The Civil Beat Poll

Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Voters Support Limiting Political Donations

·By John Temple

Two-thirds say they would back constitutional amendment to reduce influence of wealthy on congressional elections.

Discussion

Would you support a constitutional amendment to limit political donations if it were the only way to reduce the influence of corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals on Congressional elections? Share your thoughts below.
<p><strong>THE QUESTION:</strong> Here's the question we asked poll respondents: </p>
<p>"Now we'd like to ask you about a possible major change to our political system. Some people believe that our government is too influenced by wealthy donors and well-funded special interests. Last year, the Supreme Court decided in the “Citizens United” case that large corporations, labor unions, and wealthy individuals have the right to contribute unlimited amounts of money to support political causes. Because this was a Supreme Court decision, the only way to make a change would be to pass a new Constitutional Amendment that would place limits on political donations. However, many opponents of a Constitutional Amendment to limit the influence of money in politics say that it would violate the most basic right of Americans—freedom of speech—which is protected by the First Amendment.</p>
<p>America’s founders made it extremely difficult to pass Constitutional Amendments. They did this to ensure that any fundamental changes to the country were considered very carefully and had wide public support. For example, in our history, Constitutional Amendments have been passed to give African Americans and women the right to vote. But other proposed Amendments, such as one requiring the government to balance its budget, have not had wide enough support to pass. </p>
<p>What do you think? If a Constitutional Amendment were the only way to reduce the influence of corporations, labor unions, and wealthy individuals on Congressional elections, would you support it, even if it might place some limits on freedom of speech? If you would support a Constitutional Amendment to limit political donations, press 4. If you would not support a Constitutional Amendment to limit political donations, press 5. If you're not sure, press 9.</p>
<p><strong>ABOUT THE POLL:</strong> Civil Beat surveyed 1,269 registered voters on Dec. 4 and 5 using interactive voice response technology (touch-tone polling). The sampling margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. The margin of error indicates that in 95 percent of samples of this size, the results will be within +/- 3 percent of the actual percentage in the full population of voters. The poll was conducted by Civil Beat using software licensed to Civil Beat by Merriman River Group, a full-service consulting organization specializing in election management, opinion research and communication.</p>