News Interest Index: Obama Fatigue - 48% Hearing Too Much About Him

  • August 06, 2008

As he has since January, this week, Barack Obama enjoyed much more visibility as far as the public was concerned than did John McCain. By a margin of 76% to 11% respondents in Pew's weekly News Interest Index survey named Obama over McCain as the candidate they have heard the most about in recent days. But the same poll also shows that the Democratic candidate's media dominance may not be working in his favor. Close to half (48%) of Pew's interviewees went on to say that they have been hearing too much about Obama lately. And by a slight, but statistically significant margin - 22% to 16% - people say that recently they have a less rather than more favorable view of the putative Democratic nominee.

In contrast, if anything, Pew's respondents said they want to hear more, not less about the Republican candidate. Just 26% in the poll said they had heard too much about McCain, while a larger number (38%) reported that they had heard too little about the putative Republican candidate. However, as for Obama, a slight plurality reports that recently they have come to have a less favorable view of McCain rather than a more favorable view of him - (23% to 18%).

Not surprisingly, a very large number of Republicans say they have heard too much about Obama lately. But 51% of independents shared this opinion, and as many as a third of Democrats thought so too.

While Obama has dominated McCain as the candidate citizens say they have heard the most about in the news, roughly equal numbers say that they are aware of commercials on behalf of each candidate. About six-in-ten have seen commercials for both candidates. Most of those who are aware of Obama's commercials say they are mostly positive messages about the candidate (38%), while fewer (13%) characterize them as negative messages about McCain. The balance of opinion about McCain's commercials is the opposite - a plurality (31%) sees them as negative messages about his opponent, with fewer (19%) describing them as positive ads.

Read the full report Obama Fatigue - 48% Hearing Too Much About Him for Public the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.