Republican Debates Light on Questions About Children’s Issues, Report Finds

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To date, the Republican presidential candidates have fought their way through 20 debates, collectively fielding 1,037 questions across a broad range of topics. But a new report by Voices for America’s Children shows only a tiny percentage of questions—fewer than 2 percent—focused on child policy issues such as education, child health or child poverty.

“While children represent 24 percent of the population and 100 percent of our future,” Bill Bentley, president and CEO of Voices for America’s Children, said in a press release, “questions about their future constituted less than 2 percent of all questions raised in those debates. America’s more than 74 million children can’t vote, but they should be heard, especially in a time of widespread hardship for families.”

The report notes the candidates themselves were more likely to raise children’s issues in their responses than the moderators were in their questions.

Only 17 questions addressing education, child health, welfare and poverty were asked of the candidates. None were asked about child protection, early childhood and children with disabilities.

National security, foreign policy and defense were the most popular issues, leading to 205 questions or 19.8 percent. Close behind were questions about the candidates’ electability and qualifications, resulting in 187 questions; and jobs, unemployment and the economy accounting for 186 questions.

The report is an update of a study done earlier in the campaign that only covered up to November 2011.

You can read the full report here.

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