Ocassionally while flipping through the channels on TV I stop on cnn or foxnews or any other news program out there. As a rule of thumb, I do not watch partisan news shows (e.g. Hannity & Colmes, Olbermann, etc), however if there is a topic that interests me I will stop and try to last as long as possible without throwing my shoe through the TV. I have always paid attention to politics and the goings on in the world, I have always had an opinion about everything, but it was not until I started blogging that I realized how much information the media leaves out or fails to cover. I have also noticed that they push things they want to be true regardeless of if they are more than I ever anticipated. This is especially true of the ’08 election.
First, the media gives predominant coverage to the Democratic race, despite the fact the GOP race is ridiculously tighter. It would be comparable to sports writers constantly writing about an AL East race where the Red Sox are up by 7 games on the Yankees in mid-September, but it is reported like it is neck and neck. The reason for this coverage seems to be 2-fold. First, the media wants a Dem victory in ’08 and they think it is inevitable. Second, the media seems to have (on average) a fascination and crush on Barack Obama. So regardless of how large Hillary’s lead gets, the media will continue say the race is closer than it looks. The media needs to clue in to the fact that Hillary is the nominee for the Dems. Period.
The close race, despite a fairly large lead nationally, really resides in the GOP. We’ve got Giuliani with about a 10 point lead nationally on Thompson and a twenty point lead on Romney. Looking purely at this, it seems that Giuliani is a near lock. However, Romney has a huge lead in Iowa and a solid lead in New Hampshire. Additionally, he leads in Wyoming, Nevada, and Michigan, all comprising the first five contests– and Thompson leads in South Carolina. So Giuliani doesn’t really lead the race. No one leads the race. Despite this all we hear about is the democratic contest.
This leads to my next piece of evidence. It appears that the media (mainstream and otherwise) is fairly anti-Romney and it baffles me. He certainly has been raked over the coals more than other candidates and is the primary target of other GOP attacks. Usually, this is a sign that he is the biggest threat among GOP candidates, something that I believe is accurate. However, whenever I watch news shows or go to MSM websites they always tout Giuliani, Thompson, and McCain. They fail to recognize that Romney is a legitimate candidate and is running no worse than a solid second, or even tied for first in the race. And McCain is all but dead (despite a slight resurrection of late). So not only does Romney get the most negative coverage, he also gets treated like a second tier candidate. Something is not adding up, second tier candidates are not the target of negative media attention (unless your Ron Paul).
Finally, (and this expands on some comments above) whenever media folk are summing up the race for the GOP they say something along the lines of this, “While Giuliani leads nationally, Romney leads in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and Thompson in South Carolina.” And then they proceed to act like the order of the primaries are IA, NH, SC, FL, then super-duper Tuesday in February. By only mentioning those select states, they act like a Romney win in IA and NH would be fairly easy to overcome. Which, if this were the actual order, it would be in the realm of possibility with SC going to Thompson and FL likely going to Giuliani. It would be wide open in February. However this is not the schedule. The schedule is/will likely be IA, NH, WY, MI, NV, SC, FL, ME, then super-duper Tuesday. So looking at this, Romney is not only ahead in the first two states, he is ahead in the first 5. A Romney sweep of those first five states would be near impossible to overcome. But, probably to keep people interested, we never hear about that. It is a slight to not only the true status of the race but also to Wyoming, Nevada, and Michigan that they are rarely mentioned.
(Side note, we never hear anything about Wyoming. I don’t even think a poll has been done there. How strange. I know that it is largelt inconsequential, but considering there are reports about polls in PA and OH, two states that vote later, one would think that at least an occasional story or poll would come out of Wyoming. I would think that they would have at least some sway in the momentum of the race, being so early and all.)