04 June 2008

Michelle Obama Winning First Lady Race

By Glenn Fannick
Dow Jones Insight Staff

As the primaries end and the general election becomes the candidates' focus, not only does Barack Obama continue to top John McCain in media mentions in every way we slice the data, but his wife is also consistently way out ahead of McCain's wife.

Michelle Obama has received more mentions in both the mainstream press and social media than has Cindy McCain. Obama received 70% of mentions to McCain's 30%, comparing the two senators’ wives across the 2 million blogs and message boards analyzed by Dow Jones Insight between May 3 and June 2. The mainstream press was only slightly less skewed in coverage of the candidates' wives, with 67% of mentions for Obama and 33% for McCain.

But there have been days when the first-lady tally in the press has flipped. Thrice in the past month Cindy McCain passed Michelle Obama in press mentions -- a feat that Sen. McCain rarely achieves over his rival. Topics that pushed her past Obama included the McCains' dinner party with vice-presidential hopefuls, the release of Sen. McCain's medical records and discussion of her personal tax returns and family wealth. Michelle Obama saw a recent spike in mentions after she became the target in a Tennessee-GOP-backed online video.

Methodology: Sources include more than 6,000 newspapers, wires, magazines, radio and TV transcripts; more than 13,000 current-awareness news Web sites; 2 million of the most influential blogs; and more than 6,000 message boards.

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