Many Americans demand more regulation of money in politics, but Democratic donors want it most

Paul HiebertData Journalist
October 18, 2016, 9:07 PM GMT+0

New data reveals that 88% of Democrats who've contributed cash to a political candidate want campaign finance reform

To many Americans, the idea of restricting the role of money in political campaigns is an appealing one. Indeed, after the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which relaxed spending regulations, the push for reform has only grown in prominence, as both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have repeatedly addressed the problem in their own way while touring the country.

New data from YouGov Profiles shows that, unlike most issues, the majority of Democrats and Republicans agree on campaign finance reform, with 77% of Democrats and 60% of Republicans supporting more regulation.

There’s some discord, however, between each party’s donors and their voters. Among Democrats who've contributed money to a political candidate in the last four years, 88% want more government regulation, compared to just 47% of Republicans who've contributed within the same time frame.

Perhaps because they're more politically engaged and therefore more ideologically aligned with the party’s position on the issue (the 2016 Republican platform called for the elimination of almost all campaign finance laws), Republican campaign donors are also less likely than Republicans in general to demand more regulation. As the data shows, Republican donors are the only group whose support for campaign finance reform doesn't exceed 50%, as 22% think the current system is adequate and 27% want even less regulation.

Despite their differences on the issue, each party's donors share similar demographics. The majority of Democrats and Republicans who've contributed money in the past four years, for example, are 50 years old and up. Most are also male. When it comes to personal income, 37% of Democratic donors make $60,000 or more per year, while the same is true for 42% of Republican donors.