WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — With this year’s election just a couple of weeks away, Republicans have become increasingly positive and interested about the campaign.
In early September, shortly after the party conventions, far more Democrats than Republicans said the campaign was interesting and informative. Since then, the increase in interest has come entirely from Republicans and independents, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.
The new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 18-21 among 1,005 adults, finds that 63 percent of the public says the campaign is interesting, while 28 percent say it is dull. Last month, 53 percent found the campaign interesting.
From January through June, majorities said the campaign was dull, and no more than about four-in-ten found it interesting.
Over the past month, the increase in the percentage saying the campaign is interesting has come solely from Republicans and independents. In the new survey, conducted before Monday’s debate, 73 percent of Republicans say the campaign is interesting, up 23 points since early September and by far the highest percentage of the year. More independents also view the campaign as interesting (56 percent today, 45 percent in September).
The percentage of Democrats who say the campaign is interesting, which jumped 19 points between June and September, is unchanged since then (66 percent).
As a whole, fewer Americans say the campaign is interesting than did so at a comparable point in the 2008 campaign — 63 percent today, 71 percent in October 2008.
But while the percentage saying the campaign is interesting has increased dramatically since earlier in the year, it peaked early in 2008 during the primaries (70 percent in February), fell in the spring, and then recovered in the fall.
Fewer Democrats (66 percent) say the campaign is interesting than did so in October 2008 (80 percent). By comparison, about the same percentage of Republicans finds the campaign is interesting as did four years ago (73 percent today, 70 percent then).
Overall, public interest in news about the campaign is lower than it was in October 2008.