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VOTER ANGST

The “angst of the American electorate over negative campaigning and personal attacks” is the centerpiece of a Knights of Columbus survey revealing that 78 percent of Americans say they are frustrated by the tone of political campaign, while 66 percent say candidates spend more time criticizing their opponents than addressing the issues. Almost as many say such negative campaigning causes significant damage to the political process.

“The American people want and deserve civility and a conversation on the issues, rather than the personal vilification of political opponents,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “As Americans, we understand that we may not agree on every aspect of every issue, but we also understand that how we disagree says a great deal about who we are as a nation.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 79 percent of Americans plan to watch the 2012 Olympic Games.

• 50 percent say U.S. athletes winning the most medals is more interesting than watching world records being set.

• 43 percent say new records are more interesting, regardless of what nation sets them.

• 50 percent say Michael Phelps will be the biggest “male star”; 19 percent are unsure; 17 percent cited LeBron James; 8 percent Usain Bolt.

• 43 percent say Serena Williams will be the biggest “female star”; 26 percent are unsure; 11 percent cite Hope Solo; 9 percent, Lolo Jones.

• 41 percent say China is America’s strongest competitor in the Olympics; 21 percent are unsure; 15 percent cite Russia; 8 percent, Canada; 7 percent, Great Britain; 7 percent, Australia.

• 30 percent say gymnastics is their favorite event; 23 percent cite swimming; 18 percent, track and field; 11 percent, basketball; and 10 percent, soccer.

Source: A Marist University poll of 1,010 U.S. adults, conducted July 9-11 and released Monday.

Cryptic asides, indecorous outbursts to jharper@washingtontimes.com