NECA TransmissionsNotes from the front lines of the electrical contracting industry

Public Perception Percentages

Posted on Jul 09, 2010 by John M Grau

I like to read the results of opinion polls and surveys, but I also have a love/hate attitude toward them. If the results agree with my own opinions, I think the poll is great and will use it to justify my point of view. If the poll tells me something I don't agree with, I question its methods and validity.

So I was really conflicted when I saw the results of a recent Harris Interactive survey about public attitudes toward groups that influence government policy.

The poll found that 57% of Americans believe that trade associations unduly influence government policy and politicians. (I guess they feel that’s a bad thing). Unions had the same percentage rating.

The top influence groups, according to the survey, are big business (87%), followed by banks, financial institutions, political action committees and lobbyists (all tied at 83%).

Other groups cited as having undue influence are the news media, entertainment and sports celebrities, and trial lawyers. (These would top my list).

On the other side of the equation, a whopping 93% say small businesses have too little power, and 67% say nonprofit organizations are not powerful enough.

So I started to wonder what the public would think of a lobbying, non-profit trade association of small union businesses that funds a political action committee.

I’d put it right at 50% – whether that’s too much or too little influence – you pick.


About NECA Transmissions

NECA Transmissions is a collaborative effort from CEO John Grau and NECA staff to provide insight and feedback on key issues from the front lines of the electrical contracting industry.


1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20004 United States |Phone: (202) 991-6300 |Fax: (301) 215-4500

|Contact NECA Webmaster

© Copyright NECA 1995-2011. All rights reserved