Polls Show that Citizens Do Not Favor Regulating Bloggers on the Internet


 "Polls show that citizens do not favor regulating bloggers on the internet"

PRESS RELEASE: March 15, 2006

Media Contact:

Bradley A. Smith, Center for Competitive Politics (614) 236-6317

Stephen M. Hoersting, Center for Competitive Politics (703) 682-6359

Arlington, Va. – “Polls show that citizens do not favor those who support regulating bloggers or political commentary on the Internet,” said Bradley A. Smith, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and senior advisor to the Center for Competitive Politics (“CCP”). In four national opinion surveys of 500 likely voters each, conducted by Rasmussen Reports to test names for CCP on February 5, 2006, Rasmussen found that the favorability of an organization was determined in large measure by their position on regulating politics on the Internet. “No matter which name we tested—be it ‘Institute for the Deregulation of Political Speech’ (sample A), ‘Center for Competitive Politics’ (sample B), ‘Grassroots Alliance’ (sample C), or ‘Americans for Better Campaigns’ (sample D)—the response to each name increased from an average of 20.5% favorable to 59.5% favorable when they learned that the organization carrying the name ‘believed citizens should be free to write their own opinions about politics and elections on the Internet without government regulation,’” said Stephen M. Hoersting, executive director of CCP. “Correspondingly, an existing group’s unfavorable rating jumped nearly 30 points, from an average of 15% to 42.5%, when citizens were asked to assume that group favored “regulation of commentary on the Internet,” Hoersting said. “What’s remarkable is that we are finding these results among respondents who favor campaign finance reform generally. An average of 57.5% of respondents favor strict limits on how much an individual may contribute to a political campaign, and 78.25% believe the issue of campaign finance reform is very important or somewhat important in deciding how they will vote for Congress,” said Smith. “But they don’t want regulation of the Internet.”

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.