In a week when Republicans fought two hotly contested primary battles and the Democrats only one, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama still attracted more coverage than top GOP newsmakers Mitt Romney and John McCain—and Clinton and Obama were in a virtual dead heat.
But Republicans overall generated more press than Democrats last week, a rare occurrence in this campaign season. What tipped the scales? A big difference, once again, was the treatment of Mike Huckabee versus John Edwards. Despite complaints from the Edwards campaign, the media, who apparently consider Huckabee a more viable contender than Edwards, lavished much more attention on the former Republican Governor of Arkansas than on the ex-Democratic Senator from North Carolina.
In his last gasp before dropping out, meanwhile, Fred Thompson barely registered on the media radar, a problem that, to some extent, also faces Rudolph Giuliani as he tries to jump start his candidacy in the vital Jan. 29 Florida contest.
These are some of the findings from Project for Excellence in Journalism’s second edition of the Campaign Coverage Index, a measure of which candidate is winning in the all-important race for media exposure. The project will run the Index until nominees are selected in each party.
Read the full report Clinton and Obama Lead Pack Again in Tight Battle for Media Attention on the Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.