The 2020 presidential election is two weeks away, and over 20 million Americans have already placed their votes in the pivotal election. The excitement and sense of urgency between both Republicans and Democrats seems to have reached new heights for this election cycle, with voters from each side certain that a vote for the opposing candidate could spell disaster for the country. New survey data shows how U.S. voters are treating this election more seriously than in previous years.
In data from a recent Gallup survey, 77 percent of all U.S. registered voters said the outcome of this year’s presidential election matters more to them than in previous election years. That’s the highest percentage in the poll’s 26-year history, with the last five election cycles hovering around 70 percent.
The percentage of Republicans who said 2020’s presidential election matters more than previous years dipped slightly, going from over 80 percent in 2012 and 2016 to 79 percent in 2020. Democrats, however, have skyrocketed from their lows in the 2012 and 2016 election to reach 85 percent saying 2020’s presidential election matters more than previous years.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic crisis and perhaps the most contentious incumbent president in modern history, it's no wonder why Americans expect the outcome of 2020's election to be uniquely consequential for the future of the country. It's still unclear whether this year will have a record turnout to the polls, but if early ballot measurements are any indication, the high of 62 percent voter participation in 2008 could easily be broken come November.