When it comes to communication and engagement, every issue has its own unique set of opportunities and obstacles.

Money in Politics

The Problem

Americans readily see why campaign finance reform is needed.  Money is a corrupting influence on the political process, resulting in policies that do not serve the common good.  However, this way of thinking about the issue leaves people hopeless about solutions, concluding that money will always find a way in. Furthermore, it leaves them even more convinced that government is controlled by powerful interests, not voters.

The Solution

Instead of framing money as the problem, our research finds that it is more engaging to frame representation as the problem, along with steps to effectively address that problem.  When they consider why “people like them” are not running for and getting elected to office, average Americans quickly conclude the barrier is money.  Only the wealthy, or friends of the wealthy, can get the money it takes to run for office, and that’s wrong.  Americans are eager to talk about possible ways of reducing the barriers for regular people, with images of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington driving their enthusiasm and improved outlook on government.