CBS News/New York Times National Poll

Americans Critical of Campaign Finance System
May 28-31, 2015
Q1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?

Approve
Disapprove
Don't know/No answer

TOTAL RESPONDENTS
Total
Rep
Dem
%
%
%
42
16
75
48
80
18
10
3
7

Ind
%
35
50
15

Apr15d
%
45
44
11

Q2. Do you feel things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have pretty seriously gotten off on
the wrong track?
Right direction
Wrong track
Don't know/No answer

33
63
5

9
88
2

57
35
8

30
67
3

31
63
6

Q3. What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?
Economy & Jobs
Health care/health insurance
Immigration/illegal immigrants
Miscellaneous government issues
Miscellaneous social issues
Poverty/homelessness
Moral values/family values
Budget/national debt/deficit/surplus
Education
Income gap
Miscellaneous economic issues
Racism/race relations
Welfare
War/peace (general)
Foreign policy/foreign affairs
Defense/military/national security
Miscellaneous foreign affairs
Politicians/corrupt politicians
Big government/bureaucracy
Barack Obama/the president
Religious values
Terrorism (general)
Islamic extremists/Al Qaeda/ Isis
Other
Don't know/No answer

17
6
5
5
4
4
4
4
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
13
5

19
8
6
5
1
1
6
3
1
1
2
*
3
2
2
4
3
1
5
4
4
3
1
9
6

18
4
2
5
6
7
1
1
3
5
3
3
2
5
1
2
1
2
2
*
3
2
17
5

16
6
6
5
3
4
5
6
4
3
3
2
*
1
3
2
2
2
2
1
2
2
3
12
5

20
2
3
4
7
2
2
1
2
4
2
5
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
3
3
2
1
24
4

Q4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling foreign policy?
Approve
Disapprove
Don’t know/No answer

37
49
14

12
79
9

64
21
15

33
50
17

41
45
13

Q5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the economy?

1

Approve
Disapprove
Don’t know/No answer

TOTAL RESPONDENTS
Total
Rep
Dem
%
%
%
45
15
76
49
79
19
7
6
5

Ind
%
40
52
8

Apr15d
%
46
47
7

Q6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?
Approve
Disapprove
Don’t know/No answer

15
78
8

18
72
10

13
82
5

14
78
8

12
80
9

Q7. How would you rate the condition of the national economy these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad or very bad?
Very good
Fairly good
Fairly bad
Very bad
Don’t know/No answer

5
40
36
18
1

1
25
47
26
1

8
59
21
11
-

6
36
40
17
2

4
41
33
20
1

Q8. Do you think the economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
Better
Worse
Same
Don’t know/No answer

27
27
46
*

10
37
52
-

47
16
38
*

23
29
48
1

33
26
40
*

Q12. Thinking about U.S. elections, do you think all Americans have an equal chance to influence the elections process, or do you think
wealthy Americans have more of a chance to influence the elections process than other Americans?

Equal influence
Wealthy have more influence
Don’t know/no answer

31
66
2

43
55
1

26
73
1

May14c
23
75
2

28
68
4

Q32. Thinking about the role of money in American political campaigns today, do you think money has too much influence, too little
influence, or is it about right?
Too much
Too little
About right
Don’t know/no answer

84
5
10
1

80
5
14
1

90
2
8
*

84
6
9
1

2

Q34. Which of the following three statements comes closest to expressing your overall view of the way political campaigns are funded
in the United States: 1) On the whole, the system for funding political campaigns works pretty well and only minor changes are
necessary to make it work better, or 2) there are some good things in the system for funding political campaigns but fundamental
changes are needed, or 3) the system for funding political campaigns has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it.

Only minor changes
Fundamental changes
Completely rebuild
No changes needed (Vol.)
Don’t know/no answer

TOTAL RESPONDENTS
Total
Rep
Dem
%
%
%
13
16
14
39
45
38
46
36
46
*
1
2
1
3

Ind
%
10
36
51
1
2

Jul00a*
%
7
38
48
-7

*Among registered voters

Q35. Looking ahead, are you optimistic or pessimistic that changes will be made to improve the way political campaigns are funded in
the U.S.?

Optimistic
Pessimistic
Don’t know/no answer

THINK AT LEAST MINOR CHANGES ARE NEEDED
39
33
48
37
58
64
48
60
3
4
4
3

Q36. Which one of the following two positions on campaign financing do you favor more: limiting the amount of money individuals can
contribute to political campaigns, or allowing individuals to contribute as much money to political campaigns as they'd like?

Limiting
Allowing
Don’t know/no answer

TOTAL RESPONDENTS
Total
Rep
Dem
77
71
83
21
29
14
2
*
3

Ind
77
21
3

Oct14f
76
20
5

Q38. Currently, groups not affiliated with a candidate are able to spend unlimited amounts of money on advertisements during a
political campaign. Do you think this kind of spending should be limited by law, or should it remain unlimited?

Should be limited
Should remain unlimited
Don’t know/no answer

78
19
3

73
24
3

85
13
2

Apr15d
80
17
3

77
19
4

Q37. Do you think groups not affiliated with a candidate that spend money during political campaigns should be required to publicly
disclose their contributors, or do you think it’s okay for that information to remain private?

Should publicly disclose
Should remain private
Don’t know/no answer

75
22
2

76
23
2

76
21
3

75
23
2

3

Q39. Do you consider money given to political candidates to be a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment to the
constitution, or not?
TOTAL RESPONDENTS
Total
Rep
Dem
%
%
%
41
48
42
54
49
53
5
3
5

Yes, free speech
No, not
Don’t know/no answer

Ind
%
38
57
6

Q40. In general, which political party do you think benefits the most from the amount of money in political campaigns today – the
Republican Party, the Democratic Party, or do both parties benefit about equally?
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Both equally
Don’t know/no answer

23
14
58
5

6
29
62
3

52
7
37
4

13
11
68
8

Q41. How often do you think candidates who win public office promote policies that directly help the people and groups who donated
money to their campaigns – most of the time, sometimes, rarely or never?
Most of the time
Sometimes
Rarely
Never
Depends
Don’t know/no answer

55
30
9
4
*
3

54
31
11
3
1

53
33
8
4
*
3

56
27
8
5
*
3

Q49. In the last four years, have you given money to a candidate, party or other organization that supported or opposed candidates
during an election campaign, or not?
Yes, have done
No, have not done
Don’t know/no answer

Total Respondents
Total Republicans
Total Democrats
Total independents

16
84
*

Unweighted
1,022
273
332
417

21
79
1

17
83
*

13
87
*

Weighted

257
302
462

(25%)
(30%)
(46%)

 

4