03 April 2008

Dems Flip-Flop in Pennsylvania Coverage Race

Pati Carson
Dow Jones Insight Staff

In our previous post about the battle for coverage in the Pennsylvania press, we reported that Clinton was maintaining a small but definite edge in total number of mentions, but that has not been the case in the two weeks since.

With the exception of the days surrounding her swing through the Philadelphia area on the 25th – when she made a widely covered speech about the mortgage crisis, said that she “misspoke” about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia, and said Reverend Wright “wouldn’t have been my pastor” – the Pennsylvania coverage race has either shown large Obama leads (at the height of the Wright controversy during the week of the 18th), small Obama leads (around the 29th when he toured the state with, and was endorsed by, U.S. Senator Bob Casey) or been dead even.

As far as the total number of excerpts (each mention of a candidate's name) in the Pennsylvania press, from March 18-31 there were 2,772 total mentions of “Barack Obama” (or 41% of all mentions), 2,623 mentions of "Hillary Clinton" (39% of the total) and 1,302 mentions (or 19%) of “John McCain.” This reverses the figures from our previous post, which had Clinton at 41% and Obama at 39%.

Methodology: Pennsylvania publications analyzed include 146 print and Web sites of mainstream media (excluding blogs).

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