When the campaign was finally over, the media almost immediately viewed Barack Obama's victory as a transformational event, and a subject that had been in some ways taboo moved front and center - race.
Fully 60% of voters followed campaign news very closely this weekend, the highest level of interest on the eve of an election since the Pew Research Center began tracking campaign news interest in 1988. Throughout the campaign, Americans said they were hearing more about Obama than about McCain, although analysis shows news coverage became closely balanced between the two candidates.
If ever there is a time when campaigns are horse races, it is in the final days, and coverage was indeed largely about the contest itself.
Television remains the dominant source, but the percent of people who say they get most of their campaign news from the internet has tripled since 2004.
When it comes to coverage of the campaign for president 2008, where one goes for news makes a difference, according to a new study.
In the final days of the race for president, seemingly nothing but the algebra of the electoral map appears to have staying power.
Coverage of the presidential race has not so much cast Obama in a favorable light as it has portrayed McCain in a substantially negative one, according to a new study of the media.
Campaign coverage increasingly focused on tactics -- including McCain's invocation of an Ohio plumber to represent the working man - as well as fights in battleground states and the parade of polls.
For the first time in a month, the election generated more coverage than the financial crisis and almost one-third of that coverage was connected to the increasingly harsh tone of the campaign.
From Jefferson to Palin, politicians of the left and right have blamed the media for public discontent with their policies, politics or personal behavior.