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The 2024 election cycle has been one of the most dramatic elections in recent memory, starting with Donald Trump’s early announcement in November of 2022 and now culminating in the unprecedented conviction of a former president on felony charges. Now voters have to face the possibility of voting for someone who might be in jail when his presidency begins as Democrats and Republicans laud and rail against the verdict respectively. This is all occurring while the election still remains five months away.

A recent Pew Research Center poll shows that this wild election cycle could already be taking its toll on voters. According to the poll, more than half (58 percent) of Americans said they were either very or closely following news on the candidates in April. This is an increase from 5 2percent in the 2020 election. Republicans and those who lean Republican are watching the coverage more closely than Democrats and Democrat leaners (64 percent vs 58 percent). Yet despite the majority of Americans watching the coverage closely, Americans were already beginning to feel worn out in April. According to the poll, 62 percent stated they were worn out by news coverage of the campaigns. This is earlier than the last two elections Donald Trump ran in, with 69 percent feeling worn out in July during the 2016 election, and 61 percent feeling worn out in October during the 2020 election. Those who are watching the election very closely were the least likely to say they were feeling worn out by the coverage (40 percent). The poll also found that overall, most Americans just come across election news rather than actively seeking it out (57 percent vs 42 percent respectively). Fifty-eight percent of Americans who are closely following the news are also actively seeking out news coverage. Journalists and news organizations remain the highest sources of election news at 62 percent, although the poll did not dive into what specific news organizations Americans were utilizing.

How the former president’s recent conviction might change these numbers has yet to be revealed. Reports are showing that the Trump campaign earned nearly $53 million within 24 hours of his conviction. The former president made his first public appearance after the conviction at a UFC match, where he was loudly cheered. Many of his most ardent supporters have taken to social media to announced their intentions to vote for a “convicted felon” and even some of Trump’s former critics, such as Mitch McConnell, have come to his defense. Meanwhile, the exact eligibility of someone with felony charges being elected president remains unclear, causing numerous speculations across news stations. Whether that will revamp Americans’ interests in the election coverage or wear them out even further remains to be seen.

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