News Interest Index: Just 28% Say Media Going Easy on Obama

As is often the case, voters say they would like to see more coverage of the candidates' positions on the issues and less coverage of which candidate is leading in the latest polls. More than three-quarters of the public (78%) would like to see more coverage of the candidates' positions on domestic issues and 74% would like to see more coverage of foreign policy positions.

But there may be more urgency to the public's plea in this election cycle than in the past. Fewer than half the public (40%) know a lot or a fair amount about Democratic front runner Barack Obama's foreign policy positions. This compares with 54% who know at least a fair amount about Hillary Clinton's positions on foreign policy and 52% who know as much about John McCain's positions.

Even among those who have been following campaign news very closely, only a bare majority (54%) say they know a lot or a fair amount about Obama's foreign policy positions. Fully a quarter say they know very little. By comparison, 71% of those who are paying very close attention to campaign news know a lot or a fair amount about Clinton's positions on foreign policy and nearly as many (67%) know at least a fair amount about McCain's positions. Democrats know more about Clinton's positions on foreign policy than they do about Obama's positions. More than six-in-ten Democrats or independents who lean Democratic (63%) know a lot or a fair amount about Clinton's foreign policy positions, while 50% know a lot or a fair amount about Obama's positions. Among Republicans, 61% know a lot or a fair amount about McCain's positions on foreign policy.

Read the full report Just 28% Say Media Going Easy on Obama on the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Web site.

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