As the Republican candidates battle for the chance to challenge Barack Obama in November, many Americans are highly critical of the presidential campaign.
Half (50%) say the campaign has been too negative. By comparison, four years ago, amidst primary fights in both parties, just 28% said the campaign at that point was too negative. Current ratings are more comparable to impressions of the 2004 Democratic primary campaign.
Most Americans (55%) describe the 2012 campaign so far as dull, with just 36% saying they find it interesting. This, too, is a reversal from four years ago, when seven-in-ten rated the campaign as interesting and just a quarter said it was dull. The share rating the 2012 campaign as either informative or important is also significantly lower than at a comparable point in 2008.
One constant is the impression that the campaign is too long. According to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted Jan. 12-15 among 1,008 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 57% say the campaign has been too long, while 35% say it has not been too long. This is virtually identical to public evaluations of previous presidential campaigns.
Read the full report, Campaign 2012: Too Negative, Too Long, Dull, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.