Poll: Public Interest in Election Lags Behind Hurricane Sandy

More people said they were paying closer attention to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy than the Election.

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President Barack Obama embraces Donna Vanzant, an owner of the North Point Marina, during a tour of a neighborhood affected by superstorm Sandy in Brigantine, N.J.

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Americans paid closer attention to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy than they did to the lead-up to the election, according to a new poll released by Pew.

According to the poll, conducted between Nov. 1 and Nov. 4, 53 percent of Americans said they were following Hurricane Sandy "very closely," compared to 47 percent of Americans following the election very closely; 38 percent said they were following economy very closely.

[PHOTOS: Heroic Storm Rescues]

Interest in the campaign lagged behind 2008 levels during four of the last five weeks, and public interest in this election has generally been lower than 2008 levels. According to the poll, the percentage of people following the election "very closely" fell from 52 percent a week ago to 47 percent between Nov. 1-4.

Interest in Hurricane Sandy peaked in the Northeast, with 73 percent of people following the storm closely, compared to 43 percent of people in the west. According to PEW, Hurricane Sandy is "one of the most closely followed storms in Pew Research surveys dating back to 1989," but overall interest "remains well below the 70 percent who were following Hurricane Katrina very closely in September 2005."

Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at jkoebler@usnews.com.