JULY 25, 2012
“Most Say They Already Know Enough About the Candidates.” When I saw that headline from the Pew Research Center’s most recent poll, I began to dream. To dream of a world in which we could cut short this campaign and the accompanying circus, and cast our ballots for president now. Does a week from Saturday work for everybody? Yes? Great.
The Pew survey, conducted last week, found that almost everybody knows all they want to know about President Obama (93% of Democrats, 91% of Independents, and 89% of Republicans). Americans are less sure they have all the information they need to form a clear impression of Mitt Romney, but nearly 70% say that they do.
Interestingly, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that they need to hear more about Romney (34% vs. 21%). Republicans say they are most interested in learning about Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts, his religious beliefs, and his time as CEO of Bain. That would indicate GOP voters are not deciding between Romney and Obama, but trying to determine whether they are excited enough about Romney to make the effort to vote for him.
Democrats and Independents are also very interested in learning about Romney’s record as governor—more than 40% of all voters say they need to hear more—but all indications are that the Romney campaign does not intend to focus on said record. (Unless you are a female swing voter, in which case, Romney would like to whisper in your ear about all the liberal policies he supported.)
A majority of Democrats (56%) want to hear more about Romney’s tax returns, while 42% say they need to learn more about the Republican’s time at Bain. I bet they do. (“Oh, we’re ever so interested in hearing about what you were doing while your company was investing in those mean off-shoring employers!”)
Let’s face it. Americans have managed to become fed up with the campaign while we still have three and a half months left to go. There are topics some voters do want to learn more about, but those are the very topics the candidates would rather not shed much light on. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to spend this fall going to cider mills and watching college football instead of following every increasingly bitter attack and counter-attack. So let’s get that running mate announcement from Romney, set up some polling booths, and we can wrap this thing up in time to enjoy the second half of the Olympics.
Whaddya say, America?
Follow me on Twitter at @SullivanAmy.