April 24th, 2008
03:10 PM ET
14 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. M from Texas

    Democrats are such hypocrites. Plain and simple, the Democratic candidates are not qualified to lead this country. You wanna talk about a couple of clowns, Hillary and Barrack, I haven't seen such bad nominee's since............John Kerry. I'd like to have a choice, but you knuckleheads put up a super liberal, quasi racist, elitest Obama, and an evil, socialist, former first lady. I think I'll go with the War Hero.

    April 24, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  2. Sherri

    Issues are the only important topic. Senator Obama will bring our troops home, he will aggressively encourage the Iraq leaders to take responsibility for their own government, he will re-build America's standing in the world, he will address the humanitarian crisis of millions of displaced refugee Iraqi citizens, he will stand tall with Israel while searching for a lasting peace, he will choose diplomacy first and always, and he will listen to the input of the American people.

    Issues please. No more negativity.

    April 24, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Lois in CA

    Do American voters really think picking a leader for the United States should play out like American Idol? Are we really that stupid and easily distracted from important issues?

    April 24, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. Bubba

    No SuperStraws either....just straws.

    Loser takes all of the lobbists money.

    April 24, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Sharon Minnesota

    I love Lou Dobbs. As an independent he has much more unbiased insight into the democratic nominee race. He is not supporting either candidate but has the facts straight. That is why some Obama supporters flip their lids. They just can't stand anything that is real. Bill Clinton had it right long ago when he called the Obama campaign a fairy tale. Meaning it's all a big pie in the sky joke.

    April 24, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. Who Really Wants It

    America should take her cue from the wise king Solomon. If one candidate is content with sawing the baby in half, that baby being the DNC, give the baby to the candidate who wants to preserve it. That candidate is Barack Obama.

    Obama 08

    April 24, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  7. David, Kentucky

    Whoever the brain surgeon was that came up with this primary schedule needs to be tied down to a chair and made to listen to the endless mind numbing debates, advertisements, & news commentaries for another year. Without a doubt, he or she will lose their mind and become a babbling idiot. This has been horrible. Once the primary season starts, there should not be more than a week between primaries.

    April 24, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. Bubba

    If Clintoon wins by the short straw, we will get her a Queen tiara. Made in China, of course !

    April 24, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. 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. Each caucus vote counts for more than 8 primary votes (for example, Obama gets 320 delegates with about 390,000 caucus votes while Clinton (and Obama) only get 1 delegate for each thousand primary 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 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. Chuck Would Chuckle

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." This campaign would be a great Charles Dickens novel.

    Obama 08

    April 24, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Sick of Her

    My mind is tired of the mental gynmastics I have to do with all of Hillary's and Bill's lies and panderings.

    I have officially turned her off several times, but every time I do she does something so low, deceitful, and outrageous I can't not speak out. She makes me sick...literally sick with all the lies. IWhat makes me sicker is that people actually want her to be our next President.

    Bosnia lies just laughed off on Jay Leno. The spins and twists on just how they want this primary run and just exactly how votes should or should not be counted canges daily. Clintons proved in the 90's that rules apply to everyone but them. She is a piece of work and has no shred of decency or character.

    Between her and Bill they want to just wear us voters out so we will totally tune out . It is just too important to let them do that.

    April 24, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  12. Maxine

    Face it Clinton(s) aren't going to stop, even if he wins NC, IN, andOR. She will not stop there. The superdelegates are going to have to decide and put Obama over, or it is going all the way to the convention. She gets away with this crap (agreeing to FL and MI) and then counts them in her totals. How can we elect someone who is so dishonest, lies and pulls the things she does.

    I tell you she is running on her own, even if Obama comes up with numbers she will over rule them. Trust me, they want the white house.

    April 24, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. EA

    Let's call this for what it is. reality is that most whites are uncomfortable in rural areas to vote for a man of color. Like most balcks may be uncofortable...oops, they've always had to vote white in elections for the Pesidency. That's why we see the huge variances between gender and race etc. There was a real chance here to captivate the American spirit and that was the night of the Texas/Ohio last debate, when a well scripted and actinf HRC saad, "it was an honor to be running with and against Obama". Remember that? Then the disgusting 360 degreee, "meet me in Ohio." What came after that was ugly and unfortunate. The ugly season entered the race and now it's just plain brutal. We could have had a united party, a possible dream ticket. Now it is literally going to be a joke that's to the games that people play. What ever happened to the issues? All we hear about is race, and gender and I won't vote is this guy isn't in and that woman wins I'm out. Garbage!!! Democrats 08/12 regardless of the candidate please people.

