Voters are tired of hearing about the 2024 election, which is still five months away

With more than five months to go before Election Day, Americans are already tired of hearing about it.

A rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump was voters’ least desired outcome after the grueling 2020 election, but they are facing it anyway, testing voters’ patience in an election year with big consequences, testing the White House and both chambers of Congress. up for grabs.

A Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday found that 62% of Americans feel exhausted by the heavy coverage of the 2024 campaigns, and only 35% of respondents said they enjoyed heavy coverage to see.

The general election campaigns got underway early in the 2024 cycle, with the incumbent president running for a second term and facing only token opposition in the primaries, while Trump powered his way through a Republican Party primary, with the most of his challengers quickly dropped out. The result was several additional months of general campaigning and messaging than usual.

What adds to the disinterest for Americans is how strongly they are opposed to both options at the top. Multiple polls showed that voters in each party wanted someone else in each party to vote for president, but primary voters produced the opposite result.

It has created a dynamic where both candidates are very well known to the public and there is little room for dissent against them, leaving few undecided voters long before election day arrives.

“Everyone knows who these people are. It’s baked into the cake,” said Alison Dagnes, a professor of political science at Shippensburg University. “Unless something catastrophic happens, I don’t think anyone is really interested anymore.”

The findings come as a jury considers whether to convict Trump in a hush-money payment case in what will likely be the only criminal case against the former president to reach a conclusion before November. Polls show that about half of Americans say they will not closely follow the first-ever trial of a former president; another indication of the exhaustion Americans experience toward their political leaders.

According to Pew, more people say they are following news about the candidates fairly or somewhat closely than at the same time in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began and shut down many parts of society.

People in the survey were more likely to get tired of election coverage if they weren’t following it closely. At least 70% of people who said they weren’t following it very well or at all said they also felt exhausted by the reporting.

The disinterest in the elections has also raised questions about what effect it will have on turnout and who will benefit. It’s more likely that voters will start watching the election more closely once fall arrives. According to Pew, the share of voters who said they followed the candidates somewhat or very closely rose to 75% in 2020 as October arrived, but that pattern is not guaranteed to continue with hardened opinions on either candidate.

Voters opting out of election coverage pose a challenge to Biden’s campaign as it tries to improve his standing in the polls, which have consistently given Trump a narrow lead nationally and in some swing states. The Biden campaign has tried to draw contrasts with Trump and tout the economic revival the president has overseen, but those messages have not yet gotten through to voters and could be even harder to get across if more people opt out .

“The biggest thing the Biden campaign is counting on is that people will remember how sick they were of Trump, and if people stop paying attention, they won’t get sick of him,” Dagnes said.

A moving average of FiveThirtyEight’s national polls shows Trump with a 1.5% lead as of May 30, but neither candidate is close to 50%, with independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. almost 10% in the polls. Kennedy is unlikely to maintain that level of support when it comes time for people to actually vote, as voters have historically been more likely to say they would support third-party candidates in polls than actually vote for them .

Both campaigns are concerned about the impact Kennedy will have on the election, with tight margins likely to decide which states will flip the Electoral College, but it is unclear which candidate would get him more support.

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