Money in Politics Is….Top Concern of Democrats. Republicans Continue Not to Care.

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I went out for my morning walk today—two-thirds of a mile, woo hoo!—and needed to take a ten-minute break when I got home. So I’m listening to Andrea Mitchell tell me the stunning news that in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, a full 33% of Americans say that money in politics is their top concern about the upcoming presidential election. Specifically, 33% chose as their top concern, “Wealthy individuals and corporations will have too much influence over who wins.”

Is that higher than usual? I suppose, though it hardly seems like the makings of a revolution. That’s especially true when you see the partisan breakdown:

Democrats were most likely to cite the influence of corporations and wealthy individuals as the top concern, with roughly half of self-described liberals and Democratic primary voters ranking it as their primary anxiety as the 2016 White House race gears up. Only 21% of core Republican voters said it was their top concern.

So….Democrats are upset about money in politics as usual. Republicans don’t really care much, as usual. I hope nobody minds too much if I find this a bit of a yawn.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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