« | »

Shocker: Media Coverage Favors Democrats

From the Project For Excellence In Journalism:

Clinton Finishes Third in Battle for Campaign Coverage (But it’s Bill!!!)

“I can’t tell who I’m running against sometimes,” said Barack Obama last week. It was a reference to the aggressive campaigning before the Jan. 26 South Carolina Democratic primary by both Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Last week’s election coverage suggests he had a point. Although the landslide winner in South Carolina was the leading newsmaker of the week, he was certainly outdone in the race for media exposure by the Clinton tag team.

Obama edged Hillary Clinton by the narrowest of margins. But her surrogate and husband—whose aggressive attacks on Obama and increasingly conspicuous role have been manna for political pundits—was the third-most prominent newsmaker in the race for President last week, January 21 through 27. That period began two days after the Nevada caucuses and ended the day after the Democrats’ South Carolina primary.

The man who would be First Spouse made more news last week than any Republican, or than the other Democratic contender, John Edwards.

Among GOP rivals, Mitt Romney, a co-leader in many Florida polls, dropped precipitously in the race for exposure. So did Mike Huckabee, whose candidacy the media now appear to discount.

And Rudolph Giuliani was back, his coverage more than tripling from the week before, despite plunging in the polls—a sign that media coverage and poll numbers do not necessarily track.

Some candidates apparently are a good story whether they are rising or falling.

These are some of the findings from Project for Excellence in Journalism’s third edition of the Campaign Coverage Index, a measure of which candidate is winning in the all-important race for media exposure. The project will run the Index until nominees are selected in each party.

Obama, who ended the week of Jan. 21-27 with a surprisingly big win in South Carolina, was a significant or dominant newsmaker in 41% of the week’s campaign coverage. That marks his highest coverage level in the three weeks since the Project began its CCI and the first time he has edged Clinton.

It is not true, as some might have imagined, that Bill got even more coverage than his wife. But when Hillary Clinton’s 40% and Bill Clinton’s 18% coverage totals were added together, they were dominant or significant subjects in well over half the week’s campaign stories. John Edwards’ coverage increased, but at only 11%, he generated about one-fourth as much attention as the two frontrunners.

The leading Republican was John McCain, who was a significant or dominant newsmaker in 17%, down from 23% the previous week. Mitt Romney, although considered a co-frontrunner with McCain in the Florida fight, plummeted to 12% from 25% the week before. Mike Huckabee slid to 6% from 14%, with the media apparently concluding that his second-place South Carolina finish on Jan. 19 had crippled his chances.

Sitting out the first few contests, Giuliani showed up as a significant or dominant figure in only 4% of the stories in each of the two previous weeks. But last week, he was at 14% as the media focus shifted to Florida. Unfortunately for him, much of that coverage was about how his poll numbers had fallen

This is truly shocking, isn’t it?

Except that we see the media’s bias everywhere, every single day, even when they do manage to cover the Republicans — which of course does not include John McCain.

For note that in the article the top coverage went to McCain, followed distantly by Giuliani — who was only mentioned to bring up his falling poll numbers.

But it was ever thus, was it not?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to supporters at his Florida primary election night rally in St. Petersburg, Florida, January 29, 2008.

Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain smiles as he takes the stage at his Florida primary election night rally in Miami, Florida, January 29, 2008.

Really, what media bias?

It’s all in our imagination.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Shocker: Media Coverage Favors Democrats”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »