Focused On The Race? You’ve Got Company!

Posted January 17, 2008 at 6:17pm

Nearly two-thirds of adults polled by Gallup between Jan. 10-13 responded that they had given “quite a lot” of thought to the presidential election in November. Gallup has recorded similar data in January for the 2004, 2000 and 1992 general elections, and in no other year has the response reached 60 percent. The lowest percentage from January for the “quite a lot” response was in 1992 (30 percent), and the number rose sharply between the 2000 data and the 2004 data. Over the course of January 2004, the numbers rose 13 percentage points from 45 percent to 58 percent.

Unsurprisingly, fewer independents (58 percent) have thought “quite a lot” about this election than either Republicans (66 percent) or Democrats (70 percent).

Several factors may be contributing to the level of attention already given to the election, including the early start to a front-loaded primary calendar, campaigns by both a woman and an African-American, and the absence of an incumbent president or vice-president. Gallup also points out the possible effect of personalities on this race, given the “fact that the cast of characters this year is widely varied and interesting” and that, for the first time, a former president’s spouse is running for the Oval Office.

The margin of error is ‘2 percentage points.