After Busy Week, Views of Both Candidates Improve
As attention to the campaign increased substantially last week, the images of both Barack Obama and John McCain improved. Reviews of Obama’s acceptance speech were overwhelmingly positive. Among those who could rate it, nearly half (48%) rated the speech excellent and another 36% rated it good.
Obama’s Background Better Known Than His Issue Positions
As Obama accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in Denver, more than six-in-ten Americans say they know a lot or a fair amount about his background, but only about half are familiar with his policies.
Party Time: Democrats Primed To Tune Into Convention
More Americans are interested in following the Democratic Convention (59%) than the Republican Convention (48%). An overwhelming majority of Democrats (79%) plan to follow their party’s convention. However, those who favored Hillary Clinton express only modest interest in Obama’s speech and strong interest in her address.
Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources
For more than a decade, audiences for most traditional news sources have steadily declined and the number of people getting news online has surged. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press’ biannual media study also finds that a growing number of news consumers mix both old and new sources. The report presents a typology that breaks Americans into four groups: Integrators, Net-Newsers, Traditionalists and the Disengaged.
China Olympics Earn American Attention, Approval
Most say they are watching at least some of the Olympic coverage and the share saying it was a good decision to hold the games in China has risen 11 points to a 52% majority. Americans also remain optimistic that by the end of the games, the U.S. will have won more gold medals than any other country.
Obama Fatigue – 48% Hearing Too Much About Him
While John McCain closed the gap in campaign news coverage last week, Barack Obama still enjoyed much more visibility in the eye of the public. But 48% say they’ve heard too much about the Democratic nominee and a plurality say they’ve heard too little about his opponent.
Obama’s Trip a Top Campaign Event for Public
Despite a high level of public attention to the Democratic candidate’s weeklong tour abroad, most said they learned very little of his foreign policy views as a result of the trip.
Democrats Highly Critical of New Yorker Cover, Republicans Say It Was Okay
Fully four-in-ten Americans heard a lot about a satirical cartoon on the cover of the New Yorker magazine. A majority of those who saw it found it offensive (54%) and few found it funny (27%).
Candidates’ Policy Positions Still Not Widely Known
Despite extensive media attention to the presidential campaign, relatively few Americans are familiar with either Obama’s or McCain’s foreign and domestic policy positions.
For Public, Oil Prices and Economic News Overshadow Campaign
Last week marked the largest partisan gap in campaign interest since the start of the presidential race in early 2007. Democrats were almost twice as likely as Republicans to say they followed the campaign very closely (52% vs. 28%).