News Interest Index: Many Say Coverage is Biased in Favor of Obama

Jun 05, 2008

Over the course of the primary campaign season greater numbers heard about controversies associated with Barack Obama than heard about other campaign events. Nonetheless, far more Americans believe that the press coverage has favored Barack Obama than think it has favored Hillary Clinton.

Nearly four-in-ten (37%) say that in covering the Democratic race, news organizations have been biased toward Obama while just 8% say they have been biased toward Clinton; 40% say news organizations have shown no bias in their coverage. Substantial minorities of Republicans (45%) and independents (40%) say the press has been biased toward Obama; somewhat fewer Democrats (35%) see a pro-Obama bias.

The weekly News Interest Index finds that Obama has clearly been the dominant figure in the campaign thus far, both in terms of press coverage and public visibility. Despite the widespread belief that the press has favored Obama, many of the events that have registered most strongly with the public centered on controversies involving either Obama himself or his campaign.

Of nearly 40 campaign events that have been measured, Obama's relationship with his former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright remains the most widely heard about campaign story. In early May, 62% of the public said they had heard a lot about Wright's speeches dealing with race and the presidential campaign.

Read the full report Many Say Coverage is Biased in Favor of Obama on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.

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