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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Video Features Professors Roberts and Shaw Discussing National Survey on Money and Politics at Center for Politics and Governance Fall Forum

Results relevant to Supreme Court's Citizens United decision

Posted: January 29, 2010

In advance of the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v FEC, Brian Roberts and Daron Shaw directed a national survey of attitudes on money and politics in the United States. In this video produced by the Texas Politics Project, they discuss the key results of the survey at the Center for Politics and Governance 2009 Fall Forum.

Money, Elections and the Public: The 2009 US National Survey

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The survey was designed in anticipation of the Court’s decision in Citizens United, and the results touch on several topics relevant to the case, such as citizens’ perceptions of the appearance of corruption and their views of the status of corporations and unions in the realm of political expression.

The presentation discusses the following topics and results from the survey:

  • Salience: Campaign finance reform is not considered a top issue, although most believe political corruption is extremely important.
  • Campaign Finance Reform: There is strong support for limiting corporate and union involvement, and for short, publicly financed campaigns. Americans also express strong support for individual-level free speech rights.
  • Campaign Usefulness: Americans believe candidates provide very useful information about themselves.
  • Voters claim they care about the source of campaign contributions and say they act accordingly.
  • Corruption: Americans believe that the federal government is corrupt and beholden to special interests and contributors.
  • Participation: About one quarter of Americans say they have contributed to a political campaign in the last four years. Almost 70% of contributors have done so online.
  • Knowledge: Most Americans know very few facts about campaign contributions or campaign finance law in the U.S. They assume more money (and more corporate money) is involved than actually is.

About the survey: The survey population was U.S. adults (18 years of age and older). The field dates were October 13-22, 2009. The sample size: 2,100. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.1 percentage points. The survey was conducted by YouGov/Polimetrix over the Internet using matched random sampling. All results weight each observation by survey weights derived from the 2006 American Community Survey.

A summary document containing results can be downloaded in the polling section of the Texas Politics website. The 2009 Fall Forum, "Money and Politics: Are We Getting Our Votes Worth?”, was produced by the Center for Politics and Governance in collaboration with The Texas Politics Project and The Texas Tribune.

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