Obama Fatigue Setting In?

Obama Fatigue - 48% Hearing Too Much About HimA new Pew poll reveals that a plurality of Americans are sick and tired of hearing about this Barack Obama guy, who’s apparently a big celebrity like Paris Hilton.

The Pew headline writer chose: Obama Fatigue – 48% Hearing Too Much About Him and, as you can see from the box at right, Many Think Obama is Overexposed.

Then again, slightly more people, 51%, think they’re hearing the right amount or too little about Obama.  It’s difficult, after all, to hear too much about a guy who’s currently the favorite to be elected president three months from now.

Then again, only a quarter of those surveyed thought they were getting too much McCain.  But, then, who doesn’t like wrinkly old dudes?

What’s truly remarkable, though, is the juxtaposition of the above finding with the other aspect of the poll Pew is highlighting:  Awareness and perception of the candidates’ ad spots.

Roughly the same number of people have seen both candidates’ ads. By nearly a 3-to-1 margin, people think McCain’s ads are more negative and by more than a 2-to-1 margin, people think Obama’s ads are more positive.

So, does this mean people like negative ads?

Or do people think Obama is getting more than his fair share of mainstream media coverage?   Was the overseas trips with the cheering throngs of Germans too much for people?   Or, perhaps, is this just a function of the Democratic primary having run much longer than the Republican primary?

Honestly, I don’t know.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Anderson says:

    The questions are garbage, as usual.

    I could be “hearing too much about Obama” b/c I’m tired of hearing about him.

    Or I could be “hearing too much about Obama” b/c I keep seeing McCain ads (& TV coverage of same) bashing him.

    You can’t readily extrapolate to support or opposition from a “yes, too much” response.

  2. Michael says:

    By nearly a 3-to-1 margin, people think McCain’s ads are more negative and by more than a 2-to-1 margin, people think Obama’s ads are more positive.

    So, does this mean people like negative ads?

    Or do people think Obama is getting more than his fair share of mainstream media coverage?

    It means that Obama is talking about Obama, and McCain is talking about Obama. Once you realize that, all of the statistics make sense.

  3. markm says:

    “Was the overseas trips with the cheering throngs of Germans too much for people?”

    I don’t think that helped his cause…

  4. I think this is more a reflection of the MSM bias as perceived by the public at large. Very few think Obama is not getting enough coverage. In contrast, 4x as many independents think McCain is not getting enough coverage. If the MSM was playing the election straight, I suspect that the two sides would be closer in this poll. But as long as they are in the tank for Obama, people will get sick of being fed and endless supply of sugared pap.

  5. Michael says:

    I think this is more a reflection of the MSM bias as perceived by the public at large.

    How do you get that, when the question asked about quantity of coverage, not quality of coverage?

  6. just me says:

    I don’t think it is a reflection of any real or perceived bias.

    i do think it is probably over exposure though. McCain got very little coverage once he clinched the nomination. From that point forward it was all Obama, all the time-negative or positive. I think people are sick of the coverage.

    And while constant negative attacks may get tiresome, I am one of those people who actually think they do work-especially when a candidate uses them to contrast their position with the other guys.

  7. Boyd says:

    I think this is more a reflection of the MSM bias as perceived by the public at large.

    How do you get that, when the question asked about quantity of coverage, not quality of coverage?

    I’ll let YAJ speak to his own beliefs, but I have to respond to the (il-)logic of your question, Michael.

    So are you saying that bias can only be expressed through quality, and not through quantity? Surely you don’t believe that.

  8. angellight says:

    What people are tired of is John McCain’s current ads which border on fantasies and cartoons and are not indicative of the Real World and possibly Schizophrenic! They act as if they are communicating with Children instead of Adults! And that’s an insult to many over the age of 18 who want real facts and solutions not cartoonish schizophrenic communication delivered to them as if they are mindless pups! Does the McCain Camp really think the American people are childish and gullible! That is so disrespectful to the advancement of the American people today in the great strides they have made in education and mind building which shows he is definitely out of touch as to where the American people are today — The American people are growing up.

    It is a sad landmark of where McCain Camp is that a man (McCain) who espouses to be the most powerful leader in the planet seeks to convince us of his fitness for office with images of Paris Hilton and Moses being used (by inference) to demean his opponent!

    As for Joe Scarborough and his morning show, it is becoming very biased again and unprofessional now that he is back from his hiatus with many comments that border on deceit, lies, racism and distortion. Barack Obama can do no right, he cannot even exercise for an hour and a half because Most Americans do not do that. Get a grip Joe, Americans are exercising and taking a lot better care of theirselves than you think! We, the American people deserve a lot better than the biased dribble coming out of Joe Scarborough’s slyly, deceitful mouth who cares nothing for the American people. For him, it is all about Republican goals and agenda, which have not done anything for the growth of the American way. Joe, can you for once put the American people’s concerns before your own selfish agendas for the Republican brand?

  9. Bithead says:

    So, does this mean people like negative ads?

