Almost two-thirds of Democratic voters say they are satisfied with their range of choices among the two dozen candidates running for their party’s presidential nomination next year, far more than the number of Democrats in 2016.
A new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found 65 percent of Democrats saying they had excellent or good impressions of the candidates running for president next year.
That’s about the same as the 64 percent who said they were satisfied in 2007, at the height of the race between then-Sens. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHarris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden Valerie Jarrett: ‘Democracy depends upon having law enforcement’ MORE (Ill.) and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE (N.Y.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).
In 2015, only 51 percent of Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party said they were happy with their choices.
More voters — both Democrats and Republicans — are paying attention to the presidential contest than ever before, even half a year before the first votes are cast.
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Fifty-two percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners say they have given a lot of thought to the candidates running.
Surprisingly, 55 percent of Republican voters say they have given a lot of thought to the candidates — higher than the 52 percent who said the same at this point in 2015, when 17 candidates were vying for the wide-open Republican nomination.
Overall, 63 percent of adults polled say they are following news about the presidential contest fairly or very closely. That’s a higher percentage of voters paying attention in the year before a general election than at any point in the last three decades, Pew researchers said.
Two-thirds of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans said they were closely tracking the election. By contrast, at this point in 2011, when Republicans were jockeying for the right to face Obama, just over a third of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans were keeping up with news about the race fairly or very closely.
The Pew survey is the latest in a string of polls that show voter interest in next year’s elections at record levels.
Political scientist Michael McDonald, who studies voter turnout, has suggested as many as 160 million voters will cast ballots next year, smashing earlier records and leading to the highest voter turnout in more than a century.
The Pew Research Center poll surveyed 1,502 adults and 1,245 registered voters between July 10-15. It carried a margin of error of 3 percentage points.