News Interest Index: No Increase in 'Too Much' Obama Despite Media Blitz

  • September 23, 2009

The number of Americans who say they are hearing too much about President Obama has not increased since mid-summer, despite the president's high media visibility. Still, 37% say they are hearing too much about Obama.

Since Labor Day, Obama has addressed a joint session of Congress about health care legislation, spoken to the nation's school children and appeared on five Sunday news talk shows in one day. According to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted Sept. 18-21 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, a plurality (47%) say they are hearing the right amount about Obama and another 12% say they are hearing too little.

In the survey, which was in the field as Obama appeared on the Sunday talk shows on Sept. 20, Americans continue to say they are highly interested in the health care debate: 36% say it was the story they followed most closely last week, more than double the percentage for any other major story. But despite that interest, relatively few (19%) say they heard a lot last week about Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus unveiling details of his health care proposal.

The debate over health care reform got more media coverage than any other story, taking up 17% of the newshole analyzed by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. That was down from 32% of coverage the previous week when Obama delivered his address to Congress. The president also continued to be the top newsmaker as measured by PEJ.

Read the full report No Increase in "Too Much" Obama Despite Media Blitz on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.