    I’m with YAJ, here… I find it far more likely, they’re tired of watching the press washing Obama’s feet daily.

  10. Michael says:

    So are you saying that bias can only be expressed through quality, and not through quantity? Surely you don’t believe that.

    No, I’m saying that questions that ask about quantity don’t tell you anything about perceived quality.

    For example, an Obama supporter could say there is too much negative coverage, while a McCain support can say there is too much positive coverage. But if all you ask about is quantity, as in “Has there been too much coverage”, both with respond affirmatively.

    So just because 48% of respondents think he is getting too much coverage, you can’t infer that to mean that 48% of respondents think he was getting too much positive coverage.

  11. Boyd says:

    I think you missed YAJ’s point, but I’ll leave any rebuttal to him.

  12. Anderson says:

    I find it far more likely, they’re tired of watching the press washing Obama’s feet daily.

    What press is Bithead reading? I can’t find it on *my* internet.

  13. Wayne says:

    My two cents worth, yes like any poll I wouldn’t draw to many conclusions from it. The reasons are probably an accumulation of factors many of which have been mention. Many people that I have talk to haven’t liked the press standing up and cheering when Obama steps in the room and the Rock star treatment the MSM gives him. How much of that is reflected in this poll, I don’t know. I’m sure there are other factors as well.

  14. Maybe people agree with McCain’s negative ads?

    Just saying McCain has had a more negative message — that’s a description, not a judgment. I’d say that. It doesn’t mean that I support Obama, or that I think that I haven’t heard enough from him.

  15. Boris says:

    Paris is a disgrace to all women. She is just an epitomized slutty airhead. She makes me want to vomit uncontrollably. She had money and came from a rich family. Most whores come from the gutter. She is a self made whore.

  16. DBC says:

    I am sure that if you are a Democrat, you do not believe that Obama has been overexposed or that there is media bias. And Republicans will likely believe the opposite. Here’s an Independent’s opinion. I can remember no candidate who has had such an unchallenged ride by the media. From the overseas trip to the gushing on CNN, the media makes no attempt to veil a blatant bias. In the end, right or wrong, I believe it will rub off negatively on Obama. Americans have a sense of fair play and when they perceive biased arrogance by such factions as the media and entertainment community, the underdog benefits. It insults the voter’s intelligence. An even race after having enjoyed such one sided reporting benefits cannot bode well for Obama. The media may well destroy what they are trying to elect.

  17. Bithead says:

    What press is Bithead reading? I can’t find it on *my* internet.

    Maybe if you stayed out of DU, Kos and Greenwald’s site, it’d help.

    I am sure that if you are a Democrat, you do not believe that Obama has been overexposed or that there is media bias. And Republicans will likely believe the opposite. Here’s an Independent’s opinion. I can remember no candidate who has had such an unchallenged ride by the media.

    Quite. I suppose Anderson forgets that I’m not overly happy with McCain, either… and that I’m an independent.

  18. anjin-san says:

    Quite. I suppose Anderson forgets that I’m not overly happy with McCain, either… and that I’m an independent

    Interesting that you wish to be able to define your own political affiliations, yet are so quick to label others, or refer to their party affiliation incorrectly (leftist, Democrat Party).

    At any rate, I think far-right Republican nutjob describes you reasonably well. Since you are into applying lables.

  19. Hal says:

    Boyd, if YAJ’s point is that the MSM is in the tank for Obama, the objective analysis of the MSM proves otherwise.

    The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.

    You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.

    During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.

    Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.

    And note from that link the following, to anticipate the argument along the lines that Michael is arguing against

    But the center’s director, RobertLichter, who has won conservative hearts with several of his previous studies, told me the facts were the facts.

    “This information should blow away this silly assumption that more coverage is always better coverage,” he said.

    I assume YAJ has something other than his assertion to back up his claim that the MSM isn’t “playing it straight” and is in the bag for Obama?

    Or should I have even asked?

  20. Michael says:

    I suppose Anderson forgets that I’m not overly happy with McCain, either… and that I’m an independent.

    And yet there is no doubt in anybody’s mind who you will vote for in November.

  21. Bithead says:

    Interesting that you wish to be able to define your own political affiliations, yet are so quick to label others, or refer to their party affiliation incorrectly (leftist, Democrat Party).

    In your case, I’m not incorrect. You’ve made your real position clear many times over, Hal, and I’m hardly the only one to make that observation.

    Of course you might prove me wrong. Let’s see. I know… please provide us a historical example of you being critical of Obama.

  22. Hal says:

    You’ve made your real position clear many times over, Hal

    Step away from the keyboard and put down that doobie.

    Dude. PAY ATTENTION. You keep on ascribing me comments I haven’t made. You’re talking to anjin-san. Not me.

    Geebus.

  23. melvintoast says:

    It means NEGATIVITY WORKS!
    I don’t know of a campaign where negativity hurt the aggressor. I’ve seen many campaigns where not responding hurt the target of the attacks.