A Gallup survey finds 64% of Americans are giving "quite a lot" of thought to the election. that's down from 70% in July of 2008. That lower engagement could translate into a lower turnout this year.
Republicans are paying more attention to the campaign this year, with 74% saying they are thinking "quite a lot" about the election. Compare that with 61% of Democrats and 60% of independents.
Galllup says the higher level of attention paid by Republicans is not unusual, but the 13-point margin is unusual.
That may be because Republicans had a competitive nomination contest this year, while on the Democratic side, President Obama was not challenged for the nomination. In the early part of 2008, when Democrats had a prolonged and competitive nomination contest between Obama and Hillary Clinton, Democrats led Republicans in thought given to the election.
Thought among Democrats will likely pick up at the first major Democratic event in the campaign, the Democratic convention in early September.