A new Reason-Rupe poll reveals that Americans believe that 75% of politicians are “corrupted” by the money given to them by special interests. Further, the poll indicated that the respondents felt 70% of politicians use their influence to give aid to their friends and hurt those opposing them. Despite the recent ruling of the Supreme Court that ended limits on campaign contributions, the pervasive anger at how money can influence politicians was so strong it outdistanced the concern the public had about campaign contributions.
The poll asked which of two problems was more serious; “special interest groups spending private money on campaigns to elect the politicians they favor” or “elected officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money that benefit the special interests they favor.” 63% of the respondents chose the latter problem.
Americans have grown cynical with regard to politicians’ peccadilloes; 70% responded they would be “most bothered” by a politician who bullied others with his or her power, while only 11% would be most bothered by a politician who had an extramarital affair.