A big majority of political independents say they dislike the 2012 presidential race, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, yet another reminder that those who shun party labels are no fans of political blood sport. (Perhaps President Obama and Mitt Romney will keep this in mind as they square off in their second debate Tuesday evening.)
By 62 to 28 percent, more independents report an unfavorable than favorable impression of the presidential election, with strongly negative ratings outnumbering strongly positive ones by nearly 3 to 1.
A separate Post-ABC poll released Monday offers some key reasons for the backlash: More than half of independents say the Obama and Romney campaigns alike are mainly attacking, not addressing the issues. Six in 10 say the candidates have not done enough to detail the policies they would pursue as president.
Partisans — particularly Democrats — say they’re enjoying the campaign much more. Some 59 percent express favorable views of the campaign, compared with 50 percent of Republicans. Democrats’ cheery disposition may reflect their high expectations of victory: 85 percent of Democrats in the Monday poll said they thought Obama will win reelection. Most, but fewer, Republicans, 68 percent, anticipate a Romney victory.
The survey was conducted Oct. 10 to 14 among a random national sample of 1,029 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.