Today’s Under the Dome reports on poll results allegedly showing public support for taxpayer funds being used for political campaigns. The poll was commissioned by the left-wing group NC Center for Voter Education – the poll results are available here. Here is the full poll question and results:
Q1. North Carolina judges are elected. Current state law gives statewide candidates for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals the option of accepting public campaign funding, if they agree to spending limits and refuse money from political action committees and special interest groups. The law also makes elections for judges nonpartisan, which means there is no party affiliation listed on the ballot next to the candidates’ names, and provides nonpartisan voter guides which explain the candidates’ qualifications. In general, do you strongly support this state law on judicial elections? Somewhat support it? Somewhat oppose it? Or strongly oppose it?
TOTAL SUPPORT: 68 percent TOTAL OPPOSE: 23 percent
Strongly Support: 30 percent Somewhat Support: 38 percent Somewhat Oppose: 15 percent Strongly Oppose: 8 percent Not Sure: 9 percent
Quite a lengthy question. But one phrase is lacking from that 100-word question: taxpayer funds. Nowhere does it directly admit that taxpayer dollars are used to finance political campaigns. Instead, they use the much more nondescript phrase “public campaign funding,” something that likely doesn’t register with the respondent.
If only there was a poll question directly asking respondents how they felt about their taxpayer dollars being used to finance political campaigns. Oh, wait.
Civitas did exactly that, and released the results to the media, which of course they ignored. Click here to see a copy of the press release. Here is the text of the question along with the results:
Do you support or oppose a program that uses state taxpayer dollars to help pay for the political campaigns of judicial Council of State and other statewide candidates?
21% Total Support 70% Total Oppose
8% Strongly Support 13% Somewhat Support 17% Somewhat Oppose 53% Strongly Oppose 8% Undecided/Don’t Know
When respondents clearly understand that these public campaign finance schemes are supported by their tax dollars, their attitudes make a 180 and they soundly oppose it.