Voters want more say in elections and less influence from the news media, special interest groups, and the wealthy, a new survey reveals.
The Rasmussen Reports survey, released Tuesday, found that although 61 percent of likely voters believe that their vote matters, about the same number—62 percent—believe they don’t have enough say in choosing their political leaders.
Who does have a say? According to the survey, 66 percent agree the news media has too much power and influence over elections. Eighty percent say special interest groups have too much power and influence, and 76 percent say the wealthiest individuals and companies do.
“Republicans show slightly less concern about the influence of wealthy individuals and special interests on elections compared to Democrats and voters not affiliated with either party,” Rasmussen Reports notes.
A similar survey from 2014 found that 76 percent of likely voters said the wealthiest individuals and companies had too much influence over government decisions. A 2012 poll found that 75 percent of Americans said too much money is poured into politics.
“I don’t think the average voter understands that companies don’t have votes, and wealthy individuals only have one vote—and money doesn’t buy election outcomes,” Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, told The Daily Signal.
“The wealthiest candidates often lose elections—character and their stands on issues is what counts, not who has the most money,” von Spakovsky, who also manages the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative, added.
Rasmussen Reports conducted the survey by calling 1,000 likely voters on Feb. 9 and 10. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.