A new AP-National Constitution Center Poll shows that Americans largely back limits on the amount of money individuals, organizations, and corporations can contribute to campaigns for president, Senate, and the House of Representatives. The comes during the current election cycle which is predicted to be the most expensive ever. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the 2012 elections will cost $5.8 billion marking a 7% increase over the cost of the 2008 elections of $5.4 billion.
The poll revealed that when it comes to spending limits on individual contributions on the amount of money spent in campaigns for president, Senate, and the House, 67% of the people polled believe that there should be limits, while 28% did not think that there should be limits. When asked the same question about spending limits for president, Senate, and the House for Corporations, Unions, and Other Organizations, even more people thought that there should be limits (83%).
In a post Citizens United world, where the government does not restrict political expenditures by corporations and unions, the influence of fewer more wealthy donors has become more obvious. For instance, the Koch brothers, who are worth an estimated $25 billion, have been heavily involved in campaign ad buying in this election cycle. Americans for Prosperity, founded by David Koch, has spent over $20 million on campaign ads in the current election cycle. This kind of spending has produced competing “Stop the Greed” campaigns that attack billionaire donors. In late August, a non-profit organization associated with Senator Harry Reid launched this attack ad going after donors like the Koch brothers:
And during a Reddit chat last month, President Obama even suggested that people should consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United to lessen the influence of corporations and the ultra-rich.