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.
Even with a partisan enthusiasm gap, voter interest is already as high as in November of recent elections, two trends that may significantly alter the composition of the eventual electorate in the Democrats' favor. The proportion of swing voters is also up compared with four years ago. Nearly half of independents (47%) are undecided or may change their minds, up from 28% in June 2004.
While Obama and McCain received similar levels of media coverage, Obama remained by far the most visible candidate. Only 11% of Americans cited McCain as the candidate they had heard the most about, while more than seven-in-ten (71%) named Obama.
More of the public heard about controversies related to Obama than other campaign events. Even so, far more Americans believe press coverage has favored him than think it has favored Clinton.
While much of the public focused on international events, cable news focused on the campaign almost to the exclusion of other top news stories. Also, though well covered, awareness of John Edwards' endorsement of Obama was relatively low.
In four separate surveys conducted since March 20, when asked about each of the Democratic candidates, between 25%-31% of the public has said their opinions have recently become less favorable.
While McCain has been consistently less visible to the public, far more Americans say the news they have been hearing about him is generally positive than say the same about coverage of Obama or Clinton.
While her Bosnia flap made Clinton the newsmaker of the week, she continues to lag behind Obama in terms of public visibility. Both candidates, despite recent negative news, have seen little change in their favorability.
Fully 85% of Americans say they heard about Obama's speech, and 70% have heard more about him in the last week than any other candidate. The impact of events on Obama's image appears to be mixed.
Americans are paying close attention to all aspects of the election this year, but the most widely recognized item involves rumors that Obama is a Muslim.