Historic Public Attention to Election?

From the NY Times Caucus Politics Blog:

In the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll, 63 percent of voters said they were paying a lot of attention to the campaign, up from 51 percent before the parties held their conventions. In September 2004, 52 percent said they were concentrating a lot on Senator John Kerry's campaign to defeat President Bush.

The findings are borne out by television ratings: Nielsen estimates nearly two-thirds of the country's households -- more than 120 million people -- watched at least one of the conventions. The 15 percent of homes that tuned in only to the Republican National Convention was comparable to the 16 percent that watched just the Democratic National Convention, while 34 percent tuned in to both.

The poll also found that ideology is not driving interest. Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, were just as likely to say they were paying a lot of attention to the campaign. Nor was there a difference in interest between those supporting Senator John McCain and those backing Senator Barack Obama.

But there is more interest among older voters than younger ones: only 48 percent of voters under 30 said they were paying a lot of attention. However, this was up from 33 percent last month. And at this point in the campaign four years ago, only a third of young voters said they were very engaged in the election.

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