The 2012 presidential campaign was a frustrating experience for many voters, who say the campaign was more negative than usual and had less discussion of issues than in most previous campaigns. Both Obama and Romney get mixed grades for the job they did reaching out to voters, as do campaign consultants, the press and pollsters. On most measures, voters’ views of campaign 2012 fall short of the election four years ago.
Similarly, voters do not have a particularly rosy outlook on national politics going forward. Fully 66% say that relations between Republicans and Democrats will either stay about the same (52%) or get worse (14%) over the next year. And while 56% of voters think Obama will be successful in his coming term, that is down from the 67% who thought his first term would be successful at this point four years ago.
While broad majorities of all voters want Barack Obama (72%) and the Republican leadership (67%) to work with the other side to get things done over the coming year, each party’s political base sends mixed signals. Only about half (46%) of Republicans want GOP leaders to work with Obama to get things done, while about as many (50%) say they should stand up to Obama, even if less gets done. The message to Obama from Democrats is only somewhat more conciliatory: 54% want the president to try to work with Republicans, but 42% do not.
Read the full report, Voters Give Low Marks to the 2012 Campaign, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.