Americans Understand It's Corruption When...

Americans Understand It's Corruption When...

The Supreme Court has said many times that protecting against the appearance of corruption is a compelling interest vital to the protection of democratic government. The Court has recognized the danger that voters will grow cynical and choose not to participate in a system they think is rigged. Less than a decade before the ban on corporate political spending was struck down in Citizens United, the Supreme Court had upheld the ban, writing: “‘[t]ake away Congress’ authority to regulate the appearance of undue influence and `the cynical assumption that large donors call the tune could jeopardize the willingness of voters to take part in democratic governance.’”

Yet already a huge majority of Americans are worried about special interests buying elections and about the corruption of our democratic government. Forty one percent of Americans worry very often about the corruption of government, another 21 percent worry fairly often, and 24 percent worry about it occasionally. Taken together, 86 percent of Americans are worried about corruption of our government. Eighty two percent of Americans are very often, fairly often, or occasionally worried about special interests buying elections. The same percentage of Americans are very or fairly often worried about the corruption of government (62%) as they are worried by special interests buying elections (62%).