Study: Campaign Financing Not an Issue for Voters
By Matthew Mosk
Sen. John McCain has tried to turn his financial disadvantage into a political plus by reminding voters that rival Sen. Barack Obama broke his pledge to participate in a system of presidential public financing that was designed to rid campaigns of corrupting influences.
A new USA Today/Gallup poll suggests that may be an uphill messaging battle.
According to the poll, the majority of Americans -- 62 percent -- aren't even sure which candidate decided to take public financing and which one decided to raise as much money as he could on his own.
Yet the candidates' financing decisions may prove among of the most critical in the campaign. When McCain received $84 million in federal funds for his general election bid, he had to shut down his campaign's fundraising operation. Obama said no to the public money, and turned around and raised $150 million in September, shattering previous fundraising records and giving him his present organizational and advertising advantage.
When the participants in the Oct. 28 poll were told of each candidate's approach, roughly three-quarters said it did not affect their view of the race, according to the report at Gallup.com
The same can't be said for their views on public financing in general. Democrats, who have traditionally supported the public financing system, now oppose it at a time when Obama is reaping the rewards of a private fundraising operation -- and Republicans, whose congressional leaders have aggressively fought spending limits, now favor them by 64 percent to 33 percent.
Web Politics Editor
October 30, 2008; 11:58 AM ET
Categories: B_Blog , Barack Obama , John McCain , The Green Zone
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