7News/Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll (Aug. 15)
The Hiller Instinct: 7News/Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll (Aug. 15)
This November, history says about 60% of American citizens of voting age will go to the polls to pick a president. But that means 40% of the population, about 90 million citizens who could vote, won’t.
“No time, busy” is the number one reason from those who haven’t even registered to vote. “Vote doesn’t count” is number two.
But if those who stay at home did get out and vote, the race wouldn’t be as close as it is. Our 7News/Suffolk University/USA Today poll shows the President would get 43% and Mitt Romney with just 18% from all the unlikely voters. And no matter whom they support, 63% expect Obama will win November while just 21% say Romney will.
“These numbers aren’t as good as they look, because although they like Barack Obama, they’re still not gonna go out and vote. It’s what we call low-intensity,” Suffolk University Professor David Paleologos said.
What non-voters want is a Washington shake-up. A majority think we need a third party, or even more, to represent Americans’ political views. They also believe that the two parties we have are “corrupt” and “nothing ever gets done.”
Paleologos offers his theory as to why this is a commonly held belief.
“I think there’s a disconnect. People are leaving the voting booth because they’ve felt that government has left them.”
The non-voters send mixed messages. While 79% say the federal government plays an important role in their lives, only 39% could name the Vice-President of the United States—Joe Biden.
Is there anyone who could make them care enough to vote? Yes, Hilary Clinton.
“The poll tells us that if Hilary Clinton were the nominee, these people would come out of the wood work and vote for her. Adding her to the ticket would probably make the difference between winning and losing for Barack Obama,” Paleologos said.
Finally, don’t think many Americans aren’t voting because it’s too difficult to register or because they need an I.D. card. Nearly 70% of unlikely voters say registering is quick and easy, and 75% believe a photo I.D. should be required.