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15 October 2010

Poll: 65% of Democrats & Republicans Oppose Outside Money in Their Elections

The 2010 elections in Georgia have seen an explosion of money from outside groups.

In the governor's race, for example, three groups not from Georgia --the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), Republican Governors Association (RGA) and SEIU International-- pumped more than $3 million into the state to influence the election [SOURCE: State Ethics Commission].

The result of all this outside money is an increasingly negative campaign permeated with ads focused on attacks, and not solutions.

A new poll commissioned by the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College says that both Democrats and Republicans oppose groups like the DGA and SEIU influencing their elections with outside money.

A survey of 1,000 Americans nationwide suggests a wide majority believe it is unacceptable for groups to spend heavily on political advertising in districts where they are not located, a phenomenon dubbed "outside money."

Self-described independents expressed the most opposition to outside election spending, at about 72 percent. Self-described Democrats and Republicans both oppose the practice, at about 65 percent, respectively.

Self-described conservatives, liberals and moderates oppose outside spending by about 65 percent, while a full 75 percent of Americans aged 50 and older oppose it, too. About 63 percent of Americans who earn more than $100,000 and 69 percent of those making less than $25,000 oppose outside spending.

This poll was conducted by Zogby International, and it tells us the obvious. We need real campaign finance reform. We need limits on spending from outside groups. We need limits on campaign contributions, and we need more transparency on those disclosure reports.

The full results of this poll can be seen here.