Clinton leads the pack in press coverage


If there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then the US media pack is doing Hillary Clinton (D-NY) a world of good by keeping a spotlight on her to a greater extent than any other candidate, at least during the week of 1/14/08-1/20/08. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, she is strongly featured in almost 30% of all campaign stories, just ahead of Barack Obama (D-IL) and all Republican contenders.

Clinton was the main topic in 17.6% of all campaign stories (PEJ monitored a total of 472), and was prominently featured in 11.4% more, for a total of 29%. Obama’s numbers were 15.5%/12.3%/27.8%. Back in the Democratic pack were John Edwards (D-NC, 2.5%/3.6%/6.1%) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH, 0.8%/0.7%/1.5%)
On the Republican side, the leader was Mitt Romney (R-MA, 14.6%/10.8%/25.4%), who edged out John McCain (R-AZ, 10.6%/12.9%/23.5%). Mike Huckabee (R-AR) was a stronger third than his Democratic counterpart Edwards (5.5%/8.9%/14.4%). Down the pipe were Rudy Giuliani (R-NY, 2.3%/1.7%/4.0%), Fred Thompson (R-TN, 0.4%/1.1%/1.5%) and Ron Paul (R-TX, 0.4%/0%/0.4%).

Potential candidate Michael Bloomberg was not a factor during the week (I-NY, 0.4%/0%/0.4%)

RBR/TVBR observation: We think that old saw about bad publicity may refer to entertainers or novelists, but for politicians, bad publicity can indeed be damaging. Just ask Duke Cunningham (R-CA), if you can get access to him on visiting day at the correctional facility where he is currently in residence. Or ask John Kerry, whose failure to forcefully respond to negative advertising has turned the word "swiftboat" into a verb in the USA.

Giuliani’s coverage level figures to go up in the next measurement as he makes what may be his last stand in Florida. And there was a lot more noise around Bloomberg, so his numbers should pick up, too.