Voters still disinterested despite media hyping

A recent increase in the quantity and prominence of political coverage in the press hasn't affected widespread voter apathy, according to a report released by the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

Part of the Vanishing Voter Project,

the report is a weekly nationwide telephone survey of about 1,000 adults.

The latest results, from the week of Jan. 5-9, saw a doubling from the previous week in the number of Americans who could recall having recently seen, read or heard a campaign news story.

The proportion of people who said they had thought about the campaign sometime during the past day more than tripled, from 11 percent to 34 percent.

Despite this increased exposure to the presidential races, nearly 70 percent said they still viewed the campaign as "boring," and only 9 percent of those polled felt it had been "exciting."

And nearly 50 percent said they viewed the past week's campaign activities as "uninformative."

"These numbers reflect the ability of the media to get the voters' attention," said Thomas E. Patterson, coordinator of the Shorenstein Center poll and Bradlee professor of government and the press at the Kennedy School of Government.

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