Polling News

2016 Voter Enthusiasm

October 13, 2016

Voters are less excited to vote in 2016 than in previous years, according to analysis from the Roper Center at Cornell University.  This year, 46% of voters say they are enthusiastic, 18% somewhat enthusiastic, and 36% not enthusiastic about voting in the presidential election. This compares to 57% enthusiastic, 22% somewhat enthusiastic, and 21%-not enthusiastic in 2012. The previous two presidential elections say even greater enthusiasm: 58% very, 19% somewhat and 23% not in 2008 and 59% very, 24% somewhat and 13% not in 2004.

Forty-six percent of adults say they feel more enthusiastic than they “usually do,” according to Gallup.  This is much lower than the 68% who said the same in 2012.  This year, 48% say they feel less enthusiastic than they “usually do” about voting.  This is much higher than in past presidential elections when the number hovered around 30% in 2012, 20% in 2008 and 2004, 40% in 2000, and about 35% in 1996. Which candidate benefits the most from lower than usual enthusiasm?  We’ll know soon, but campaigns that turn out more of unenthused voters to the polls in 26 days will likely be the winners.

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