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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's-His-Name, that Guy Running for President....

Porcupine has learned why so many of the twenty-odd candidates haven't been able to get their ideas across. Nobody has heard them.

From an excellent piece in Journalism.org, "The Invisible Primary", comes the following statistics -

While Hillary Clinton led in the derby for press exposure (she was the primary subject in 17% of all campaign stories), the largely antagonistic attention of conservative talk radio accounted for most of that edge. Clinton was the focus of nearly a third of all the campaign segments among the conservative talkers studied (the three most popular conservative radio voices, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage). Clinton is not nearly as a popular subject among liberal radio talk show hosts.

The second-most covered candidate, Democratic rival Barack Obama (14% of stories), got a boost in that coverage from being the No. 1 focus of all the candidates from network evening news.

Two Republicans were next in media exposure. Giuliani led among Republicans with 9% of the stories, followed by McCain at 7% and Romney at 5%.

They were followed by former Senators John Edwards (4%) and Fred Thompson (3%), whose level of coverage relative to their party rivals probably puts them in what is best considered a second tier. Interestingly, Thompson, the lobbyist, actor and former Tennessee Senator, enjoyed this level of coverage (and name recognition in polling) even though he did not actually enter the race until

The rest of the candidates would have to be considered not second-tier but third, at least in media attention. None received more than 2% of the coverage.

Put another way, of the more than 1,700 campaign stories examined from January to May, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee each were the focus of fewer than a dozen stories. The second tier Democrats fared only slightly better. There were five stories about Chris Dodd, 28 about Bill Richardson, one about Dennis Kucinich, and 41 about Joe Biden. For most, their coverage peaked the day of their announcement and went downhill from there.

How dominant were Clinton and Obama as newsmakers? Together, these two candidates commanded essentially the same amount of coverage as all the of the GOP hopefuls combined.

So, in a sense, we have nobody but ourselves to blame. Conservative pundits talk about the Democrats and Liberal reporters talk about...the Democrats.

The entire piece is worth reading, and is a good objective display of how conservative ideas and principles have tough sledding in getting exposure - even if at least half of the country agrees with them.

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