A new BYU/Harris Poll of 2,602 U.S. adults surveyed in May by Harris Interactive shows that small individual contributions which may limit the "corrupting" influence of large contributions, especially from PACs and lobbyists, could have a lasting impact with the voters.
This latest study looks at candidates who raise most of their money from small donors ($200 or less) versus large donors ($2000 or more). Ultimately, Americans are more likely to respond positively to a candidate who raises campaign funds from small donors, concludes the report.
Jay Goodliffe, a BYU political science professor who collaborated in the survey notes, says that "Americans seem to accept the fact that campaigns are expensive, so the amount raised is more of a non-issue for them. What is important is the concern that a campaign can be 'bought,' and relying on large donors gives that impression... "
More specifically, the results include:
Among the 11% of Americans who have made a political contribution in this political season:
When asked how their feelings would change about a candidate who raised $84 million through his or her own efforts, 57% said that it would not affect their views negatively nor positively and, on balance, views were more positive than negative (28% positive vs. 15% negative). When compared against a similar candidate who raised $168 million, responses were virtually identical, says the report (25% positive, 58% neither, 17% negative).
For additional information about the study, including charts, please visit here.