Eastwood Tied Romney as Republican Convention ‘Highlight’

Film actor and director Clint Eastwood shared the spotlight with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as highlights of the party’s nominating convention, a poll shows.

Twenty percent of those surveyed said Eastwood -- who delivered an improvisational and imaginary conversation with President Barack Obama, represented by an empty chair, on the stage of the convention in Tampa, Florida -- was the gathering’s high point, according to the poll conducted by Washington-based Pew Research Center.

Just 17 percent said Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital chief executive who accepted his party’s nomination for president on stage following Eastwood’s act, was the convention’s main attraction, the poll shows.

In a survey of 1,008 adults, conducted Aug. 31 through Sept. 3, those numbers represent a virtual tie. The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. One in five surveyed said the convention had no highlight.

The poll also reaffirmed what television viewership data from Nielsen Media Research showed: viewership was down from the Republican convention in 2008, when Senator John McCain of Arizona was nominated.

“The public paid far less attention to this year’s Republican convention” than it did four years ago, Andrew Kohut, Pew Research Center president, said in a statement today. “Just 37 percent say they watched all or some of the Republican convention, down from 56 percent in 2008.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Silva in Washington at msilva34@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net

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