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. mr stlouis

    im tired of lou dobbs the rest of the media and fox news, lou cant get over that obama has figured him out bias

    April 24, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. fran

    If you think its negative now, wait until November. That's the problem with the democratic party. They want to hold hands and sing songs, and "why can't we all just get along", while the republicans go for the dirt and then when it's all said and done, yet another republican is in the whitehouse. We need to grow some back bone and stop being wimps. So it gets a little rough, so what! We need to know everything about whom ever lives in the whitehouse, good and bad and we need to get tough come November and stop being wimps.

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

    Don't Blame Hillary Clinton? She won't run again, for Office in Government. I believe She' is, Oh so much more Smarter than That.
    No! Her Priority to me is. "Women and Kid's". She'll find a Nitch Somewhere... This is Only an Opinion.....

    April 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Never Nobama!

    Hillary is the best candidate!! Go, Hillary!! Never mind all this negativity from the Obama camp!

    April 24, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. Tony B B.C. MI

    simply put......, six of one............., and six of the other......anyway you look at it is always going to be a dozen.........Democratic eggs in the basket..... COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obama and Hillary...... let's pull this thing together???????????????????

    April 24, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. Jean

    Turn off the pudits, let's get back to the issues and close it down.

    April 24, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Billary Rubbish

    Hillary is running for 2012, so why should she care. If she can't be the president, let the GOP win. She's going to trash the DNC, and her opponent. Just as her husband anything they touch turns to dog squattle. The Clintons did not want to help Al Gore or John Kerry. They just wanted to sit back and wait for their turn to pounce on the American people. Vultures, both of them.

    We can really celebrate Earth Day by kicking both of them to the curb, they're rubbish anyway.

    April 24, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  8. Ellie

    The nastiness and negativity began with the Clintons. Shame on them but shame on those who say they dislike the negativity but still vote for her. I would like to hear form a blue collar worker as to why they cast their respectful vote to her? She has labled herself as the great, local hunter gal from Scranton, but when was the last time she helped Scranton or for that matter-PA. Those blue collar jobs that belong in the US have been sent overseas. Why, because a Clinton wanted NAFTA . What makes you think Clinton is goign to bring back your jobs??? That will never happen and she is far from the local, small time hunter girl she lied to be. And to think that so many of her suppoters would not vote for Obama if she loose-that is completely amazing to me that they would switch their vote like that. Talk abt bringing down the democartic party !

    April 24, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. sacto joe

    You know, Senator Clinton could have gone a different direction than the "take no prisoners" approach, and IMHO would have scored more points as a result. But a while back someone made a calculated decision that they'd already gone somewhat negative, so "in for a penny, in for a pound", and basically went after Senator Obama as if he were a right wing Republican.

    Shame on you, Senator Clinton!

    April 24, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. wiser

    Senator Obama his campaign have called Hillary Clinton calculating, polarizing, divisive, dishonest, secretive, disingenuous and untrustworthy.

    Senator Obama is not only negative, he is dishonest too!

    America wants a president who will make a difference and that president is Hillary Clinton.

    HILLARY 08

    April 24, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. gary

    YOU CLINTON HATERS AND O.B. SUPPORTERS MAKE ME SICK. ALL YOU ARE IS HATE JUST LIKE YOUR CANIDATE. GROW UP AND GET A LIFE. OR IS HATING ,DIVISION ,BIAS AND RACIST YOUR LIFE. I FEEL SORRY FOR THIS COUNTRY IF YOU YOUNG PEOPLE ARE OUR FUTURE. GOD HELP US ALL.

    April 24, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. California Girl

    Obama needs drop out!!!
    It's because of Obama's greediness to become President at an inexperienced time of his career that this mess has developed; not to mention the new negative baggage that has surfaced. Obama will be a puppet being run by the Old Guard, just like President Bush!

    April 24, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. gary

    OBAMA STARTED ALL THESE NEGATIVES FROM THE BEGINING. HE STARTED WITH NAFTA, IRAQ, NEG. O.B. GIRL ADDS AND NEG. PAMPLETS AGAINST HRC. HRC FIGHTS BACK AND THE HATERS TURN ON HER LIKE O.B. PLAYS THE RACE CARD. O.B. KEEPS PUTTING OFF DEBATES WITH HRC. IF HE CANT TAKE THE QUESTIONS AND CHALLENGE OF A DEBATE ,HE SHOULDN'T BE RUNNING FOR OUR PRESIDENT. HE CANT TAKE IT WHEN SOMETHING IS THROWN BACK AT HIM. HRC HAS TOOKEN HIS SUPPORTERS HATEFULL ACTS, THE MEDIA AND THERE BIAS, O.B. 'S NEG. SHOTS AND STILL STANDS TALL AND KEEPS ON FIGHTING. THATS THE KIND OF CANIDATE WE NEED FOR OUR PRESIDENT. HRC HASN'T GOT TO PROVE WHAT SHE HAS DONE FOR OUR COUNTRY. SHE HAS BEEN THERE TIME AFTER TIME FOR US. SOMEBODY SHOULD FIND OUT WHAT O.B. HAS DONE. (NOTHING) AMERICA SHOULD WAKE UP BEFORE WE HAVE NO COUNTRY TO WORRY ABOUT. GO HRC.

