Interest in presidential election hits 20-year low, survey finds

Recent findings from a national NBC News poll reveal that enthusiasm for the 2024 presidential election among registered voters has plummeted to its lowest point in nearly two decades.

Only 64% of those surveyed report having a high level of interest in the upcoming November election, marking a decrease from previous years.

“Americans don’t agree on much these days, but nothing unites the country more than voters’ desire to tune this election out,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who conducted the poll along with Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies.

The decline is notable compared to the higher rates of interest shown at similar points in past presidential elections, with 74% in 2008, 67% in 2012, 69% in 2016, and an impressive 77% in 2020. These figures underscore a significant wane in electoral enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen since a dip to 59% in early 2012, which subsequently recovered in later polling.

Despite the overall reduction in eagerness, the current political landscape remains highly competitive between incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. The same poll indicates a narrow race, with Mr. Biden trailing just 2 points behind Mr. Trump in a direct match-up.

The gap suggests improvements for Mr. Biden in key areas such as abortion rights and national unity, whereas Mr. Trump maintains an edge in perceived competency and managing inflation.

But some past Biden voters aren’t going to pull his lever this election.

“I don’t think Biden has done much as a president. And if Trump gets elected, I just feel like it’s going to be the same thing as it was before Biden got elected,” poll respondent Devin Fletcher told NBC News.

Mr. Fletcher, 37, of Wayne, Michigan, is a Democrat who said he still plans to vote For Mr. Biden, but he’s not jazzed. “I just don’t feel like I have a candidate that I’m excited to vote for.”

Another survey taker from New Jersey, who declined to provide her name and voted for Mr. Biden in 2020, said she just not going to bother this time around. “Our candidates are horrible. I have no interest in voting for Biden. He did nothing. And I absolutely will not vote for Trump,” she said.

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