13 May 2008

Some Surprises on Global Issues

Dow Jones Insight Staff
Now that the primary battles are coming to an end, the candidates likely will begin to focus more of their attention on the crucial issues that will be faced by the next president rather than the more tangential matters they’ve highlighted recently to cut down their opponents. How have they fared recently on some key global issues?

Over the past month, Obama has largely owned the “terrorism” issue in the tracked mainstream press sources, for better and for worse. (“Owned” in this context means his name occurred in close proximity* to specific terms associated with the issue.) His coverage was driven in part by articles referencing his pastor’s comments, the McCain-fueled controversy over Hamas’s endorsement of him and his comments that he would meet with Iran, Cuba and North Korea if he were elected (which also drove him to be the candidate most closely associated with North Korea). Clinton led the way on Iran with her controversial comments about “obliterating” Iran should it attack Israel. McCain, despite being the most in favor of the war in Iraq, was actually the least associated of the three candidates with the issue of Iraq over the past month.

* “Close proximity” is defined as within about 50 words

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