News Interest Index: Public Says Press Should Not Declare Obama the Winner

News Interest Index: Public Says Press Should Not Declare Obama the Winner

Barack Obama may be building an insurmountable lead in the Democratic primary race, but the public is sending a strong message to journalists and pundits: It is too early to declare, as some already have, that the race is over.

Fully 72% of the public - including comparable percentages of Democrats, Republicans and independents - say that journalists should not be anointing Obama as the Democratic nominee at this stage in the race. Just 20% say that journalists should be doing this.

Opinion among Democrats about what the press should do in this regard may well reflect their view that Hillary Clinton should stay in the race. Recent surveys by Gallup and ABC News/Washington Post find that most Democrats believe that Clinton should stay in the race. In the ABC News/Washington Post survey, released May 12, 64% of Democrats, including 42% of Obama supporters, said Clinton should remain in the race.

The presidential campaign once again dominated the national news last week, with 46% of the newshole devoted to the race. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's Campaign Coverage Index, this represented the biggest single week of election coverage since the week of the Texas and Ohio primaries in early March.

Public interest in the campaign was up moderately: 35% followed campaign news very closely up from 27% the week before. Clinton generated her highest level of campaign coverage for the year thus far (70% of all campaign stories featured Clinton), edging out Obama (at 67%), according to PEJ. However, Obama remained the most visible candidate in the eyes of the public.

Since mid-March, the amount of news coverage devoted to Clinton compared to Obama has fluctuated in concert with events on the campaign trail. However Obama has consistently been the more visible candidate to the public. On average, more than half of the public has pointed to Obama as the candidate they have heard the most about in the news recently. About 30%, on average, have named Clinton. Consistently, fewer than 10% have named John McCain as the most visible candidate in the news during this period.

Read the full report Public Says Press Should Not Declare Obama the Winner on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

Explore

Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.