In a steep drop from four years ago, just 37 percent of Americans said they either watched all or some of the recently concluded Republican National Convention, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.
In 2008, 56 percent of Americans said they watched all or some of the convention.
Those polled cited actor and director Clint Eastwood’s widely-discussed speech as the highlight over Mitt Romney’s, 20 percent to 17 percent. But about 1 in 5 say there was no convention highlight, according to the poll. Republicans polled said that Romney’s speech was the highlight, by 25 percent to 19 percent, while independents favored Eastwood.
Such an occurrence is not unusual. In 2008, then-nominee John McCain was overshadowed by another speaker: then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Fifty percent named Palin’s speech as the highlight, versus 17 percent for McCain.
Despite the declining interest in the convention, Romney did get an image boost in the last few days: Twenty-five percent of those polled say their opinion of Romney has become more favorable in the past few days, up from 18 percent in the week before the convention, and those who see him unfavorably has declined as well. Most of the boost for Romney came from Republicans.
The poll was based on telephone interviews between Aug. 31 and Sept. 3, among a national sample of 1,008 adults in the continental U.S.