Today, Citizens United released the results of a nationwide poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associates on the public’s opinion of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and legislative efforts reacting to the decision.
Contrary to the results of the recent Washington Post/ABC poll, the McLaughlin poll found that when informed of the consequences of the government’s attempts to regulate free speech during elections, public opinion sways markedly in favor of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Notably, 68% of surveyed likely voters reject the position taken by the government in Citizens United v. FEC that the First Amendment does not prohibit the government from banning books, films, and television broadcasts about federal candidates during elections.
Moreover, likely voters view attempts to re-impose limits on political speech by politicians such as President Barack Obama and Rep. Chris Van Hollen with a great deal of suspicion, especially when informed that, as state legislators, they accepted direct corporate contributions. Less than 50% of those surveyed support legislation to restrict political spending when informed that media corporations and political parties are exempted.
David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United, said, “The results of this poll demonstrate that the American people believe, as we argued, that the First Amendment is sacrosanct, and that attempts by incumbent politicians to limit citizens’ right to speak out against them are met with a great degree of cynicism. Incumbent politicians and media corporations, who have the most to lose in this fight, have been spreading disinformation ever since this decision came down – most notably with President Obama’s disingenuous remarks in his State of the Union. This poll demonstrates that when the American people are armed with the truth they clearly reject the unconstitutional attempts by incumbents, supported by media corporations, to limit our First Amendment rights.”