Bloomberg News

Americans Would Rather Read About Platforms Than Speeches

August 27, 2012

More Americans are interested in what the Democratic and Republican platforms have to say, rather than the party’s presidential nominees, according to a poll released today.

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey was taken as Republicans gathered in Tampa, Florida, this week and Democrats prepared to meet a week later in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The poll found 52 percent of U.S. adults interested in the Republican Party platform and 55 percent interested in the Democrats’ statement of principles, both of which will be adopted at their quadrennial gatherings. The documents will contrast the parties’ positions on a number of issues such as taxes, foreign policy and immigration.

The Republicans are expected to call for auditing the Federal Reserve and reiterate their opposition to abortion rights, while the Democratic platform is to endorse same-sex marriage.

According to the Pew survey, 46 percent of adults are interested in the acceptance speech by Romney’s choice for vice president, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Forty- four percent are interested in Romney’s speech. That’s lower than the 53 percent who said they wanted to hear from 2000 Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush in Philadelphia and the 52 percent interested in the address by the party’s 2008 nominee, John McCain in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Democratic Convention

Fifty-one percent of adults say they are interested in President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech and 52 percent say they want to hear from the previous Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who is to nominate the current incumbent in Charlotte.

Majorities say they aren’t interested in either convention. For the Democrats, 57 percent say they aren’t interested and 43 percent said they are, a reversal of four years ago when 59 percent wanted to watch the gathering that nominated the first black national candidate of a major political party. In 2008, 41 percent expressed no interest.

For the Republican convention, 55 percent say they aren’t interested in the proceedings, compared with 51 percent in 2008.

The poll of 1,010 adults taken Aug. 23-26 had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Tampa, Florida at jsalant@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net


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