60% of Independent Voters Did Not Watch Either Dem or GOP Conventions

More than half of voters who registered as Independent did not watch the national conventions held by either of the two major U.S. political parties in August, according to data from a Hill-HarrisX poll released Thursday.

Because of the threat of community spread coronavirus, both the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention employed different presentation techniques than in past years. Pre-taped remarks were often employed and live events were scaled down. Although the Democratic National Convention drew more conventional broadcast viewers than its Republican counterpart, the Republican National Committee reported raising more campaign donations during its convention than the Democratic Party.

According to the poll, 60 percent of Independent voters chose not to watch either convention. Political ennui may have also set in with major party voters as 30 percent of registered Democrats and 30 percent of registered Republicans also indicated they did not tune in to either convention. Overall, 40 percent of those who participated in the survey did not watch the conventions.

Out of those who did watch, 33 percent of registered voters believed the Democratic National Convention was more effective than the Republican National Convention, which received 27 percentage points in the poll.

Independents also gave the edge to the Democratic National Convention. Out of Independent voters surveyed, 23 percent said the Democratic National Convention was more effective while 16 percent chose the Republican National Convention.

Newsweek reached out to the Biden and Trump campaigns for comment.

joe biden
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivers his acceptance speech on the fourth night of the Democratic National Convention in August. Win McNamee/Getty

According to information from the data analytics firm Nielsen, the Democratic convention drew an average of 20.12 million viewers over four nights. The Republican National Convention pulled in an average of 17.36 million viewers. Those numbers only reflect viewers who were watching on television. Currently, there is no system in place to gauge how many viewers observed the conventions online.

President Donald Trump told attendees at a campaign event in Pennsylvania on Thursday that the published ratings were incorrect, repeating claims made last week.

"We got much higher numbers than [Democrats] did but they'll say anything," Trump said. "We got much higher by millions and millions of people."

Despite the apparent ratings win by the Democrats, Trump's re-election campaign, the Republican National Committee and joint fundraising committees raised $76 million during the Republican National Convention. During the Democratic National Convention, Biden's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and its joint fundraising committees raised $70 million, representing a $6 million gap between the two campaigns.

"With massive fundraising and record viewership, President Trump's renomination convention was a huge, unqualified success," Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told Fox News in August.

Biden's campaign has received support from some Independent voters and members of the Republican Party who have chosen not to support Trump's re-election. On Thursday, over 100 members of the GOP and Independents endorsed Biden by announcing the Republicans and Independents for Biden coalition.

"In this moment of great national crisis, we need to elect a leader matched to the moment, someone who can restore competence to the oval office and unify the country," the coalition said in a Thursday statement. "Joe Biden is that leader."

Funded by the Republican anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project, Republicans and Independents for Biden is led by former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican who spoke in Biden's support during the Democratic National Convention.

60% of Independent Voters Did Not Watch Either Dem or GOP Conventions | U.S.