Do You Still Care About Politics?

BY Meena Ganesan  June 22, 2012 at 5:20 PM EDT

Gwen Ifill reports from Mitt Romney’s bus tour in Ohio. Follow us on Instagram, @NewsHour

Voters this election cycle are less enthused than they were four years ago, according to a new study released by the Pew Research Center Thursday.

The poll, conducted among 2,013 adults including 1,563 registered voters, showed that though there’s less excitement toward Mitt Romney as a Republican candidate, 91 percent of Romney supporters have an unfavorable opinion of President Obama.

The poll suggests the president holds advantages on personal traits — connecting with ordinary Americans, being honest and truthful, showing good judgment in a crisis — but falls short to Romney on issues such as economic conditions and health care.

There’s a lack of political interest for Democrats and a lack of enthusiasm for Republicans, said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center.

“What the Democrats have to hope for is young people coming out like they did for Obama in 2008,” Kohut told the NewsHour. “And Republicans have to look for supporters to continue to back Romney.”

He said the question is whether anti-Obama sentiment will trump under-enthused Romney supporters — a trend correspondent Gwen Ifill noted on her reporting trip to Ohio this week.

“Voters [that I spoke to in Ohio] were okay with Mitt Romney, but not gung ho,” Ifill told Judy Woodruff and Christina Bellantoni in [this week's Political Checklist](http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/06/political-checklist-a-dispatch-from-ohio.html). “Even people who were wearing Romney buttons who said they like him, they couldn’t work up passion.”

Political Checklist: Dispatch From Ohio

Ifill said voter apathy was a reflection of wounds from the competitive GOP primary season that are now only beginning to heal.

“I am going with Romney because I think Obama has had a chance,” said Ohio voter Debbie Dankowski in Monday’s broadcast report. “He’s made things way, way worse. But I’m not really excited about Romney either.”

Battleground Ohio: As Obama, Romney Make Pitch, Are Voters Listening?

As we continue to report on this theme, we want to hear from all of you. If you’re a registered voter, what have you observed or experienced this election season compared to the 2008 presidential race?

This query is part of the Public Insight Network. For more election cycle coverage, visit NewsHour’s Politics Page.