What were the dominant personal narratives conveyed in media coverage of the presidential candidates? Which contenders fared best in the press and how critical was that coverage in influencing public opinion? How did those candidate story lines change over time? A new PEJ study of the 2008 primary season examines these questions.
Summary of Findings Democratic voters are not as positive about Barack Obama as they were a month ago. Somewhat smaller percentages of Democrats describe Obama in favorable terms, and he has lost his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. Nationally, Democratic voters are about evenly divided between Obama and Clinton; […]
Summary of Findings Interest in what the public perceives as an excessively negative presidential campaign declined in the days leading up to the Pennsylvania primary. Just 29% of Americans say they paid very close attention to news about the presidential campaign last week, the lowest percentage recorded since December 2007. By comparison, 43% said they […]
Obama's high favorable ratings are more influenced by how he makes voters feel than by specific characteristics they attributed to him. Clinton's image, in contrast, is driven by opinions about her own qualities.
At the start of his run for the presidency, Barack Obama would explain the positive reaction he was getting from admirers by saying “this is more about you than about me.” Now that Mr. Obama is the front-running Democratic candidate, an in-depth look at how voters are reacting to him – and the reasons for […]
Summary of Findings The videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial sermons and Barack Obama’s subsequent speech on race and politics have attracted more public attention than any events thus far in the 2008 presidential campaign. A majority of the public (51%) said they heard “a lot” about the videos, and an even larger percentage (54%) […]
If they turn out to be their party's nominees, both Barack Obama and John McCain need to educate voters about themselves in some pretty basic, and challenging, ways.
John McCain's age has remained notably absent as a campaign issue, but earlier polling data suggest it could become a big issue for the Arizona senator come November.
As John McCain comes ever closer to securing the Republican nomination, his age has remained notably absent as a campaign issue. So far it has attracted so little attention that the network exit pollsters have not included even one question on the subject in 23 state surveys – an extraordinary occurrence given that Senator McCain […]
Summary of Findings Barack Obama is seen by most Democrats as inspiring and as most likely to bring about change. Hillary Clinton is widely viewed as prepared to lead the country, but also hard to like. These are some of the major themes in campaign news coverage — identified by the Project for Excellence in […]