An overwhelming majority of Americans think our nation would be better off if small business had greater power and influence in Washington, a new survey suggests. Even in this election year, this is one area where Republican, Democratic and independent voters tend to agree. Only one in 10 respondents from all three political parties thinks small business has too much power and influence in the nation's capital.
Big business and special interest groups, on the other hand, continue to be too big for their boots, according to a Harris Interactive poll of more than 1,000 adults conducted in April. At least four in five respondents agreed that political action committees and big companies have too much power and influence inside the Beltway. For PACs the disapproval rate was 88 percent; for big business, 86 percent.
The rate was nearly as great regarding political lobbyists (85 percent), and banks and financial institutions (81 percent), while almost three-quarters believed the news media (73 percent) have too much influence.
Celebrities, too, may have worn out their welcome with mainstream America. Two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) said entertainment and sports celebrities have too much power and influence, while nearly as many (65 percent) said the same about television and radio talk shows. Republicans felt more strongly than Democrats on this matter; 79 percent of GOP-leaning adults said entertainment and sports celebrities have too much power, while 61 percent of Democrats said the same.
At the other end of the spectrum, 90 percent of the respondents said small business has too little power and influence in Washington, while 78 percent said the same about public opinion and 64 percent said they believe this about nonprofit organizations. Just over half of U.S. adults said racial minorities (56 percent) have too little power.
While respondents of all political persuasions were able to agree that small business was underrepresented, unanimity was harder to find elsewhere. Republicans were much more likely than Democrats to believe labor unions have too much power (79 percent vs. 35 percent). They were also more likely to think too much power is wielded by trial lawyers (75 percent vs. 49 percent), racial minorities (47 percent vs. 19 percent) and nonprofit organizations (33 percent vs. 14 percent).
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