10/23/2007 - The 2008 presidential campaign began much earlier than usual, but public interest in the campaign is at most only modestly higher than in previous campaigns. While Democrats are following the campaign more closely than at the same stage in previous primary contests, Republicans are no more engaged than in the past, resulting in a sizable partisan gap in campaign interest.
The Republicans' disengagement, if not disillusionment, with the campaign is borne out by the fact that many more Republicans are able to recall unprompted the names of Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama than can name Rudy Giuliani and other leading GOP candidates.
Public familiarity with the leading Democratic candidates is extraordinarily high compared with candidates in past campaigns. Clinton and Obama have become household names to substantial majorities of Americans. By contrast, the Republican candidates as a group are about as well known as previous GOP candidates, while Giuliani is less well known than past Republican frontrunners.
View full article Modest Interest in 2008 Campaign News at the Pew Research Center for People and the Press Web site.