Poll: Most back shorter campaigns, national primary for president

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Republicans are particular fans of shorter campaigns and national primaries, likely a reflection of the bruising 2012 presidential primary. Many political analysts have suggested that Mitt Romney — the target of frequent criticism by his fellow GOP candidates — was at a disadvantage to President Obama, who did not face a primary challenger.

The survey also found that some 68 percent of voters would support a nationwide referendum system, by which a popular vote would decide whether to enact laws that had garnered a certain number of petition signatures. Only 23 percent of those surveyed said they would oppose such a system.

The national referenda idea was particularly popular among Republicans — three quarters supported it — and those between 18-29 years old, who backed the idea by an identical margin. College graduates were among the least likely to support the referenda idea (63 percent support), while just 64 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents backed the idea.

"Perhaps it is not surprising Americans would favor steps that would make their voices more influential in determining government policy," Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones said in a statement.