Awareness of Winfrey's support for Obama was equally high across parties, genders and racial groups; leading GOP candidates still lag behind Obama and Clinton in public visibility.
In the early months of the 2008 campaign, the media had essentially winnowed the race to a handful of candidates and offered Americans relatively little information about their records or what they would do if elected.
Many more Republicans are able to recall unprompted the names of Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama than can name Rudy Giuliani and other leading GOP candidates.
When he formally enters the 2008 race this week, former Sen. Fred Thompson can behave in all ways like a presidential candidate. But on his "testing the waters" website, I'mwithFred.com, he's already been busy reaching out to supporters.
Hillary Clinton leads all Democrats with 42% of the public saying they have heard the most about her in the news lately.
Through their official websites, the campaigns themselves are challenging the press as a destination for news.
About half the public believes that press coverage of 2008 presidential candidates has been fair, but there are partisan differences in these evaluations. A plurality of Republicans say the press has been too easy on Democratic candidates.
Heading into their first debate Thursday evening, what Republican candidates for the presidency need most is to gain visibility. The latest News Interest Index survey finds Clinton and Obama are far more visible, even to Republicans.
If you ask political news consumers what they like most about their favorite platform for news, a vivid image of a typical TV, newspaper, and internet political news consumer will emerge from their own comments. All three media forms win praise from their primary fans for their convenience but the context for its definition varies.