Common Cause Launches Campaign to Get Presidential Candidate on the Record About Democracy Reforms

17-question survey has already drawn responses  from Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Booker, Williamson, and Bullock 

Today, Common Cause is launching a new effort to ensure voters’ right to know where presidential candidates stand on practical solutions to the challenges facing our democracy. The Our Democracy 2020 campaign will focus getting every presidential candidate in the Democratic and Republican primaries to respond to a 17-question survey and inject the high priority conversation on the need for democracy reform in the presidential campaign. 

“The 2020 presidential election must focus on how we can change our political system so every person has a voice and is truly represented in government,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “The ‘Our Democracy 2020’ campaign is an important grassroots effort to ensure voters know where candidates stand. Every issue that matters to Americans from the pocket book to the polling booth hinges on common sense reforms outlined in this survey. From guaranteeing a right to basic healthcare to ensuring living wages to solving the climate crisis, the imbalance in our democratic system and the power of wealthy special interests is in the way of making real progress on these important issues and Americans need to know how presidential candidates plan to fix it.” 

Leading up to the formal launch of the campaign, Common Cause reached out to every presidential candidate urging them to respond to the questionnaire. So far, Bernie SandersElizabeth WarrenPete ButtigiegCory BookerMarianne Williamson, and Steve Bullock have already responded, and more candidates are expected to respond to soon 

The Our Democracy 2020 survey is broken up into three sections:  

  • Questions on candidate’s conduct during the campaigns, including pledging to focus on fueling their campaign with small-dollar donors, releasing ten years of tax returns, and publicly disclosing the campaign’s bundlers. 
  • Questions on where candidates stand on specific policy reforms and legislation, including passing the For the People Act, restoring the Voting Rights Act, ending the Senate’s filibuster, and ensuring full voting representation to Washington, DC. 
  • Questions on what the candidate will do in their first year as president, including signing executive orders on money in politics disclosure and ethics in government and making appointments to the executive agencies and the Department of Justice that are committed to protecting our democracy.  

Common Cause’s 2018 congressional questionnaire helped elevate democracy as a priority issue for candidates by asking where they stood on a series of solutions, which ultimately led to the U.S. House of Representatives passing the For the People Act (H.R. 1) that deals with ethics in government, voting rights, money in politics, and gerrymandering. The 2020 presidential questionnaire aims to have a similar result in prioritizing democracy reform as key issue in the campaign to result in reform legislation being passed and signed into law in 2021.  

The 2020 Our Democracy survey and campaign can be found at