Conventions Still Draw Sizable Audience, Boost Campaign Interest

Aug 22, 2012

Despite limited primetime coverage, the Republican and Democratic conventions still give the parties a chance to define their presidential candidates and spark public interest in the campaign.

In 2008, notably, both conventions attracted sizable audiences, especially among their own partisans.

In a Pew Research Center survey conducted after the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., 56% of Americans said they watched at least some of the convention. A week earlier, somewhat fewer (46%) said they watched at least some of the Democratic convention in Denver.

Following the back-to-back conventions four years ago, public interest in the campaign surged. The week before the Democratic convention in 2008, 31% said they were following news about the campaign very closely. That jumped to 45% the week of the Democratic convention and stayed at that level as Republicans gathered the next week.

Read the full report, Conventions Still Draw Sizable Audience, Boost Campaign Interest, on the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press website.

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