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Democrats view 2012 campaign positively

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Democrats across the country are expressing increasingly positive views of the 2012 presidential campaign, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

The study, released earlier this month, found substantially more Democrats than Republicans view the campaign as interesting and informative. According to the survey, 66 percent of Democrats say the campaign is interesting while 27 percent say it is dull. On the other hand, 50 percent of Republicans view the campaign as interesting and 45 percent say it is dull; 68 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of Republicans said their party's respective campaign is informative.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say the 2012 campaign is too negative. More than 60 percent of Republicans say it is too negative and 42 percent of Democrats agree. In September 2008, 41 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats said that presidential campaign was too negative.

Views of the presidential race have changed substantially this year. More people now find the campaign interesting than they did in March or June, according to Pew. However, that increase in interest has come mostly from Democrats and independents. Republicans consistently express the same views about the campaign as during the GOP primaries earlier this year.

Both parties have already hosted their national conventions and expected their candidates, President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney, to experience a post-convention bump in the polls. However, those bumps in popularity did not translate to bumps in interest. According to Pew, there has been no increase in interest in news related to the election. Overall, 31 percent of poll respondents said they have been following news about Obama and Romney very closely. Interest was about as high in late August, before the Republican National Convention. Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to follow election news.

Similarly, interest in campaign news increased following the 2008 conventions. Like this year, the 2008 conventions were held on consecutive weeks. In 2004, when the conventions were held about a month apart, interest in news also increased. In 2000 and 1996, there was no bounce in news interest following the conventions, according to Pew.

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