As Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump prepare for their town-hall style debate at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri on Sunday, it is important to remember they agree on one thing: special interests are stifling our democracy.
The outsize influence of money in politics is something voters feel acutely. Daily stories of pay-to-play politics abound—from EpiPen price hikes, the revolving door of state insurance commissioners and even the food landing on our plates.
“During the presidential primaries, this was one of the top issues that defined candidates from both parties. But we’re one month to Election Day, with just two debates remaining, and this topic is nowhere to be found,” said Meredith McGehee, Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy at Issue One. “In the second presidential debate candidates must make the case to voters that they will renew faith in our democracy through reducing the power money holds over our elected leaders.”
In our Issue One-Ipsos poll, Americans said fixing our campaign finance system is a top five voting issue ahead of November. A handful of other polls revealed similar attitudes among those surveyed. A majority of respondents also believe their elected officials listen more to deep-pocketed donors than regular voters.
Both candidates failed in the first debate to propose concrete solutions to make voters’ voices matter more than campaign donations to politicians.
That needs to change on Sunday.