As campaign finance reform groups complain that President Obama hasn’t done enough to limit the flow of big money into politics, it’s worth asking, are Americans riled up about the issue? The answer: not really, even though they back strict limits on campaign contributions in overwhelming numbers. Here’s a look at the numbers. On the question of whether super political action committees (Super PACs) should be able to raise and spend unlimited amounts on federal campaigns, the vast majority of Americans say they should be banned. When given arguments for and against their existence, nearly seven in 10 Americans–69 percent–said in a March 2012 Washington Post-ABC News poll Super PACs should be illegal, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents.
Similarly, a CBS News-New York Times poll in January 2012 found 67 percent of respondents believe groups not affiliated with a candidate should not be able to spend unlimited funds on advertisements, also including majorities across party lines.
At the same time, Americans are not well versed in campaign finance law. Just 40 percent correctly identified what a Super PAC was in a Washington Post-Pew Research poll last year, and 51 percent thought increased spending from outside groups would not help Barack Obama or Mitt Romney more in their quest to win the 2012 presidential race. Far fewer, moreover, thought Obama (15 percent) or Romney (16 percent) would gain a distinct advantage from such spending. And when asked in their own words what impact increased spending by outside groups would have on the campaign, just 24 percent described a negative consequence; three-quarters described a neutral impact or had no opinion, while 2 percent saw it as a positive.
Full Article: Why don’t Americans care more about campaign finance reform?.