The Invisible Primary – Invisible No Longer
How have the news media covered the early months of the 2008 presidential election? Which candidate enjoyed the most exposure, which the best, and which the worst? With the race starting so early, did the press leap to horse race coverage from the start? A study by PEJ and Harvard’s Shorenstein Center has answers.
Fred Thompson’s Campaign Web Site Was Already in Full Swing
Now that Fred Thompson has formally announced his candidacy for President, his live campaign can begin to match the vigorous cyberspace campaign he's been running for months. In a follow-up to a July 12 report on the Web sites of the other Presidential hopefuls, PEJ finds that Thompson’s full-service site is among the most sophisticated of anyone running–even before he had declared.
Campaign for President Takes Center Stage in Coverage
In the second quarter of 2007, the presidential campaign supplanted the debate over Iraq as the No. 1 story in the media. Barack Obama overtook Hillary Clinton as the candidate getting the most attention. And Republicans began to catch up with Democrats in exposure. PEJ offers a 2nd quarter report on the media.
The presidential hopefuls are using their web sites for unprecedented two-way communication with citizens. But what are voters learning here? Is it more than a way to bypass the media? A new PEJ study of 19 campaign sites finds Democrats are more interactive, Republicans are more likely to talk about “values,” and neither wants to talk about ideology.
Election Night 2006
How did the news media fare on Nov. 7? A PEJ study of 32 different media outlets on Election Day offers “five lessons” about the coverage of major breaking- news events in the multi-media era, and a “sector-by-sector” breakdown. While some outlets struggled to find their role, those that combined both speed and interactivity seemed the most useful destinations.
Post Election Headlines Play it Safe
How did newspapers play the Nov 7 election on their front page? Did they see an ideological realignment in the country, or some deeper shift? A review of the day-after headlines in 230 newspapers across the country reveals that it was nothing quite so dramatic and many tread closer to Sergeant Joe Friday’s “Just the Facts, Ma’am.”
The Election Pundits…Who Got Closest?
There was no shortage once again on cable and elsewhere in which pundits were asked how the midterm election would come out, something that of course by its nature was unknowable in advance. The general consensus among political prognosticators was that Nov. 7 was going to bring Democratic gains in Congress. Among a group of the most widely quoted election oracles, no one hit exactly what the final House tally appears likely to come out, but one prognosticator got very close.
Which Polls Had it Right?
The final tally from the mid-term election is in—you know the poll in which people actually vote—and the media polls can now be graded. With each election, there are more media outlets, and more polls. Usually, the polls begin to converge as election day nears. This year, the polls varied widely. How did they stack up against the actual vote?
We’re Ready to Project …
As 11 p.m. neared on November 7 and the networks were about to sign off, NBC projected the Democrats would take control of the House though the results of many races were still out. It soon had company. In the next 21 minutes, all the networks and cable channels made their calls as well on what was still a fairly fluid map. This was the most the networks would do on a difficult night.
Can the Exit Polls be Fixed?
Problems with exit polls affected the last three election cycles and wreaked havoc with media coverage of the 2000 and 2004 presidential balloting. With the crucial 2006 midterm election upon us, exit pollsters hope they’ve resolved those troubling issues. What is the status of the poll?