By Jim Kouri
A top political polling firm predicted Tuesday that there will be lower voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election cycle than in 2004 and 2008.
According to Gallup Polling, registered voters reported paying less attention to the upcoming election, and were less likely to rate their chance of voting than in 2004 and 2008, two higher-turnout elections, the national polling firm claims.
According to Gallup, 85 percent of respondents said they gave “quite a lot of” or “some” thought to the election, which was lower than 87 percent and 90 percent in the 2008 and the 2004 elections.
Meanwhile, 83 percent of the respondents rated the likelihood of voting as a “10” on a 10-point scale, compared to 86 percent in 2008 and 89 percent in 2004.
But the 2012 statistics are higher than they were in 1996 and 2000, two lower-turnout elections, when proportionately fewer Americans voted.
Tracking voter turnout from Oct. 15 to Oct. 28, the poll was conducted before Hurricane Sandy started battering the East Coast from Monday. The storm’s impact on voter turnout is unclear, said the pollster.
Many voters in the affected region who to vote may be unable to get to the polls on the Election Day on Nov. 6. Early voting may also be affected, although there are fewer states on the East Coast that have early voting.
According to Gallup, as this year’s presidential race between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney has been a dead heat, both Democrats and Republicans are counting on a higher turnout of their supporters in order to win the election.