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Your Responses: Do You Still Care About Politics?

On the periphery of a recent Pew poll suggesting voters this election cycle are less enthused than they were four years ago, we turned to you for some insight – do you still care about politics?

The question stemmed from a reporting trip in Ohio in which correspondent Gwen Ifill noted a lack of passion among Republican voters for nominee Mitt Romney.

The poll also showed that though there’s less excitement toward Romney as a Republican candidate, 91 percent of Romney supporters have an unfavorable opinion of President Obama.

We were curious to know if the Pew poll and Ifill’s reporting observations reflected your own attitudes toward the presidential election this November. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, you rated your enthusiasm levels. Many of you cited the economy as your reason for turning from one candidate to the other or for not voting at all. Others also mentioned the political “backbiting” and the polarized environment as reasons for turning you off politics for good.

Your responses resonated with reactions the NewsHour has received through our “Listen to Me” series — a campaign in which we collect a rich tapestry of voices across the country as voters weigh in on what issues are important to them this election season, how hopeful they are about the future and whether they think the political system is broken.

Here’s what some of you had to say and a handful of videos from our “Listen to Me” series:

Sarah Troop – Norco, Calif.
Enthusiasm Level: 2

I still hold onto the hope that things will improve.

Benjamin Garrett – Blacksburg, Va.
“Listen to Me”

Lauren Bielski – Astoria, N.Y.
Enthusiasm Level: 6

Six reflects my current feeling of anxiety for country which is both sobering me and motivating me to get informed and begin the long process of mulling over who I’ll vote for November, even though none of the candidates seem up to the task. Said differently, this isn’t a joyous process. I don’t feel upbeat and engaged as I did in 2008, rather [I feel] strained about making the wrong choice. Yet, apathy is the enemy here. We’ve got to keep pushing and solve these problems.

Shannon Smith – Milwaukee, Wis.
“Listen to Me”

Don Michell – Tampa, Fla.
Enthusiasm Level: 4

I’m a moderate, and I don’t believe either party truly represents my interests. I will still vote for President Obama, because I cannot support the Republican agenda, but I’m tired of the bickering, backbiting and posturing.

Jim Leonard – Evergreen, Colo.
Enthusiasm Level: 10

I’ll support Romney, but not at the same level of enthusiasm as I supported McCain or Huntsman.

Jack Crawford – Indianapolis, Indi.
“Listen to Me”

Charles Christiansen – Rochester, Minn.
Enthusiasm Level: 5

I’m lukewarm about both candidates. Bitter bipartisan politics, gridlock, too much money in politics, and no spirit of doing what is right for the country — I’m worried that these attitudes will destroy the country.

Kathy Philbrick – Oconomowoc, Wis.
“Listen to Me”

Amy Lundebrek – Champlin, Minn.
Enthusiasm Level: 7

I watched the Republican primaries very carefully, listening for anything new or different, but they all seem incredibly out of touch with normal people.

NewsHour played a collection of “Listen to Me” excerpts on the broadcast Tuesday.

For more election cycle coverage, visit the NewsHour Politics page.

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