Americans uneasy with new campaign finance rules – Nick Gass – POLITICO – Politico

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The four podiums for Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, stand candidate-less, at the North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, S.C., Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, prior to Thursday's debate. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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Just one in 10 Americans feels that the post-Citizens United campaign fundraising climate has improved the presidential election process, according to a new Monmouth University survey out Wednesday.

In fact, nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) said that looser campaign finance rules and a record-shattering amount of money being spent on elections have only worsened the presidential election process. Another 29 percent said the changes over the last half-decade have not had an appreciable effect.

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“The public is starting to worry that the Wild West nature of campaign finance is damaging the way we choose presidential candidates,” said Patrick Murray, the director of Monmouth University Polling Institute.

More than four in 10 Americans (42 percent) said that looser finance rules make it more likely that an unqualified candidate can hang around longer, while just 14 percent it would be less likely. Still, 33 percent said the funding environment would not have any effect.

Just a little more than one in four Americans (28 percent) said that the current climate makes it more likely that a qualified candidate with lower name recognition would be able to capture voters’ attention and stay in the race. On the other hand, 27 percent said that the brave new world of campaign finance rules make it less likely that a lesser-known candidate would able to withstand a cash onslaught. But a plurality of 34 percent said that the new funding environment has no impact on a qualified candidate.

Asked their opinion on the best way to finance presidential campaigns, just 17 percent said the funds solely should come from public financing through the government, while 33 percent said it should come from private donations alone. A plurality of 44 percent said there should be a combination of the two.

The survey was conducted by telephone from July 9-12, polling 1,001 adults across the country. The poll features a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Americans uneasy with new campaign finance rules – Nick Gass – POLITICO – Politico}