Poll: Voters Most Concerned with Wealthy’s Grip on 2016 Election

Americans are more concerned about the influence of money in politics than any other issue in the 2016 presidential election, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

Asked to rank their top concerns about the upcoming presidential election, one-third of Americans polled said that the power held by companies and wealthy individuals over the outcome of the race is more alarming than any of the other five issues tested.

Democrats were most likely to list campaign finance as the top concern, with roughly half of self-described liberal primary voters ranking it as the most pressing matter at this stage in the race. Independent voters listed the influence of moneyed interests as the primary concern as well.

Republican voters, however, expressed more concern about the tone of the campaign, with most (37%) saying that they worry  about negative advertisements and smear campaigns taking prominence over substantive policy debate.

What Democrats, Republicans, and independents all seem to agree on is that nothing will change in Washington regardless of who replaces President Barack Obama in 2017, with 16% of voters surveyed expressing that issue.

The other issues surveyed included:

  • Candidates being too wealthy to understand the economic hardship faced by average Americans (12% listed this as a top concern); and
  • Three candidates (Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republicans Jeb Bush and Rand Paul) having family members who have pursued the presidency (4%).

The poll surveyed 1,000 adults and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 points.