GOP platform more sought than Romney speech
Poll shows Americans most interested in policy goals
Mitt Romney's convention speech, widely regarded as the Republican candidate's first introduction to voters who've thus far ignored the presidential race, is less interesting to Americans than the GOP party platform, a poll released Monday showed.
The survey from Pew Research Center showed 52% of Americans were very or somewhat interested in the Republican Party's platform, which was drafted last week and will be adopted by delegates at the Convention. Forty-four percent were very or somewhat interested in Mitt Romney's speech, compared to 46% who were interested in the speech of Romney's running mate, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.
The interest level in the Democratic Convention - scheduled to begin September 4 in Charlotte - was only slightly higher. Fifty-five percent of Americans said they were very or somewhat interested in the Democratic Party platform, compared to 52% who were interested in President Barack Obama's speech. Fifty-two percent of Americans were interested in the convention speech from President Bill Clinton, who will perform the symbolic task of submitting Obama's name into nomination.
In total, majorities of Americans said they were not interested in either party's convention - 55% weren't interested in the GOP convention, and 57% weren't interested in the Democrats'. While the level of interest for Republicans was similar to interest levels in 2008, the interest for Democrats is sharply down. Four years ago, 59% said they were interested in the Democratic convention, compared to 41% who weren't interested.
However, interest in the Republican candidate's speech has historically been higher than the levels recorded for Romney's address. In 2008, 52% of Americans said they were interested in hearing Sen. John McCain's remarks, and 53% were interested in hearing from George W. Bush in 2000, the first time he ran for president.
The Pew Research Center poll was conducted August 23-26 by telephone from 1,010 adults. The sampling error was plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.