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November 15, 2012

Voters say 2012 election was a "frustrating experience"

A new poll finds the 2012 presidential campaign was a "frustrating experience" for many voters, who say the campaign was more negative and had less discussion of issues than in most previous campaigns.

And the Pew Research Center poll found voters don't have much hope going forward: 66 percent expect relations between Republicans and Democrats to stay about the same or get worse.

Most voters, however, were satisfied with the choice of presidential candidates and believe they learned enough to make an informed choice. "The presidential debates, in particular, stand out as a positive – about two-thirds -- 66 percent -- say they were helpful in learning about the candidates.

The Pew Research Center quadrennial post-election survey was conducted Nov 8-11 among 1,206 voters who were originally interviewed before the election. The survey also finds:

Republicans Critical of Voters, Not GOP. Republicans are less critical of their candidate, and their party, today than they were after John McCain’s loss in 2008. But they give the voters much lower grades than in 2008 – just 29% give a grade of A or B, down from 47%.

Less Lofty Expectations for Obama. A majority of voters (56%) say that Obama will have a successful second term, down from 67% who thought his first term would be successful at this point four years ago.

Less Confidence in National Vote Count. Most voters offer a positive assessment of the voting experience. And most remain confident that their vote was accurately counted. But the proportion of voters – both on the winning and losing side – expressing a high degree of confidence in the accuracy of the nationwide vote count has fallen significantly since 2008.

"Dual-Screening" Election Night. Virtually all voters (92%) who followed the returns on election night tracked them on television, while 34% followed the returns on the internet. Slightly more than a quarter of voters (27%) were “dual screeners,” using both television and the internet to get information.



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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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