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Poll: GOP Voters Seek Strong Party Platform on Life, Family, Religious Freedom

July 5, 2024

As Republicans converge upon Milwaukee, Wisconsin next week to work out their party platform as part of the lead-up to the GOP's national convention, it’s clear that the big question for delegates will be the issues. In recent days, some party officials have hinted at “paring down” the GOP platform, causing many to wonder which issues will be left on the table.

A new poll released today shows that the issues of life, the family, and religious liberty are still at the forefront of GOP voters’ minds. The survey, conducted by WPA Opinion Research, showed continued concern about these issues, which have been core to the Republican platforms for decades.

WPA put this question to 1,000 likely voters: “Leading up to 2024 the Republican Party Platform has included strong positions on unborn human life, strengthening the family, and religious freedom. Would these issues impact your vote this fall a lot, just some, not too much, or not at all?”

The poll found 62% of Republican voters said that the party platform positions on these issues would impact their vote (37% said it would impact it “a lot,” and 25% said it would impact it “just some”). 

On the issue of life, the survey showed that 66% of GOP voters think that Republicans should keep (32%) or strengthen (34%) the party’s current platform position on the protection of unborn life. The 2016 Republican Platform contains a substantial statement on the life issue, including calling for a constitutional amendment protecting unborn life, and both federal and state protections for the unborn.

Regarding the issue of families and religious freedom, GOP voters likewise were not backing down. Of the likely Republican voters, 74% said that the party should either keep the current positions (23%) or adopt a stronger position (51%).

The polling was commissioned by FRC Action, which earlier this week launched its Platform Integrity Project to influence the platform committee to keep or strengthen its conservative planks. FRC Action Chairman Tony Perkins, who will also be serving as a delegate from Louisiana to the Republican Platform Committee, made these comments about the polling:

“This survey demonstrates a bold, clearly articulated platform that continues to embrace life, promotes the family, and defends religious freedom matters to voters. 

“The platform not only gives insight to voters, it gives direction to Republican elected officials. According to research by Dr. Lee Payne, the parties follow their platforms. Between 1980 and 2004, Republican lawmakers followed their platform 82 percent of the time.

“As Ronald Reagan noted, ‘There are cynics who say that a party platform is something that no one bothers to read, and it doesn’t very often amount to much.’ But he said ‘a banner of bold unmistakable colors with no pale pastels’ would reveal the difference between Republicans and the other party.

“America is in an unprecedented place of moral and cultural confusion and is in dire need of leadership and moral clarity. The Republican Party must once again communicate a clear and hopeful contrast between the parties by painting a message for voters on the foundational issues — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — not in pale pastels but in bright, bold colors.”

The Republican Platform Committee will begin meeting Monday, July 8 in Milwaulkee.

Jared Bridges is editor-in-chief of The Washington Stand.