April 24th, 2008
03:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Rising number of voters find campaign too negative, dull

For many voters, it feels like the never-ending campaign.
For many voters, it feels like the never-ending campaign.

(CNN) - Longtime political observers are running out of adjectives to describe this year’s presidential race: Record-breaking. Historic. Epic.

But with the campaign firmly settled into a seemingly-endless three-way slugfest, it may come as little surprise that voters in a new Pew Research Center survey had a few other words in mind.

Roughly two-thirds of those polled say it’s been “too long.” Half of them say it’s become “too negative.” And the candidates aren’t the only ones fighting campaign fatigue: more than a third now say the closest race in a generation is just “too dull."

Blame the post-Super Tuesday grind. Two months ago, just 28 percent of voters in the same survey said the race was too negative, and one in four said it was too dull. In the February poll, 57 percent told pollsters that the race was too long – oddly enough, fewer than the 66 percent who had given the same response four months earlier in the cycle.

The still-unresolved contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton seems to be making for a shell-shocked party: two months ago, roughly one in five Democrats thought the campaign was too negative. Now that number has risen to 50 percent.


Filed under: Polls
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Wayne

    The poll is right. If somehow, IN and NC give Obama wins in both states we can end the Dem nightmare and focus our sights on McCain.

    Two respectable men debating about who is best for the future of this country.

    April 24, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Sharon

    Hillary is the one who is always making negative remarks and lying. Obama is just defending himself from her attacks.

    I could not and will not ever vote for Hillary after the way she has lied to the American people and for her negativity.

    April 24, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Stacy Clarks, TX

    so someone please tell hillary to DROP OUT!!!!

    April 24, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Grif

    Most of the Comment's on these's Blog's (Inc mine). Sometimes. Are Negative. They call it "Being Interactive"... How much really has anything to do, with this Election. Blowing Off Steam!! is OK with me.

    April 24, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Ethelbert

    The ill wind began with Hillary. What in the world is Clinton smoking. I respect her person but her lust for the Whitehouse has turned her into a rattle bulldog. She is always vomiting negative words against her opponent. She is busy seeking for dirty news.
    I would think that in a country of more than 350million Americans, we would have someone other than the Clintons smart enough to lead the country. We have had enough of you and Bill. You guys should just work on strengthening your marriage as oppose to seeking for eternal life in the Whitehouse.
    If you succeed this time, Chelsea will come out 10 years later and tell Americans that she is experienced and thus wants to be the next American President. Give me a break.

    April 24, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. SLO Bear

    The negativity is largely due to Clinton; she forces him to respond to her attacks, then mocks him for not being strong, when really he has the good of the party and country in mind. Courage, superdelegates, courage.

    April 24, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. nader

    THIS RACE IS TURNING ME OFF FROM DEMOCRATES. STUPID PHILLY DIDN'T FINISHED THE JOB. I THINK IT IS UP TO INDIANA TO FINISHED. I HOPE THEY MAKE RIGHT DECISION.

    April 24, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Ethelbert

    The ill wind started with Hillary. She was not taught how to go before equity with clean hands. What in the world is Clinton smoking. I respect her person but her lust for the Whitehouse has turned her into a rattle bulldog. She is always vomiting negative words against her opponent. She is busy seeking for dirty news.
    I would think that in a country of more than 350million Americans, we would have someone other than the Clintons smart enough to lead the country. We have had enough of you and Bill. You guys should just work on strengthening your marriage as oppose to seeking for eternal life in the Whitehouse.
    If you succeed this time, Chelsea will come out 10 years later and tell Americans that she is experienced and thus wants to be the next American President. Give me a break.

    April 24, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Venus

    I agree – that's why Hillary needs to pack it up and take Bill!

    This race was over before Ohio and Texas – at that time Obama had won 10-states and Hillary had = 0!

    Do people think that Hillary would have asked Obama to step to the side? – Well – with her being Rocky I am sure she would have punched his lights out!

    So now – here we are – Obama is the winner and Hillary stills wants to tear down the party – I guess she will use her sniper gun if Obama wins!
    Go Obama – the next President of USA!

    April 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. The new flavor

    It just goes on and on and it won't end. Can we PLEASE go to the 2nd base.

    April 24, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. Cynthia

    It is definitely too negative thanks to the Clinton camp. What both of the candidates need to do is speak to the issues and vent their negative campaigning on John McCain who is traveling around the country trying to steal Democratic votes.

    April 24, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Sure

    We should just have a national primary day! That way, ALL states play an equal role.

    April 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. M.S. Indiana

    All the negative talk is boring, there are to many issues there need to be dealt with...
    And lets not forget there is a McCain to be dealt with to too, no need to throw free stuff out in the air for him to use later...
    Lets uplift America and the people, instead of insulting each other.... Remember it is USA !!

    April 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  14. pa

    than vote for obama and end it

    April 24, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  15. Mike in California

    Yes of course this campaign is too long and too vicious. Maybe the person with the fewest committed delegates should bow down for the betterment of the party.
    Opps, I guess she thinks she is winning the popular vote. First is is Clintonian politics where the truth is negotiable and now it is Clintonian mathmatics where the numbers lie.

