Polling News

Election Attention And Fatigue

May 30, 2024

More than half of Americans have been closely following the 2024 presidential election already, according to a recent poll by Pew Research Center. Many are already worn out by the coverage. 

By The Numbers:

  • Fifty-eight percent of Americans have been closely watching news about the 2024 election, up from 52% at this point in 2020. The closest metric for 2016 was that July, when 78% were closely following the presidential news, likely influenced by each party’s convention that month. We could see this pattern repeated this year.

  • Only 35% of Americans said they like seeing coverage of the campaigns and candidates. Sixty-two percent said they are “worn out by so much coverage.”

  • Of those who said they are “worn out,” 40% said they are watching “very closely;” 61% said they are watching “fairly closely;” 70% said they are not watching too closely; and 77% said they are not watching closely at all. 

The Bottom Line: Fatigue surrounding the 2024 election coverage may be caused by public perceptions of the two leading candidates. A repeat of 2020 may diminish voter enthusiasm. In 2020, Biden could run a campaign out of the public eye, which likely hid his weaknesses as a candidate. In 2024, he’s trying to do the same while Trump, stuck in a courtroom for weeks, does understand that making campaign stops in unfriendly places like blue New York and Libertarian conferences attracts coverage. Both candidates will need compelling appearances to keep voters engaged through Nov. 5. COVID won’t help Biden this time and a courtroom won’t provide Trump an excuse to stay off the trail for the next five months.   

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