Bad news for Republican operatives who would rather not get into the fine print of the GOP platform at this week's Tampa, Fla., pep rally for Mitt Romney. The public is more interested in the platform than this week's speeches by the presumptive nominee and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.).
At least that's according to the latest poll from the folks over at the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The platform has gotten a bit of ink regarding its hard-line positions on abortion rights, gay marriage, immigration, Obamacare and Medicare.
Still, many Republicans have done their best to distance the platform's contents from general consumption — and their top candidate.
"This is the platform of the Republican Party; it's not the platform of Mitt Romney," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told MSNBC last week.
Republican strategist Mike Murphy said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that no one really cares. "No, no, look, here’s the rule of Republican platform, nobody reads it. I’ve been in this business 28 years. I’ve never read the darn thing," Murphy said.
But according to the Pew poll, 52 percent of the public is interested in what's in the platform, which the convention will adopt this week, while 44 percent said they wanted to hear what Romney had in store for his speech. Forty-six percent said they wanted to hear what Ryan had to say.
According to Pew's trend lines, fewer people are interested in Romney's speech than were interested in other recent nominees' speeches: 53 percent said they were interested in what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had in store for his 2008 nomination speech, and 52 percent said they were interested in what former President George W. Bush was going to say in 2004 at his nominating convention.
The survey of 1,010 adults was conducted Aug. 23-26 and had a 3.6-point margin of error.