Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those surveyed in this month's IBD/TIPP Poll believe the vote in November is indeed the "most important presidential election ever," while 35% do not. "Importance" is a proxy for "intensity," which in turn influences voter turnout.
Those who consider this to be the most important election ever can be seen as having "high intensity" and the others to have "low intensity." Eighty-two percent of Republicans, 56% of Democrats and 54% of independents belong to the high-intensity segment.
What are the differences between the two segments of the electorate?
First, 68% of high-intensity people are generally dissatisfied with the country's direction compared with 51% of low-intensity people.
Second, government's employment statistics fail to fully communicate the pain that is likely to reverberate in the November outcome. We estimate that more than 30 million Americans are seeking full-time work.
Twenty-nine percent of high-intensity households have at least one person looking for full-time work vs. 23% of low-intensity households.
Third, the high-intensity segment lacks confidence in President Obama. Only 36% of them approve of the job he's doing compared with 60% of low-intensity people.
Fourth, high-intensity Americans blame Obama for what they see as a lack of sufficient improvement in the economy and yearn for a new president who might produce better results. By 61% to 35%, they believe someone new deserves a chance. Low-intensity people, on the other hand, think Obama deserves re-election by a 62% to 28% margin.