Poll: 62% of New York Voters Want Lawmakers to Fund Public Financing Program in Budget
Support for the small donor matching program crosses party lines and regions alongside concern about wealthy donors’ influence in politics.
This morning, a new poll released by Data for Progress and Stand Up America shows that a large majority of New York voters want their lawmakers to sufficiently fund the state’s new, voluntary small donor public financing program in the budget now under negotiation. The poll was conducted from February 14 to 20, 2023, and surveyed 1,105 likely voters in New York State. The margin of error is ±3%.
Among the results:
- When asked about the current state budget negotiations, 62% of New York voters expressed support for “providing sufficient funding for the small-donor matching program so it can run as intended.” 73% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans agreed.
- 70% of New York voters want their elected officials to prioritize countering the influence of wealthy donors in politics. 74% of Democrats and 63% of Republicans agreed, as did large majorities in all 7 regions (Capital, Central, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Mid-Hudson, New York City, North Country, and Western).
- 61% of New York voters expressed their support for the small donor matching program. 69% of Democrats and 53% of Republicans agreed, as did majorities in all 7 regions
“This poll says it loud and clear: New York’s voters support the public financing program, and they want Albany to fund it adequately in this budget,” said Joanna Zdanys, Senior Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “Whether they’re upstate or downstate, Democrat or Republican, New Yorkers are concerned about the influence of the wealthiest over state politics, and they want small donor public financing to have a chance to succeed.
Zdanys continued, “Governor Hochul’s budget proposal puts $39.5 million toward the program. That’s a start but falls short of what the program will need to realize its promise.”
The voluntary program launched in November 2022, and since then, candidates have begun opting into it ahead of the 2024 legislative elections.
The small donor public financing program allows candidates who opt in to receive a match in state funds for contributions of $5 to $250 by New York residents.
The poll results are available here.
- “Commentary: Public Campaign Financing Will Make a Difference – If It’s Properly Funded,” by Ian Vandewalker (Brennan Center), Times Union, January 23, 2023.
- “Analysis Shows Amplification of Small Donors Under New NY State Public Financing Program” by Ian Vandewalker (Brennan Center), Brendan Glavin (OpenSecrets), Michael Malbin (professor emeritus, SUNY Albany), January 30, 2023.
- “Major Strides for Public Campaign Financing” by Julia Fishman (Brennan Center) and Joanna Zdanys (Brennan Center), December 9, 2022.