    April 24, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. Yves larochelle

    I hope, I really hope that Obama ultimately makes it. The history will then retain a very hideous image of the Clinton, the image of latent racists and sour losers!

    April 24, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. Denton in MD

    Let's face it, folks, Hillary is our Huckabee. This'll last too long, the damage will be too great, and the election of John McCain will be over so fast our heads will be spinning. We're ripping ourselves apart and dividing the party just to prove we are the best to unite the USA. Kinda stupid.

    April 24, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. FPJV

    There is no problem in getting all the data in.
    1) It takes time. We need to know who Sen Obama is and it takes time for the facts to become clear.
    2) much of the problem starts with the incredible silly system used by the democrats to elect a candidate. Winner take all system may be the answer, look at the Republicans...
    3)primaries are spread over the long time and the least we can do is to wait until the primaries are over.
    4) Caucuses are another unfair and undemocratic fact. Caucus votes count for more than 8 votes for each thousand votes (for example Obama gets 320 delegates with about 390,000 caucus votes while Clinton (and Obama) only get 1 delegate for each thousand votes. This data is taken from the totals in all states from CNN website.

    This is the reason it will be difficult if not impossible for Obama to win the general election, his "wins" in caucuses" do not represent the real support. For example, Clinton won the Texas primary but the Texas caucuses reversed the results by granting Obama more delegates than Clinton. This is the result of "activists" dominating the caucuses. The sentence "smoked filled" caucus room comes to mind.

    April 24, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. anonymous

    I am surprised to hear you say that Obama never attacks Hillary. Right after her victory in PA on Tuesday his campaign said: "Sen. Clinton won, but she just lost her last chance to catch up with Sen. Obama. He is the nominnee." I think that you're way ahead of the game. His percentage of people who expect him to become the nominnee has been dropping since his loss on Tuesday. It was 62% about 1.5 weeks ago 58% on Tuesday and 54% today. So, what do you think about that? Get over the fact that your sweetheart will not win. McCain is starting ads against his past already. It's a good snap shot of what will happen to him in the fall. Obama=McCain '08

    Sorry, but it's a fact.

    April 24, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Voter4 Change

    Senator Hillary Clinton broke HER verbal contract with the DNC. She DELIVERED her true untrustworthy old dirty politics By BREAKING her verbal contract because Obama won Iowa and HILLARY caused the MOST HOSTILE CHAIN OF EVENTS TO FORCE VOTERS FOR CHANGE to be excluded

    April 24, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. April in Texas

    If Hillary would realize she is asking the DNC to go against the delegate count and such which is destroying the party, she would be wise to drop out. She is prolonging any chance to unite the party before the general election.. I can see the math so why cant a educated person also see it?

    Obama 08

    April 24, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Cheryl

    This story is right on the mark - this race has gotten stupid, boring, redundant, and any other word that stands for "way to long". I haven't watched the last two debates, didn't watch any of the post Penn. state analysis and really can't stomach another story about Clinton or Obama. The media has shoved this down our throats for so long, with over analysis, stupid comments, and taking sides depending on the candidate. What is worse, there are no fresh approaches to covering this story. The press coverage is all the same - old white people like Clinton, young people and african americans like Obama, both candidates kind of split white men, there are still superdelegates on the fence, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!!!!

    The end of this primary can't come soon enough!!!

    OBAMA 08

    April 24, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. Kevin-Seattle

    Voters in Indiana and North Carolina please put an end to this.....Make Obama the winner, lets get ready for a tough fight but successful general election in November! Go Obama!

    April 24, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. andrea, Illinois

    Yes, I am really getting tired of this too. I think, we can all say THANK YOU HILLARY for making it so negative and bitter tasting! She will ruin i for Obama and most importantly for the Dems!

    I don't get why the party is not putting an end to this by pressuring Hillary a bit more to get out of the race! Another way might be for the Superdelegates to put their foot down and give Obama the well deserved nomination!!

    April 24, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Confused

    Just get ready my the best person win!!! But I have to say Obama is playing the American people he is not who he says he is. He shares Wrights views and so does his wife. I sorry white people, but Obama is using you. He tells white people what they want to hear depending on which group he speaking to you get different speeches. You dumb white people are eating his cramp all up that is why he thinks he is a good politian this is why he feels he can say whatever because the white folks that support him will make excuses for him. White PEOPLE OPEN YOUR EYES!!!! You are be pimped out played to the bone. With Obama as the Dem nominee McCain is for sure to win. I hope the Dem Party get it right otherwise kiss the White House good bye maybe next time for the Dem Party.

    April 24, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  24. Chris in Va.

    I liken the Democratic campaign as a group of trailer trash red-necks (Clintons, all of them, and her henchmen, i.e. Carville) attacking a responsible citizen. Senator Obama needs to ignore this vile woman who has nothing to offer but slander and inuendo, and concentrate on the upcoming election in November. Quite frankly, the filth coming out of the Clinton slime machine is beneath contempt. Let your surrogates deal with the day-to-day Clinton gutter politics.

    April 24, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Bubba

    I say they should draw straws. Short one wins the nomination....

    April 24, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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