WASHINGTON—With most respondents stating that they simply aren’t ready for such a major commitment, a Gallup poll released Wednesday confirmed that a majority of Americans are not looking for a serious, long-term candidate right now.
The poll, which surveyed thousands of registered voters across all 50 states, revealed that seven out of 10 citizens are only considering supporting candidates on a short-term basis and have no plans to settle down with any one politician in the near future.
“Over time, most voters will find a presidential candidate they want to stick with for the long haul, but for the time being the electorate is just looking for something casual,” said Gallup spokesman Arnold Wheeler, adding that, at this stage, the average American still isn’t exactly sure what he or she wants in a politician. “Early on, it’s not uncommon for voters to form brief attachments to several vastly different candidates as they get a sense of their own likes and dislikes. Primary season is a time for most voters to explore and experiment.”
“Having a little fun with a strict, establishment Republican who I don’t see eye-to-eye with on marriage equality can’t hurt.”
“Of course, most of them will just naturally drift apart from their current favorite candidate over the course of several months,” continued Wheeler, “but that’s just part of the political courtship process.”
Of those voters who said they were not presently in a place to make a lasting commitment to a campaign, nearly one quarter stated that the excitement of being involved with a variety of unfamiliar candidates was too great to think about slowing down, while another 30 percent expressed concern regarding the dangers of deciding too soon on someone whose agenda they didn’t know well enough.
Roughly half of those surveyed said they had recently gotten out of a long-term commitment with another politician and wanted to avoid entering right back into anything too serious.
“With the last candidate I felt strongly about there ended up being a lot of lying and secrecy, so I’m really in no hurry to find someone new,” said Columbus, OH resident Donna Regis, who admitted she has recently enjoyed venturing outside her comfort zone with candidates whose values might not completely align with hers. “I have to say, it’s nice to get to know someone casually without constantly worrying about how compatible we are on every last policy issue.”
“Those things will become more important when I’m finally ready to get serious,” she continued. “But until then, having a little fun with a strict, establishment Republican who I don’t see eye-to-eye with on marriage equality can’t hurt.”
Many voters said they were also enjoying the freedom to pursue no-strings-attached arrangements with multiple candidates in quick succession, or in some cases with several candidates simultaneously. However, some respondents reported feeling anxious that they might never find a politician with whom they could truly be comfortable.
“As much as I’m enjoying keeping my options open right now, I’m worried what’s going to happen to me a year from now if I still haven’t found someone I could see myself genuinely caring about,” said Miami resident Greg Rebholz. “The last thing I want is to wind up panicking that I don’t have a special candidate in my life and then end up clinging to the first smooth talker with a halfway attractive economic record who comes along.”
Added Rebholz: “Knowing me, though, I’ll probably wind up just settling for Hillary.”