With 68 days until the election, who is paying attention?

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
August 27, 2020, 7:08 PM UTC

Nearly seven in 10 (68%) Americans say they are paying at least some attention to the 2020 presidential election. The latest Economist/YouGov data comes as the election grows closer  – and with both party conventions soon to be behind us.  

Data from the latest poll finds registered voters and Americans over the age of 65 are more likely to be paying attention to the upcoming election.  

Among registered voters, attention to the election is slightly higher than US adults. Over two in five (44%) registered voters say they are paying a lot of attention to the upcoming election, compared to 34 percent of US adults. One in 10 Americans say they are not paying any attention to the election at all, compared to 3 percent of registered voters.  

Americans over the age of 65 are the more likely to say they are paying attention to the election. Half (50%) of Americans over the age of 65 say they are paying a lot of attention to the presidential election, compared to 19 percent of 18-to 29-year-olds, a quarter (26%) of 30-to 44-year-olds, and 38 percent of Americans between the ages of 45 and 64. Young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most likely age demographic (15%) to say they are not paying any attention to the election, compared to 13 percent of 30-to 44-year-olds, one in 10 (10%) 45-to 64-year-olds, and 2 percent of Americans over the age of 65.  

Across the country, Americans seem to be equally invested in keeping up with the election – although Americans in the West seem to be the least focused. Five in eight (62%) Americans in the West say they are paying some or a lot of attention to the presidential election, compared to 73 percent of Northeasterners, seven in 10 (70%) Americans in the Midwest, and 68 percent of Southerners. Americans in the West (16%) are more likely than those in the Northeast (9%), Midwest (9%), and South (8%), to say they are not paying any attention to the 2020 presidential election.  

Americans with a postgraduate education (54%) are more likely than college graduates (44%), or Americans with some college education (34%), or a high school level education or less (22%), to say they have been paying a lot of attention to the 2020 election.  

Virtually equal numbers of Trump and Biden supporters say they are paying a lot of attention to the election (46% vs. 48%) – while Democrats (43%) and Republicans (38%) are more likely than Independents (25%) to say they are paying a lot of attention.  

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll  

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between August 23 - 25, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.6% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty