Congress

Published — February 18, 2019

Center for Public Integrity/Ipsos poll: How should presidential campaigns be regulated?

A view of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP/Susan Walsh)

Introduction

  1. Which is closer to your opinion? (Select one)
Total January 2019 (n = 1,005) Total April 2017 (n = 1,005) Democrats (n = 336) Republicans (n = 358) Independents (n = 202)
American presidential campaigns should come in a limited time frame 67% 65% 72% 68% 68%
American presidential campaigns should not be limited 14 23 15 17 11
Don’t know 19 12 13 16 21

2. If there were time limits placed on American presidential campaigns, what do you think is the right time frame for election campaigns to start? (Select one)

Total January 2019 Total April 2017 Democrats Republicans Independents
Six weeks before Election Day 9% 7% 9% 9% 8%
Three months before Election Day 12 13 13 12 8
Six months before Election Day 25 27 25 25 31
One year before Election Day 32 32 37 34 25
Two years before Election Day 8 8 10 7 7
Four years before Election Day 3 5 1 6 3
Don’t know 11 7 5 8 17

3. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? (Select one for each)

% Agree Total Democrats Republicans Independents
Elected officials often do favors for big campaign donors 85% 86% 86% 86%
Politicians need a lot of money to win elections 65% 69% 69% 59%
Being able to donate money to a political campaign is a vital form of free speech 64% 64% 72% 59%

a. Politicians need a lot of money to win elections

Total Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 37% 40% 41% 27%
Somewhat agree 28 30 28 32
Somewhat disagree 15 13 14 20
Strongly disagree 14 14 14 13
Don’t know 6 3 4 8
Agree (net) 65% 69% 69% 59%
Disagree (net) 29 28 27 33

b. Elected officials often do favors for big campaign donors

Total Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 60% 64% 60% 60%
Somewhat agree 25 22 26 26
Somewhat disagree 4 4 4 2
Strongly disagree 3 3 5 2
Don’t know 8 7 5 10
Agree (net) 85% 86% 86% 86%
Disagree (net) 7 7 9 5

c. Being able to donate money to a political campaign is a vital form of free speech

Total Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 21% 20% 30% 14%
Somewhat agree 42 44 42 45
Somewhat disagree 14 15 11 16
Strongly disagree 13 14 10 16
Don’t know 9 7 7 9
Agree (net) 64% 64% 72% 59%
Disagree (net) 27 28 21 32

4. Please indicate which of the following comes closest to your opinion. (Select one)

Total Democrats Republicans Independents
New laws could effectively reduce the role of money in politics 32% 36% 28% 32%
Powerful people will always find a way to use their wealth to have greater political influence 59 59 63 56
Don’t know 10 4 9 11

5. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? (Select one for each)

% Agree Total January 2019 Total December 2017 (n = 1,005) Democrats Republicans Independents
Political TV ads should be required to say who paid for the ad 88% 85% 88% 90% 88%
Political groups should have to disclose all their funders in a timely fashion 88% 92% 88% 87%
Political ads online should be required to say who paid for the ad 87% 84% 86% 89% 86%
Federal election laws are necessary to ensure fair elections 85% 79% 90% 90% 79%
Interest groups should follow the same campaign or election laws as political candidates 82% 86% 85% 77%
Elected officials should be prohibited from raising campaign funds during non-election years 67% 75% 63% 65%
American elections are fair and open 42% 50% 34% 55% 42%

a. Political TV ads should be required to say who paid for the ad.

Total January 2019 Total December 2017 Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 64% 57% 66% 64% 64%
Somewhat agree 24 28 22 26 24
Somewhat disagree 4 6 4 2 6
Strongly disagree 3 3 4 3
Don’t know 5 5 4 4 6
Agree (net) 88% 85% 88% 90% 88%
Disagree (net) 7 10 8 6 6

b. Political ads online should be required to say who paid for the ad.

Total January 2019 Total December 2017 Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 65% 57% 66% 66% 65%
Somewhat agree 22 27 20 23 22
Somewhat disagree 5 7 6 4 3
Strongly disagree 2 3 3 2 2
Don’t know 6 7 5 4 8
Agree (net) 87% 84% 86% 89% 86%
Disagree (net) 7 9 9 7 5

c. Federal election laws are necessary to ensure fair elections.

Total January 2019 Total December 2017 Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 59% 51% 65% 58% 57%
Somewhat agree 26 28 26 32 22
Somewhat disagree 4 8 4 2 7
Strongly disagree 2 4 2 3 1
Don’t know 9 10 4 6 13
Agree (net) 85% 79% 90% 90% 79%
Disagree (net) 5 11 6 5 8

d. American elections are fair and open.

Total January 2019 Total December 2017 Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 14 16 12 21 11
Somewhat agree 28 34 22 35 31
Somewhat disagree 29 28 34 27 25
Strongly disagree 23 15 27 14 23
Don’t know 7 7 5 3 10
Agree (net) 42% 50% 34% 55% 42%
Disagree (net) 51 44 61 42 48

e. Elected officials should be prohibited from raising campaign funds during non-election years.


Total Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 37% 35% 36% 38%
Somewhat agree 30 39 27 27
Somewhat disagree 15 15 18 14
Strongly disagree 5 4 8 3
Don’t know 13 6 11 18
Agree (net) 67% 75% 63% 65%
Disagree (net) 20 19 26 17

f. Interest groups should follow the same campaign or election laws as political candidates.

Total Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 54% 54% 58% 50%
Somewhat agree 28 31 27 27
Somewhat disagree 5 5 4 4
Strongly disagree 2 2 3 2
Don’t know 11 7 8 18
Agree (net) 82% 86% 85% 77%
Disagree (net) 7 7 7 5

g. Political groups should have to disclose all their funders in a timely fashion.

Total Democrats Republicans Independents
Strongly agree 63% 66% 64% 61%
Somewhat agree 25 26 23 26
Somewhat disagree 3 2 3 3
Strongly disagree 2 2 3 2
Don’t know 6 3 5 8
Agree (net) 88% 92% 88% 87%
Disagree (net) 5 4 7 5

This Center for Public Integrity/Ipsos poll was conducted from Jan. 23, 2019, to Jan. 24, 2019, involving a sample of 1,005 Americans. Read the full poll methodology.

Read more in Money and Democracy

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