    Please, Hillary supporters- convince her she is hurting the Democrats on the whole.

    If she wins I doubt I will vote.

    April 24, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. Ben

    How can Hillary say she won in the states that count? That must make the voters in the states she lost happy to know their votes didn't count. She constantly says she wants all voters to express their rights to have their votes counted. If they don't vote for her, then the super delegates should also say those same votes don't count. I don't like hate blogs, and maybe this sounds like one, but I don't hate her, but I am truly dissapointed in her.

    April 24, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. Tom

    Well, my comment sort of has to do with this – although how anyone could find this boring is beyond me and I think a lot of folks are calling negative what candidates are simply pointing out as realistic differences – I haven't had a problem with it. The question I have is why the newspeople, pundits, analysts, whatever you want to call them are analyzing why 75% of white people voted for Hillary in Pennsylvania and wondering about "people who won't vote for a black man" when 90% of blacks voted for Obama. If we're going to ask the question one way, shouldn't we ask it the other??? How many of that 90% are voting for Obama because "people won't vote for a white woman"?

    April 24, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. 100 Million Dollar Man

    Try mean-spirited, tacky, and racist. Any time you bring back ads from the 80's you're desperate. John McCain "request" does not hold much water, he loves the fact that the GOP is trying to swift-boating Obama.

    It won't work, and neither will his awkward attempts to be a "man of the people", with his 100 million dollar trophy wife.

    April 24, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Annamica, OH

    Its amazing that for the first time in history the primaries are playing itself out as it should, with every state getting a voice, yet for some it's dull. What hypocrisy. Let everyone have a voice!

    April 24, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Bridgette- PA

    If the superdelegates would get behind Barack, we would finish this thing. Although they are starting to now, it's not fast enough. Hopefully, after Barak takes Indiana and NC, they will flock to him much faster. Then, we will all come together and stand behind him!

    Barack-08!

    April 24, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Bayou Joe

    Dull,,, No way, This is the most exciting race since McGovern vs. Nixon. And it's going to get better. The country is energized, the youth ar foaming at the mouth, the old time politiicians are drooling.
    about the new kid on the block. The old folks can't wait to get at Obama. This is good.

    Hell, give us more, We want Hillary and Obama to get down and dirty.
    The presidency is not for wimps. Let's see what they are made from.
    That is why I can't wait till Denver and then the main event.
    Which I predict will be Obama vs. McCain.

    I would pay admission to see that debate. Put it on pay per view and we can payoff the national debt.

    April 24, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. milli vanilli

    I don't find the campaign dull on the Obama side of things, I find the campaign very Interesting and very intelligent from the Obama campaigns side. I believe that the only thing that is dull is the fact that hilly clinton is still in the race. She is a 109 million dollar millionaire, and a poor lier, a divider, a racial hatred monger, and the leader of the uneducated white people in pennsylvania, and ohio.

    I mean no harm by that accusation, but the sad truth is that most of hilly clintons followers are bitter, and obviously very uneducated under $50,000 a year in salery, older white women, and skin-heads because why in the hell would they vote for someone like hilly, when she has no snowball's chance in hell of winning this thing. hilly's supporters sent obama a message for calling them bitter, so I would quess the truth hurts.

    I also find the campaign of hilly clinton very dull, very negative, and her campaign is very petty. I think there will be renewed interest once she is forced out at the very end, when she relize that florida and michigan's votes will not count.

    April 24, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. At this point.....

    I would like to say Thank You to Senator Clinton for dragging down the party and causing 50% of the people to feel this campaign has gone too negative. I hope you and your supporters are proud!

    When it is clear to everyone including Hillary and her camp that she will have won fewer states and fewer delegates, they continue to run & spread negativity hoping the superdelegates will come to her rescue. If she was really concerned about the party and the American people, she would gracefully bow out.... but instead she wants to be Huckabee #2.

    The latest issue now coming from Hillary's camp is that she ahead in the popular vote if you count MI & FL. To make things more suitable for them, they will say and do anything. Everyone knows MI & FL violated the rules and don't count. Any measure to have an edge is what the Hillary camp is attempting to do. EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW THE POPULAR VOTE IS NOT THE KEY INDICATOR... JUST ASK AL GORE!

    April 24, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. Dean Needs To Borrow A Spine

    Get used to it, until Dean grows a spine the divisiveness will continue. He let the Clintons run all over him, and hence mince-meat politics, as usual.

    It doesn't matter how long the campaign goes, Hillary was a liar when she started, and she will be a liar when this is over. I'm so glad she won't be a liar in my White House.

    Obama 08 & 12

    April 24, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Texican

    Come on CYNTHIA, Mccain is not stealing your precious few votes. He is being presidential and gentlemanly. Maybe Obama would benefit from seeing McCain run a decent campaign.

    We know who is going to win. So you might as well start crying now.

    McCain is the man.

    April 24, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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