Poll: Americans want shorter presidential campaigns

A majority of Americans want shorter presidential campaigns lasting no more than a year, according to a new poll.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65 percent, said they think the country’s presidential contests should be held within a limited time frame, and 23 percent said campaigns should not be limited, according to the Center for Public Integrity and Ipsos poll released Friday.

Slightly more Democrats — 71 percent — said that presidential races should be shorter; 63 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of independents favored limited campaigns.

Respondents were more divided on how long exactly the contests should last. A plurality of Americans, 32 percent, said campaigns should be limited to a year, 27 percent said they should be about six months, and 20 percent preferred three months or less.


Smaller percentages of respondents said they would support either very long time frames: Just 8 percent preferred two years before an election and 5 percent preferred four years.

The poll comes nearly six months after President Trump’s victory in a long and bitter election campaign stretching back to the summer of 2015, nearly a year and a half before the election itself.

Both Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls began declaring their candidacies in the first half of 2015, kicking off an extended campaign season through Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016.

Other countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico have already limited the time frames in which political campaigns can take place. In the U.K., for example, campaigning lasts for one month prior to the election.

Trump notified the Federal Election Commission of his intent to run for a second term on the day of his inauguration, and his campaign committee has remained active throughout his first months in office.

By comparison, former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHarris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden Valerie Jarrett: ‘Democracy depends upon having law enforcement’ MORE declared his re-election bid in April 2011, slightly over a year and a half before the 2012 presidential election.

What’s more, the president has appeared at several campaign-style rallies since taking office, including one in Pennsylvania last week to celebrate his first 100 days in office.

The Center for Public Integrity/Ipsos poll of roughly 1,005 U.S. adults was conducted April 21-24 online with an overall credibility interval of 3.5 percentage points. 

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