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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/03/04/columbus.jpg caption="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. Uncle Sam

    The irony of this election year, given the historic candidacies involved, is that it turns out to be the old white guy who brings real change to our government and to our country.

    Americans for McCain '08

    April 24, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. JF Las Vegas

    The whole entire campaigning has taken a negative approach and none of the candidates are really focusing on the issues. Questions the voters have are being skirted by the candidates and not being answered to the fullest. The more Clinton loses, the most negative she becomes and she have tried, as many of you already know, to change the rules as she goes along. If something does not suit her, then she wants to change it. There should be NO changing of the rules by the DNC – what is done is done. If Clinton can't stand the heat maybe it's high time she gets out of the kitchen and take her burnt cookies with her.

    I have talked to quite a few people standing in checkout lines at the grocery stores, fast-food places and friends in general, and the majority of them have said that if Clinton wins the nomination, they will switch to McCain. You better believe it, I will be doing the same. The American voters may not want another 4 years of the Republicans, but it may happen if things continue on their current paths.

    Clinton wants the superdelegates, she is not interested in the pledged delegates. But, if the superdelegates chooses to ignore the pledged delegates, it will divide the Democratic Party. I am watching which way the superdelegates are going and it will be interesting to see the outcome. I am sick of the negative slander by the Clintons and am ashamed that someone with their power and expertise has used such low-life tactics to get what they wants, no, I don't trust THE Clintons and do not feel she will make a good leader for our country. She is too darn SOCIALISTIC! And to add insult to injury, she is a downright LIAR! Can the American people really trust her?

    April 24, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. Nadine Indianapolis, In.

    Enough already ! First off, Hilary you were never President, your husband was – so all this EXPERIENCE you claim to have is just that- a claim. You have run a terribly destructive and devcive campaign. Then there was that comment that you made the other day about "smashing or crushing Iran", where did that come from ? Here
    we are knee deep in war on two fronts and you want to open a THIRD ? Or did you just mis-speak again? Your blatant dishonesty is an insult to the older people who are buying into your crap. I personally may be old but I'm not totally senile which I would have to be to vote for a candidate like you. IF you got the nomination, you would not win. IF you get the nomination people will vote McCain just
    so that you won't be our next president,

    April 24, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. T.C.

    HRC supporters and the MSM are the only ones who want this bloodbath to go on!!

    April 24, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. NickNas

    DULL??? Try Depressing! Seeing how peoples standards have dropped so low when it comes to v the value of being HONEST and UPFRONT.

    How people now reward Deciet and I mean OPEN and BLATANT and PROVEN. WOW!

    April 24, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  6. king from toronto

    it's about time someone call out lou dobbs.he says he's independant.but he always "ALWAYS"' finds the need to defend hillary.even when she's wrong.and that's a fact.

    April 24, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. NickNas

    DULL??? Try Depressing! Seeing how peoples standards have dropped so low when it comes to v the value of being HONEST and UPFRONT.

    How people now reward Deciet and I mean OPEN and BLATANT and PROVEN. WOW!

    April 24, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Barack Obama 44th president!

    This is ONE of the main reasons Clinton's campaign is so negative and dull: She is pushing very hard the notion that she is ahead in the popular vote.

    Now, it's a known fact that ALL parties involved were very clear from the start that both Florida and Michigan's votes would not count because they violated the DNC rules. It's ridiculous to try to include those votes prior to a resolution. Clinton herself said these contests 'didn't count for anything.' Obviously, this is another desperate tactic on Clinton's part !

    "Now that it serves her own political self-interest, she's trying to change the rules and count the results of contests where she and every other candidate pledged not to campaign," Bill Burton said. "In Michigan, Senator Obama wasn't even on the ballot. Our focus should now be on seating the Michigan and Florida delegations in a fair manner."

    Sen. Obama said he would follow the DNC's rules.

    Since no one campaigned in those States, The Obama campaign has proposed a 50-50 split of both states' delegations, an option Clinton advisers have resisted.

    Until there is a resolution, Florida and Michigan's votes DO NOT count, therefore; the current popular vote total stands as follows:

    Obama – 14,417,619
    Clinton – 13,917,009

    Senator Obama has a 500,610 lead !

    April 24, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Cindy

    We should move up the primaries/caucuses.. to be closer together, a region at a time. They are too spread out and all over the place.

    Declaring a candidacy 2 years in advance of the General is too long. Too much time, money and effort wasted. Hats off to Obama for being able to raise sooo much $$$, but is it really necessary? He's bordering on being "too" succesful. And to think he originally thought he might need public financing. Boy, did he underestimate his abilities..

    April 24, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. MD Democrat

    People should remember that it was Obama who started the negative campaigning and the media spun President Clinton's statements into racial attacks. Hillary kept her cool until Michelle Obama's "keeping your own house in order comment." She kept her cool because she knew that any retalliation toward Obama would result with a race accusation.

    Indeed, the Clinton's did more for black people than any president since John F. Kennedy. African americans really need to remember this fact, and wake up and realize that Obama is easy kill for the republicans.

    April 24, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. Jermaine

    Tom your point is just a HILLARY twisted spin. It is a fact that blacks voted for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Kerry by 90%, so of course Hillary been white or a woman have nothing to do with the black vote. On the other hand, I am convinced that those over 55 and older whites some 45% will not vote for OBAMA, and we all know why, it goes without saying. I am a Republican, Military Officer and I am sure OBAMA is smarter than everyone think he is. It is the new majority of Independents, Republican, Blacks (registering in record numbers & voting), College age Kids, High school kids, Hispanics, Indians, Asians, Immigrants naturalized, who are all voting for OBAMA. The difference is he is creating a melting pot. To have a President that looks like 80% of the world is what will transform America and the world. Once OBAMA is elected, then Jindal in Louisianna, those Asians politician, Hispanics and others across this nation will begin to feel like they are Americans and not just living here even if they are born here. John Edwards is correct, there are two Americas, and OBAMA is showing we need onely 1 America. The military and a trivial flag pin isn't the what define us as patriots, it is our morals, our ethics, our love and good will for fellow man, rich and poor of all races, creed and gender. "Epluibus Unum", that is what a President OBAMA brings to America and the World. It is the rebirth of who and what we were founded upon, our ideals and our values, if we stop for a moment, and forget about the spin, the news and the BS, we will see the light within us that units US, THE CHANGE we seek is TRANSFORMATIONAL, the quite REVOLUTION will set America upon a new course where the Beacon of Hope and Opportunity awaits all, regardless of color, it is the content of our character that defines us to the world, and that is what we should define ourselves as in who we choose to be our President, for this election and this year, the resounding answer to that argument and answer to all is OBAMA!...BARACK THE VOTE IN NOVEMBER!


    April 24, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
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