Even partisans agree: 2012 campaign is just too
Gary Pinnell | Highlands TodaySEBRING - If Art Subklew could describe the 2012 election in a word, it would be exhausting.
Published: July 11, 2012
Published: July 11, 2012
Republicans and Democrats find little to agree on these days, but they react similarly to the 2012 presidential campaign. Nearly identical percentages of Republicans and Democrats say the election will be too tiring and annoying.
But on the positive side, there also is widespread agreement that the campaign will be informative and thrilling.
A June survey of 2,013 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found just 49 percent expect the election to be entertaining. Fifty-nine percent of Dems say the election will be exciting, compared with 51 percent of Republicans and just 41 percent of independents.
Sally Strickland's word is frustrating.
"People don't get it," said Strickland, who isn't an Obama supporter. If she could magically change something about this election, she'd force the candidates to tell the truth.
Eighty-five percent of Republicans and 83 percent Democrats say the campaign is important, as do 77 percent of independents. Not Crystal Serrano, who buys gold at Lakeshore Mall.
The Avon Park woman is apathetic. "I'm not a very political person. I'm trying to get into it. But my one vote doesn't really count for anything. I wish it could."
Monica Celebrano of Sebring is just annoyed. "It's not for me, it's really not."
The public has long expressed the view that presidential campaigns are too long. In surveys conducted over the past three campaigns, asked at different stages in race, no fewer than 50 percent have said campaigns were too long.
If Serrano could, she'd make the election shorter. "Instead of spending so much money. Go on more important things."
Fifty-three percent of Republicans, Democrats and independents say the election has already been too negative.
Louis Peters of Sebring, who was handing out Christian brochures in the mall, agrees. He perceives that President Obama has flip-flopped on several issues, but he doesn't like Romney's business or Mormon background.
Notably, more Republicans than Democrats told Pew in June that the election was dull. Republicans were more likely to view the election as exciting in late March, before Mitt Romney effectively wrapped up the GOP nomination.
By contrast, only 36 percent of Democrats found the campaign interesting in March; 45 percent say it is interesting now that the general election is getting underway.
Even so, Pew found GOP voters are more engaged than Democrats in the 2012 campaign. More Republicans say they are giving a lot of thought to the election and more say it really matters who wins.
The political audiences in 2004 and 2012 were less interested. In both years, 79 percent found the presidential election to be important; in 2008, the number was 90 percent. Those numbers start lower and rise 4 to 5 percent as November draws near.
Forty-three percent of registered voters say Mitt Romney has been too personally critical of Barack Obama; 49 percent say he has not. Thirty percent say Obama has been too critical of Romney; 61 percent disagree.
Perceptions today are similar to the last time an incumbent was running for reelection. In June 2004, 44 percent of voters said John Kerry was too personally critical of George W. Bush; 33 percent said Bush was being too critical of Kerry, similar to the 30 percent that say that about Obama today.
With four months to go until Election Day, 64 percent of voters have already seen or heard commercials about Romney and Obama. But just 16 percent have seen a lot of campaign ads at this early point in the race.
Voters in the closely contested battleground states are more likely than those in relatively safe Republican or Democratic states to have seen presidential campaign ads. Still, only 24 percent of the voters in those states have seen a lot of ads, compared with 12 percent of voters in Republican and Democratic states.
Subklew hasn't been fired up for a politician since Ronald Reagan, who won in 1980 and 1984. "I wouldn't want to work for either candidate this time," he said.
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