Poll: 40% of voters "not at all satisfied" with presidential choices

(CNN) -- A poll released Monday, September 24th shows voters feel stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their choices in candidates for the 2012 presidential election.

Only 54% of voters say they are very or fairly satisfied with the presidential choices-a number only slightly changed since June when 56% said they were satisfied. Forty percent however say they are not too or not at all satisfied marking the lowest level of candidate satisfaction since the 1992 presidential election, according to the a national survey by the Pew Research Center and Washington Post.

In October of 1992, 51% of voters were very or fairly satisfied and 47% were not too or not at all satisfied.

Compare these numbers to the level of satisfaction in September of 2008 when 72% of voters said they were satisfied. In 2004 voters' satisfaction was at 66%; 2000 at 64% and 1996 at 61%.

The poll was conducted from September 20-23, entirely after the posting of a secretly recorded video showing Republican nominee Mitt Romney making controversial comments while courting top-dollar donors at a private fund-raiser in May and over a week after attacks on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans including the ambassador to Libya.

The survey finds Democrats showing more satisfaction with the candidate field than Republicans, and fewer than half of independent voters, 45%, were either very or fairly satisfied with the presidential selection this election season. Republicans showed more contentment with the candidates field in both 2004 and 2000 while Democrats were more content with their choices in 1996 and 1992.

In 2008, all three groups showed more approval of their presidential choices than in the current election cycle.

The survey was conducted from September 20-23 among 1,005 adults, including 838 registered voters, and has a sampling error plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for the total sample.

CNN's Dana Davidsen and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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