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Majority of Poll Respondents Unaware of GOP Pledge

More than half of the people surveyed in a new poll have never heard of the Republican “Pledge to America,” a figure slightly higher than the one recorded in a similar poll taken after the GOP released the “Contract With America” in 1994.

Asked whether they had heard “about Republican congressional candidates signing something called a ‘Pledge to America’ that pledges them to keep certain campaign promises if they are elected,” 66 percent of respondents said they had not, according to the ABC/Washington Post poll.

On Sept. 24, 1994, 71 percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research poll said they had not heard of the Contract With America.

House Republicans spent several months crafting their agenda this year using an Internet-based initiative to collect public opinion on key issues.

The Pledge to America was unveiled late last month and touted as “a new governing agenda built on the priorities of our nation, the principles of what we stand for and America’s founding values.”

The Contract With America was also released weeks before the November elections and, at one point, Republicans had it printed in TV Guide to raise its public profile.

The telephone survey of 1,002 adults was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 and had a margin of error of 3.5 points.

Of those respondents who had heard of the pledge, 45 percent said it would not influence how they voted in November. Nearly a quarter, 23 percent, said they were more likely to vote Republican as a result of the pledge, while 29 percent said the governing document made them less likely to vote for a GOP candidate.

Of those surveyed about the contract in 1994, 52 percent said the document did not influence their vote.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for the Republican agenda project, pointed to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll that gave the pledge high marks last week.

The survey reported 47 percent of people polled were “very familiar” or “familiar” with the pledge.

Of those who knew about the document, 46 percent had a favorable view of it.

The Fox poll, released on Sept. 30, was conducted Sept. 28-29 using a sample of 900 registered voters.

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