Washington (CNN)- Most Americans are cynical about the effect of money on politics in the U.S., and that cynicism is significantly higher than it was in the 1990s, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 86 percent of the public thinks elected officials in the nation's capital are mostly influenced by the pressure they receive from campaign contributors.
Read the full results (pdf).
"Back in 1997, that figure was 77 percent, pretty high, but not as bad as the current numbers," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Only one in eight believe today that Washington officials are mostly concerned about what is best for the country."
The survey indicates that two-thirds say elections are usually for sale to the candidate who can raise the most money, with less than one in three saying that elections are generally won by the best candidate. In 1997, 59 percent felt that elections were generally for sale to the candidate with the most cash.
But are these problems worse today than in the past?
"Roughly half say they are, but just as many feel that the problems with campaigns today are no worse than in the past," adds Holland.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted June 3 through June 7, with 1,015 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
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