    April 24, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. Shirley-Ohio






    April 24, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Neutral

    Obama should drop out, he is NOT electable! He should go back to Illinois or the US Senate and get more experience. The American people are not dumb and stupid.

    April 24, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Clown Hillary

    I will never forgive Dean for allowing Hillary and her ilk to turn this campaign into a joke. As she once had the nerve to look into the camera and say "this is serious". Unfortunately she's been clowning around ever since.

    April 24, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    It's not a dull race that's for sure, but it is becoming a bit repetitive. One more debate and I'll need meds!! The Clinton campaign has been poorly run, the money has been poorly handled, she's behind in every catagory and the majority of the trash talk originates from her end. I find it funny that the court case in California that begins tomorrow (4/25) in LA has not been discussed on any news channel, at least none that I'm aware of. I'm very surprised she has gotten this far. Just to be fair, when this primary season started I was leaning toward the Obama camp so there is a bit of bias, but the negativity and some of the outright lies from Clinton completely soured me. That and I remember the circus of the first Clinton administration.

    April 24, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Sue

    Why doesn't Hillary Clinton denounce the negative ads in North Carolina about Rev. Wright.
    This Country work to hard to go backward. Shame on you Hillary

    Keep your head up Obama we got your back!

    Obama -08!!!!

    April 24, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  19. Dirty South Prezidentz (DSP) for short

    wow!! the woman is truly delusional...lmao
    how in the @$%& does she even thinks she's in the lead?
    i mean does it really matters whose winning the popular vote?
    last i heard delegates mattered...wow hillary speaks and its an issue
    how gullible do you think the american people are hillary? someone please ask her that question in a debate!!! oh yea and wutz with the fuzzy math there hill?!!!!

    April 24, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. Sarah

    thanks to Hill, people are losing interest. i'm a 24 yr old voter. i got psyched about the possiblity of making history with one of the two good candidates who have a lot to offer, but with the ridiculousness of hillary's 'do anything to win' campaign i've been completely turned off and would gladly vote for obama now- without a second thought. and 2 of my friends who were completely in the know of this election season don't even care anymore because they couldn't stand the crappy 5th grade attitude between the 2 candidates.

    April 24, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. alice2

    It is too long. Nothing changes, Hillary comes out with negative attacks on Barack, will say anything to knock him down & try to destroy him over & over again. Very hateful as tho he is the ENEMY. When he does not strike back Barack is said to be too weak, if he does respond back & defend himself he gets blamed for negative campaigning, when it is very clear he was not the perp in the first place. I am not growing tired of hearing Barack speak. He is a once in a generation Phenomenon. Hillary is getting very very STALE, just negative, negative that is all she has left. Why doesn't the Superdels make their decision?? McCain is running unapposed & is the only one benefiting.

    April 24, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. Barack Obama 44th president!

    Once Sen. Obama wins Indiana and North Carolina on 5/6, the superdelegates should make their choice public; and that choice can be only Sen. Obama.

    Since Sen. Clinton is too blind by her personal endeavor to see the writing on the wall; the voters and the superdelegates can make it crystal clear for her.

    At this time, Sen. Clinton will have no choice but to end her candidacy. And when she does this then the negative and dull campaigning will cease and the Dems can move on to the business of defeating McCain !

    April 24, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |

    Of all the people in this country, we can only pick idiots to run this country as we have with the remaining candidates that we have left now.

    We can't blame the politicians for everything, but we can blame them for making it the way it is so that a good person won't want to run for office in this country, the idiots that are in power now are so arrogant and full of themselves and other things, that we are watching this country go into the toilet. We won't let anyone from outside this country take this country over to drive it down, it will be done by ourselves from the inside. Al Gort and John big head Kerry are a couple of idiots I'm trying to point out, Hitlery is another. Is that the best we can do? that is ashame.

    April 24, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Debby

    Well then let the superdelegates vote for Obama so their supporters won't have a riot. Then when the Dems. lose in November they will deserve it.

    April 24, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. D.Kimbro OHIO

    If Hillary is trying to run for 2012, she is only hurting the party. Why would she be willing to sacrifice this election with so much at stake. If she had the same lead Obama does he would have been asked to and would have shut it down in March. I can't stand what this race is doing to all of us dems when this should be our moment of glory. Enough is enough. This needs to end May 6

    April 24, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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