If that’s how you’re feeling about US election news, it appears you’re not alone. The message buried in the latest New York Times/CBS poll, released Thursday, is that Americans are likely overwhelmed by information about the presidential candidates and uninterested in any further details about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican nominee Donald Trump.
According to the Times, only one in 10 likely voters say they may still change their mind about who to support, while about six in 10 said “the 11th-hour disclosures about each candidate would make no real difference in their vote.” You can almost see them checking the time, yawning, and mumbling an answer.
The polling began just hours after FBI director James Comey told Congress that the agency had discovered new email messages connected to Clinton’s use of a private server and was planning to investigate them further. Most people contacted by the Times said they had heard about Comey’s announcement; even more were aware of complaints against Trump by women who say he acted inappropriately toward them. The majority of respondents did report that “they were more likely to be negatively affected by the revelations about Mr. Trump than by those about Mrs. Clinton.”
It’s not hard to see what’s driving the disinterest. The news cycle has been on overdrive in these past few months, and the public has been tasked with following mainstream outlets, Wikileaks releases, FBI disclosures, tweets from the candidates, campaign websites, and even moving advertisements. That doesn’t even factor in annoying Facebook friends.
“Every day, we feel overwhelmed, hearing political analysts shouting insults at one or another of the presidential candidates,”psychologist Judith Miller wrote in her latest Psychology Today column. “We also read blistering words in newspapers and social media insulting the besieged individuals who are running for America’s highest office.”
The emotions have run so high that the American Psychological Association actually released tips for dealing with election stress. Among their suggestions: Limit your media consumption.
Undecided voters tend to do that anyway, and this election has a higher than usual number of them. According to YouGov data collected since June, only about one-third of undecided voters watch the news “most of the time.”
Having reached our limit for actual exposés, New Yorker satirist Andy Borowitz may be the only news source we still have time for: