October 13th, 2010
01:09 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Nearly half bothered by anonymous donations

(CNN) - A new poll suggests that the new attacks by Democrats against Republicans over the use of anonymous donations may be registering with voters.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and other top officials at the Democratic National Committee over the past week have criticized independent organizations for raising and spending big bucks this election cycle in support of Republican candidates and causes, without disclosing some of their donors.

The organizations, and other top Republicans have fired back, saying the Democrats accusations are baseless and that campaign finance laws allow for the identity of some donors to be kept secret, if the groups are set up as tax-exempt non-profit organizations.

A Bloomberg national poll indicates that 47 percent of Americans say they would be less likely to support a particular candidate if his or her campaign was aided by advertising paid for by anonymous business groups, with nine percent saying they would be more likely to back such a candidate and 41 percent saying that it would not matter.

Many of the groups are using the money they raise to pay for television commercials and get out the vote efforts, supplementing efforts already underway by the Republican party and the individual campaigns. Money by groups supporting Republicans greatly outnumbers cash by such organizations backing Democrats this election cycle.

The groups are structured as a tax-exempt "social welfare" 501(c)(4) organizations. As part of its tax exempt status, the organizations are allowed to both raise unlimited amounts of money and keep the names and organizations of their contributors secret – an allowance that facilitates groups of this type to raise considerably more money than standard so-called 527 groups which have to report their donors.

The Bloomberg national poll was conducted October 7-10, with 721 likely voters across the country questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error for likely voters is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Filed under: 2010 • Democrats • Fundraising • Polls • Republicans
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. ingrid

    This lack of accountability as to where this money is coming from is very alarming.

    October 13, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. stufit

    That is so funny, these are lessons learned from the Obama campaign when SEIU gave all this money to ACORN and Geroge Soros funded all of these weird groups that stole the election for Obama. Sounds like heavy duty whining, but it won't make any difference. Democrat liberals are about to get several years worth (hopefully decades worth) of their own tactics back in their faces.

    October 13, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. GLW

    The only reason the Dems are wanting disclosure is to try to intimidate the donor company into not donating. ie organizing a Move ON Boycott of Target.

    October 13, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Moosehead

    What!!!... only half?... every American should be screaming and mad as hell,.. that foreigners, some of them our enemies, are influencing the outcome of an election. All you have to do is look at who the ringleader is,.. Karl Rove, a dispicaple, vile individual,.. who lied, and betrayed during the Bush administration. Rove is the Anti-Christ.

    October 13, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |

    So now every major corporation, bank and insurance company can have (own) their very own congressman or senator. I think it's only right then that instead of calling them the senator or congressman from (state name) to the senator or congressman from (corporate name) because that's exactly what has or will happen. We The People are no longer in the equation of government.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO (and corporations).

    October 13, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. greg in jax

    Corporate takeover is killing our country. I dont know why more Americans arent ticked off. elections are now being bought. its disgusting.

    October 13, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. jake

    so now the republicans are using social policies to attack social policies and degrade social policies. sure smells like republican politics to me...sad thing is ...its the same smell the nazis expelled in the 1930-40 era. republicans are nazis.

    October 13, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Americans have a right to know who these donors are after we the taxpayers "BAILED OUT" businesses who may be using our tax money to support the party of their choice. AMERICANS STAND UP AND DEMAND THE NAMES OF THESE DONORS BEFORE YOU VOTE REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT OR ANY OTHER PARTY. WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW.

    October 13, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. Indiana Voter

    It registered with voters in 2008 with Obama's campaign too and the Democrats were silent. How is this any different from that? The Democrats should just admit they have a double standard. They are only upset because the Republicans are beating them at their own game.

    October 13, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. al in memphis

    It was only a few months ago that the "big business wall street and banks" pull off the biggest money heist of all time. Taxpayers felt helpless. That is the same feeling you should have right now about big money ability to buy the canidates that is suppose to representing the people. The constitution says "We The People", not we the group that can buy the elections.
    Here an idea, why don't we put another branch over the ability to spend money. Then none of these group would care who got elected.

    October 13, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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