Poll: Voters interested more in platforms than speeches

National Constitution Center

A study from the Pew Research Center shows potential voters are more focused on each party’s convention platforms than big-name speakers in Tampa and Charlotte.

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The poll was taken before the Republican convention in Tampa and covers interest levels in four topics at each convention: reaction to two big-name speakers, the platform, and the roll call of states.

In both cases, public interest was highest in each party’s platforms and lowest in the roll call of states.

But in a surprise, despite a lot of media chatter about the Republican platform, there was a higher level of interest in the Democrats’ platform.

Overall, 55 percent of those polled were interested in learning about the Democrats’ platform while 52 percent were curious about the GOP platform.

The next highest interest level was in Bill Clinton’s upcoming speech at the Democratic convention, at 52 percent.

Among voters who identify as Democrat, Republican, or Independent, there were higher interest levels in the opposing party’s platforms, and equal interest among Independents in both party’s platforms.

One fact that jumped out in the survey was a huge falloff in voter interest in the Democratic convention. In 2008, 59 percent of those polled were interested in the Democrats convention in Denver, while the current interest level for Charlotte was 43 percent.

Interest levels in the GOP convention were similar to percentages in 2004 and 2008.

GOP platform goes heavy on constitutional references

Once people actually got to read or hear about the GOP platform, a history book or two could come in handy.

The Republicans published their 62-page platform earlier this week, which expectedly was praised by GOP supporters and ripped by critics.

It included a huge focus on the Constitution, with a whopping 61 references to the Constitution by name and extensive passages about amendments, rights—and the Democrats skirting constitutional issues.

An entire section is devoted to “A Restoration of Constitutional Government,” and it included a plea to restore the balance between the legislative and executive branches.

The platform also includes quotes from James Madison and George Washington, and the proposal of amendments on human life and balanced budgets.

The constitutional theme was extended to the convention floor, especially on Wednesday night, when Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Paul Ryan talked extensively about constitutional issues.

Paul also brought up Madison in a discussion about the Supreme Court’s divided decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care plan.

“I think if James Madison, himself–the father of the Constitution–were here today he would agree with me: the whole damn thing is still unconstitutional!” Paul said.

Ryan concluded his speech with call back to the Founding Fathers.

“Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government–to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government,” he said.

Critics took the GOP platform to task for its proposed human life amendment and its opposition to same-sex marriage.

So far, there is little information available on the Democratic platform. It should have a much different approach to same-sex marriage, health care, and taxes than the Republican platform.

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