After a brief respite following the Colorado shooting, the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are back on the attack, and the results of a new poll suggest that most Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the tone of the campaign.
The Knights of Columbus-Marist poll found that 78 percent of Americans are "mostly frustrated" by the tone of political campaigns in the U.S., while just 15 percent said they are "mostly encouraged."
Additionally, 74 percent said the tone of political campaigns has generally gotten more negative than in past election years compared to 19 percent that said the tone has gotten more positive.
Recently, the Romney campaign has continually attacked Obama for comments suggesting that entrepreneurs owe their success to outside forces, particularly his "you didn't build that" line.
The Obama campaign claims the president's remarks are being taken out of context but has also launched a number of attacks on Romney regarding his tenure at Bain Capital as well as his possible use of offshore tax havens.
The K of C/Marist poll found that 66 percent of Americans think candidates spend more of their time attacking their opponents than talking about issues.
The poll also showed that a majority of Americans describe the tone of political campaigns as "mostly uncivil and disrespectful."
A majority of Americans also believe that the personal attacks and negative ads in the campaigns do either "a great deal" or "a significant amount" of harm to the political process.
"The American people want and deserve civility and a conversation on the issues rather than the personal vilification of political opponents," Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in a statement.
"As this current data makes all too clear, the American people want a political discussion that is civil and respectful," he added. "As Americans, we understand that we may not agree on every aspect of every issue, but we also understand that how we disagree says a great deal about who we are as a nation."
The survey of 1,010 adults was conducted from July 9th through 11th and has a margin of error within plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.
by RTT Staff Writer
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