Poll: 20 percent say election is an afterthought

While a new poll indicates that President Obama has a slight edge over Mitt Romney in several key battleground states, many voters say that Romney would actually be better at fixing the troubled economy. Nancy Cordes reports.
Obama vs. Romney on the economy

(CBS News) In spite of persistent, significant concerns about the economy, as many as one-fifth of American voters are paying little to no attention to the presidential election, according to a new CBS News poll.

Americans continue to say the country is headed in the wrong direction, and they are split over whether the nation is headed into another recession. Nearly four in 10 say they are worse off financially now than they were four years ago.

While these concerns dogged Americans over the summer, President Obama and his GOP rival Mitt Romney launched aggressive presidential campaigns. Their well-heeled super PAC allies added to the clamor, casting this year's election as one of the most important ever. Yet according to the poll, conducted Aug. 22-26, voters' attention to the campaign has not changed much since April when Romney all but locked-up the Republican Party's nomination.

Chart - Attention to the Campaign

As many as 45 percent of registered now say they are paying a lot of attention, including slightly more Republicans (47 percent) than Democrats (42 percent). In April, 43 percent were paying a lot of attention. In August of 2008, 51 percent said they were paying a lot of attention.

Another 34 percent of voters say they are paying some attention, while 20 percent are paying little to no attention.