Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Voters Say Congress Most Influenced By Wealthy

Susan Sterner

UPDATED 5:47 a.m. 01/04/12

Hawaii voters say the wealthy are calling the shots in Congress.

A recent Civil Beat poll found that nearly two-thirds of Hawaii registered voters believe that corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals have the most influence over who is elected to Congress, not the citizens who cast their ballots on Election Day.

And once in office, 79 percent of Hawaii voters said, most members of Congress make more of their decisions and choices in the interests of the people or organizations who donated the most money to their campaigns, not the residents of their state or district.

The automated telephone poll of 1,269 registered voters conducted by Civil Beat on Dec. 4 and 5 found that although 88 percent of Hawaii voters think every American should have the same power to influence elections, just 26 percent think that's the case today.

The Civil Beat Poll comes at a time when dissatisfaction with Congress is at record levels and the political fundraising floodgates have been opened because of a 2010 Supreme Court decision. The poll found that voters in Hawaii don't believe that most members of Congress are representing their constituents.

Instead, 56 percent said members of Congress work hardest to represent the interests of the wealthy. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.

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