News Interest Index: Less News is Good News for McCain

  • April 17, 2008

John McCain's campaign for president has been flying under the news media's radar since he sewed up the Republican nomination in early March. In recent weeks, he has received less news coverage - and has been consistently less visible to the public - than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Nonetheless, far more Americans say the news they have been hearing about McCain is generally positive than say the same about coverage of Obama or Clinton. By a margin of 36%-11%, more Americans say the news they have been hearing about McCain has been mostly positive rather than mostly negative; 44% say the news about the Arizona senator has been mixed.

Perceptions of Clinton's press coverage are strikingly different. Fully 36% say the news they have been hearing about the former first lady has been mostly negative, while just 13% say it has been mostly positive. A 47% plurality says there has been a mix of positive and negative news.

Views of Obama's coverage are evenly divided between those who see it as mostly positive (21%) and mostly negative. A narrow majority (53%) say it has been a mixture of both.

The survey was conducted April 11-14, following the initial news reports of Obama's controversial comments about working-class voters. At a San Francisco fundraiser, Obama said that small-town voters, embittered over their economic circumstances, cling to religion, guns, and anti-immigrant beliefs.

Read the complete findings Less News is Good News for McCain on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.