By: Maggie Severns
A majority of voters in this month’s special congressional election in western Pennsylvania were aware of Democrat Conor Lamb’s stance against taking money from special interests, according to a new poll commissioned by End Citizens United, and almost a fifth of Lamb voters cited his position on special interest money as the reason for their vote.
The poll, conducted by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, indicates money in politics may have been a key issue for Lamb in his razor-thin victory over Republican Rick Saccone. Among those polled who said they voted for Lamb, the fact that Lamb “refused corporate special interest money” was the second most-likely reason cited for voting for Lamb, though a distant second to 43 percent who said Lamb would defend Social Security and Medicare.
Lamb did not accept corporate PAC money during his race. He used fighting special interests as part of his campaign message and lambasted “dark money spending” in campaign ads.
End Citizens United, a PAC that aims to get money out of politics, has been shopping its message to Democrats running for office, making the argument that its message can help Democrats appeal to voters looking for reform-minded candidates — and deflect attacks that they are a party of “Washington insiders.”
“By rejecting corporate PAC money, Lamb broke through voter skepticism about who he was going to work for once elected and countered Republican attacks. It proved to voters early on that he’s running to work for Pennsylvania families and not mega-donors,” ECU President Tiffany Muller said in a statement.
PPP conducted the poll of 539 voters in the since-altered 18th District from March 26-27. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.