WASHINGTON - Americans of both parties overwhelmingly oppose a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and unions to spend as much as they want on political campaigns, and most favor new limits on such spending, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday.
Eight in 10 poll respondents say they oppose the high court's Jan. 21 decision to allow unfettered corporate political spending, with 65 percent "strongly" opposed. Nearly as many backed congressional action to curb the ruling, with 72 percent in favor of reinstating limits.
The results suggest a strong reservoir of bipartisan support on the issue for President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, who are in the midst of crafting legislation aimed at limiting the impact of the high court's decision.
"If there's one thing that Americans from the left, right and center can all agree on, it's that they don't want more special interests in our politics," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is spearheading the legislative effort, said after the poll was released.
Under legislation being drafted by Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), companies with foreign ownership or federal contracting ties would be limited in their ability to spend corporate money on elections.
The lawmakers also want to require companies to inform shareholders about political spending; to mandate special "political activities" accounts for corporations, unions and advocacy groups; and to require that corporate executives appear in political advertising funded by their companies.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other Republican lawmakers have praised the court's 5-4 ruling as a victory for free speech, however, and have signaled their intent to oppose any legislation intended to blunt the impact of the court's decision.
Polling director Jon Cohen contributed to this story.