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Poll: Large majority opposes Supreme Court's decision on campaign financing

Republicans and business groups have rallied around the ruling, arguing that the decision merely levels the playing field with free-spending unions and other liberal interest groups.

Jeff Patch, communications director for the Center for Competitive Politics, which supports the court's decision, said the ruling's potential impact has been distorted by Obama and other Democratic critics.

"Campaign finance is an incredibly complex legal framework, and most Americans have an incentive to remain rationally ignorant about the laws and regulations at issue," Patch wrote in a news release.

The poll, however, suggests there may be political risks for the GOP in opposing limits that appear to be favored by the party's base.

Nearly three-quarters of self-identified conservative Republicans say they oppose the Supreme Court ruling, with most of them strongly opposed. Some two-thirds of conservative Republicans favor congressional efforts to limit corporate and union spending, though with less enthusiasm than liberal Democrats.

Indeed, the poll shows remarkably strong agreement about the ruling across all demographic groups, and big majorities of those with household incomes above and below $50,000 alike oppose the decision. Age, race and education levels also appeared to have little relative bearing on the answers.

The questions on corporate political spending were included as part of a poll conducted Feb. 4 to 8 by conventional and cellular telephone. The margin of sampling error for the for the full poll of 1,004 randomly selected adults is plus or minus three percentage points.

Polling director Jon Cohen contributed to this report.

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