Pew: About half of Americans following election 'very closely'

Pew | The Washington Post

Forty-eight percent of Americans are following the 2012 presidential election very closely, according to a new survey by Pew. That's the highest figure this year, but it's far lower than in 2008 -- 61 percent of Americans were following the election very closely in mid-October then.

Seventy-three percent of Republicans told Pew they found the election interesting, "up 23 points since early September and by far the highest percentage of the year," the report says.

More independents also view the campaign as interesting (56% today, 45% in September).

In related news, the third presidential debate this past Monday drew 59 million viewers. It was the lowest-rated of this year's debates, but Fox News Channel had its highest audience in its history during the event, scoring "a bigger crowd Monday night than did 'Monday Night Football' and Game 7 of the NLCS," Lisa de Moraes writes. Both sporting events competed with the debate for viewers, "and everyone got bloodied, ratings-wise," de Moraes writes.

Sixty-seven million people watched the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, and 65 million watched the second, according to Nielsen. Fifty-one million people watched the Oct. 11 debate between Vice President Biden and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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