This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

Q: What is the overall effect of the rise of super PACs on the presidential-election process?

Volunteers for the Ready for Hillary Clinton for President 2016 super PAC canvas people waiting in line to see Clinton discuss her book, Hard Choices: A Memoir, at the Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University on June 13, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)DEMOCRATS (78 VOTES)

Positive: 1%Negative: 91%Neutral: 8%

Negative

"It is making running for president obscene and undignified."

"The loss of transparency is a threat to democracy. Period."

"Just look at the 2012 election. Karl Rove's indie groups spent millions upon millions of dollars on ads, and just about every candidate who the ads were supposed to help lost. ... The biggest impact that the ads have on the election is to decrease turnout."

"The Supreme Court has put the U.S. on a path to becoming an oligarchy—rule by the rich and powerful. Sad."

"Campaigns lose the ability to maintain their own destiny with the overpowering impact—on both sides of the political spectrum—of super PACs."

"As the candidate's share of voice declines in favor of outside groups, it is good for no one involved."

Neutral

"Super PACs can't rescue bad candidates or destroy good ones."

"In national elections, people generally vote their partisan preference. You can only move people at the margins."

Q: What is the overall effect of the rise of super PACs on the presidential-election process?

REPUBLICANS (82 VOTES)

Positive: 32%Negative: 51%Neutral: 17%

Positive

"Much more efficient, and the ability to have a well-funded super PAC with a quality staff is a proxy for the quality of the candidate. Usually."

"More dialogue is always preferable than less."

"Presidential super PACs will make the Republican primary much more competitive, enabling less-established candidates to amass sufficient resources to get their messages out. If you believe that competition is as helpful in politics as it is in business, super PACs are a force for good."

"Anything that undermines McCain-Feingold is good for the process."

Negative

"Campaigns should be in charge of their own destinies, but PACs are taking over."

"Skews the debate to issues that the super rich fixate on."

"This is the unintended consequence of McCain-Feingold and the beginning of the end of the two-party system in America."

"The two parties, the great moderating force in American politics, now neutered."

"Distorts how actual popular support can manifest itself by weeding out candidates too soon (see e.g., Pawlenty 2011)."

Neutral

"Super PACs level the playing field that used to be controlled by union funds and workers."

"The real change this year is that the super PACs will be controlled by people close to the candidate—sharing a vision and strategy. The Rove"Š/"ŠCrossroads effort of 2012 is the horrible warning [of] what not to do."

"Everyone is playing to a draw."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders  Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders  Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud

Q: What is the overall effect of the rise of super PACs on the presidential-election process?

Volunteers for the Ready for Hillary Clinton for President 2016 super PAC canvas people waiting in line to see Clinton discuss her book, Hard Choices: A Memoir, at the Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University on June 13, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)DEMOCRATS (78 VOTES)

Positive: 1%Negative: 91%Neutral: 8%

Negative

"It is making running for president obscene and undignified."

"The loss of transparency is a threat to democracy. Period."

"Just look at the 2012 election. Karl Rove's indie groups spent millions upon millions of dollars on ads, and just about every candidate who the ads were supposed to help lost. ... The biggest impact that the ads have on the election is to decrease turnout."

"The Supreme Court has put the U.S. on a path to becoming an oligarchy—rule by the rich and powerful. Sad."

"Campaigns lose the ability to maintain their own destiny with the overpowering impact—on both sides of the political spectrum—of super PACs."

"As the candidate's share of voice declines in favor of outside groups, it is good for no one involved."

Neutral

"Super PACs can't rescue bad candidates or destroy good ones."

"In national elections, people generally vote their partisan preference. You can only move people at the margins."

Q: What is the overall effect of the rise of super PACs on the presidential-election process?

REPUBLICANS (82 VOTES)

Positive: 32%Negative: 51%Neutral: 17%

Positive

"Much more efficient, and the ability to have a well-funded super PAC with a quality staff is a proxy for the quality of the candidate. Usually."

"More dialogue is always preferable than less."

"Presidential super PACs will make the Republican primary much more competitive, enabling less-established candidates to amass sufficient resources to get their messages out. If you believe that competition is as helpful in politics as it is in business, super PACs are a force for good."

"Anything that undermines McCain-Feingold is good for the process."

Negative

"Campaigns should be in charge of their own destinies, but PACs are taking over."

"Skews the debate to issues that the super rich fixate on."

"This is the unintended consequence of McCain-Feingold and the beginning of the end of the two-party system in America."

"The two parties, the great moderating force in American politics, now neutered."

"Distorts how actual popular support can manifest itself by weeding out candidates too soon (see e.g., Pawlenty 2011)."

Neutral

"Super PACs level the playing field that used to be controlled by union funds and workers."

"The real change this year is that the super PACs will be controlled by people close to the candidate—sharing a vision and strategy. The Rove"Š/"ŠCrossroads effort of 2012 is the horrible warning [of] what not to do."

"Everyone is playing to a draw."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders  Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders  Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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