to buy influence in government and elect people who are favorable to their financial interests.” (74% strongly agree)
  • 85% disagree that “Corporations should be able to spend as much as they want to influence the outcome of elections because the Constitution protects freedom of speech.” (63% stronglydisagree)
  • 93% agree that “There should be clear limits on how much money corporations can spend to influence the outcome of an election.” (74% strongly agree)
  • 77% think Congress should support an amendment to limit the amount U.S. corporations can spend to influence elections.
  • 74% say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who pledged to support a constitutional amendment limiting corporate spending in elections.


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