The 2008 presidential campaign dominated the national news last week, driven in large part by the lively Democratic debate in Philadelphia. Public interest in the campaign was up somewhat from previous weeks with 27% of Americans paying very close attention to campaign news. More than one-in-five named the campaign as the single news story they followed more closely than any other last week. This placed the campaign on par with the war in Iraq as one of the week's two most closely followed stories. Democrats paid much closer attention to the campaign than Republicans: 36% of Democrats vs. 23% of Republicans followed campaign news very closely.
Public interest in the Iraq war remained high despite relatively little news coverage More than three-in-ten Americans followed news about the situation in Iraq very closely and 20% listed this as their most closely followed story of the week. Coverage of the Iraq policy debate has fallen off dramatically since September, and public interest in the debate continues to lag behind interest in the war itself. Last week 21% of the public paid very close attention to the debate in Washington over U.S. policy in Iraq; 5% listed this as their most closely followed story of the week.
Read the full report Heavy Campaign Coverage Draws Large Audience on the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Web site.