Americans Say 75 Percent of Politicians Are Corrupted, 70 Percent Use Political Power to Hurt Enemies
Americans don’t paint a pretty picture of their public servants in the new national Reason-Rupe poll. Americans tell Reason-Rupe that 75 percent of all politicians are “corrupted” by campaign donations and lobbyists. And they say 70 percent of politicians use their political power to help their friends and hurt their enemies.
No wonder just 17 percent approve of the job Congress is doing. Or that President Obama’s approval rating is just 43 percent, with 51 percent disapproving.
And while the Supreme Court just struck down limits on campaign contributions to federal candidates, the new Reason-Rupe poll finds Americans are actually more concerned about how elected officials misuse their power and taxpayer money once they’re in office than they are worried about campaign contributions.
Asked, which is a “more serious” problem — “special interest groups spending private money on campaigns to elect the politicians they favor” or “elected officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money that benefit the special interests they favor” — 63 percent of Americans said officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money for special interests was a more serious problem.
Similarly, Americans say they are “more bothered” by politicians abusing political power than they are by some of the personal issues most often associated with political downfalls. Seventy percent of Americans say they would be “most bothered” by a politician who used his or her political power to bully someone, while 14 percent would be most bothered by a politician using drugs, and 11 percent would be most bothered by a politician who cheated on his/her spouse.
The Reason-Rupe national poll conducted live interviews with 1,003 Americans on mobile (503) and landline (500) phones from March 26-30, 2014. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percent. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey.
Paying NCAA Basketball Players
With the Final Four approaching, just 42 percent of Americans say college athletes should be paid. However, when they learn the NCAA makes over $700 million a year from the television broadcast rights to the NCAA basketball tournament, 50 percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe that college basketball players should receive a share of the television revenue. And 64 percent of Americans say college athletes should receive some of the revenue when their jerseys are sold or likenesses are used in video games or on merchandise.
Flight 370 Conspiracy Theories
With Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 still missing, there are no shortages of theories about what happened. Reason-Rupe finds 35 percent of Americans think a mechanical problem caused the plane to crash, 22 percent believe the pilots crashed the plane intentionally, 12 percent feel it was destroyed by terrorists, 9 percent say the plane landed safely and is in hiding, 5 percent believe the disappearance is related to supernatural or alien activity, and 3 percent think it was shot down by a foreign government.
Trusting the IRS, NSA and Facebook
The NSA topped Facebook when Americans were asked who is most likely to violate their privacy. Thirty-six percent of Americans said the NSA was most likely to violate their trust, 26 percent said Facebook, 18 percent said the IRS and 12 percent said Google.
But when it comes to whom the public would trust the most with their personal information, 35 percent said the Internal Revenue Service, 18 percent said the NSA, 10 percent said Google and just 5 percent said they trust Facebook the most with their privacy.