In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United. The landmark decision allowed for nearly unlimited funding of political campaigns by corporations. Arguably, the decision is one of the largest detriments to American democracy, as it essentially allows the “highest bidder” to buy members of office. American media have touched on the case in general. However, it has received minimal attention given the seriousness of its consequences.
A recent Bloomberg poll revealed that 78% of Americans do not agree with the Citizens United decision and are in favor of the law being overturned. While a majority of Americans share this belief, corporate media failed to cover this story. The Huffington Post covered the story, however they were the only major news corporation to do so. This means that this poll was largely unshared with the general public.
Interestingly, the Bloomberg poll sought to discover public opinion on issues other than Citizens United. Moreover, the poll asked for participants’ views on matters such as gay marriage and healthcare. In these arenas, respondents were nearly split down the middle. Alternatively, in regards to Citizens United, Americans are much more in agreement. Consequently, the data shows that, unlike many controversial issues that are politically polarizing, Americans almost unanimously agree that Citizens United is a threat to democracy.
Source: Greg Stohr, “Bloomberg Poll: Americans Want Supreme Court to Turn Off Political Spending Spigot,” Bloomberg, September 28, 2015, http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-09-28/bloomberg-poll-americans-want-supreme-court-to-turn-off-political-spending-spigot.
Student Researcher: Mario Mazziliano (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Catherine Nelson (Sonoma State University)