PrezVid MSM Syncometer: Out of touch on Obama

The latest Gallup poll shows Hillary Clinton solidly ahead — and rising — in the Democratic race. Yet as Politico points out, if you listen to “the developing media storyline” it’s Obama who has the surging mo’. And if you listen to the self-declared net roots in blogs, you’d believe that Hillary is sinking fast.

So we here at PrezVid decided to quantify this gap by measuring coverage of Clinton and Obama in news media overall, in major MSM outlets, in blogs, and in the Democratic netroots. It’s our first PrezVid Syncometer. So how out of sync are they? About as out of sync as Sanjaya.

We start with the Gallup poll:


Note Clinton’s wide lead and Obama’s slight dip. Her lead only widens without Gore in the race:


Says Gallup:

Sen. Hillary Clinton remains the dominant presidential front-runner among Democrats nationally, with twice the support as her nearest challenger. Sen. Barack Obama, former Sen. John Edwards, and former Vice President Al Gore are tightly bunched in second place, with all other candidates in low single digits. If Gore is removed from the ballot and his supporters’ second-place choices substituted, Clinton’s lead becomes even more dominant, with Obama and Edwards tied far behind.

These data were collected April 2-5, just as reports of Obama’s first-quarter fundraising success were made public. The survey results suggest that while Obama may have had a great deal of financial momentum in the past quarter, it was not matched by any increase in voter support. . . .

The trend for Obama has been relatively static. The Illinois senator ends up in this latest April poll essentially where he was last January; Obama gets exactly half of the vote given to Clinton.

That sure doesn’t seem to be the story we hear from media, does it? Let’s see:

Now we go to GoogleNews and search on the two leaders. Over the last 30 days, it returns:
Hillary Clinton: 8,908 articles
Barack Obama: 13,992 articles
So media as a whole give Obama the mo’.

Well, what about the biggest, most sophisticated outlets of political coverage in America? Same search over the last 30 days yields this at the New York Times:
Hillary Clinton: 28 articles
Barack Obama: 95 articles

And at the Washington Post:
Hillary Clinton: 108 articles
Barack Obama: 252 articles

Obviously, these searches operate differently. But the relative results are the same. The mo’ won’t quit.

The troubled LA Times, however, stands apart:
Hillary Clinton: 77
Barack Obama: 69

So let’s go to the blogosphere. According to Blogpulse, the coverage and comment for the two candidates is at least even-handed:


And finally, let’s check the netroots. MyDD, a leading blog, just held its straw poll. The results:


Clinton in fourth. Way, way behind. Boy, those results don’t look like those from Gallup — from the real voters. At the Politics Online conference in Washington a few weeks ago, I remember one of the many pundits there arguing that Hillary has no grass roots support and momentum because you can’t find it in the blogosphere. Well, maybe in one blog.

(Crossposted from PrezVid)

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  • Here’s the thing though: Neither Clinton, Obama, nor McCain will be elected. Why? For answers, look to US history: how many Senators have moved directly from the Senate to the White House?

    Only two:

    John Kennedy (and that was a very close election, against a sitting VP – another slot that has trouble moving up)

    Warren Harding (who got to run against a Democratic party that had become very unpopular after WWI, the follow on recession, and the League of Nations fight)

    Given that track record, I’d say that the media is very much focused on the wrong people. Why do Senators have it so hard? Consider Kerry in 2004, and the many accusations of “flip-flopping votes”. The way the Senate operates, a given bill will come up numerous times, with various amendments attached. Senators will vote for and against the bill numerous times, based on those amendments. Later, in a campaign, the reality of the amendments is easy to lose (and hard for the candidate to explain) when their opponent stands up and says “why look at so and so, who changed votes on the (insert issue here) bill 5 times!”.

    That’s why Senators rarely move directly up – and why Governors, who have been busy burnishing their “executive” skills, do.

  • Um….so who does that LEAVE, James….?

  • Perhaps the Obama story just makes for better copy. It’s all about selling newspapers isn’t it? This is why the stories focus on the horse race, the gaffs, the money race, personal appearance, etc. and hardly ever on the candidate’s policy proposals.

    Human interest sells, policy doesn’t.

    One could also speculate on whether the MSM has a preferred Dem candidate. If we believe the claims that the MSM is conservative (or at least pro-big business) then from a tactical viewpoint they would want to push the weakest Dem candidate. In my opinion that would be Obama – I just don’t believe that he would attract enough voters given the level of (unacknowledged) racial prejudice that still exists in the US. The same is true for Clinton as well, although sex discrimination seems to be lessening.

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  • Or perhaps blogs are out of sync with the elctorate.

  • Rob

    But there is something funny about that Gallup poll. Look at what the aggregated polls show

  • And polls at this point are pretty meaningless.

    But you’d find similar results in other netroots straw polls

    the most recent dkos poll

    the moveon poll after their Iraq Town Hall mtg

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  • … in the light of recent events, there is no consequence of turning a blind eye to what senator Obama has to say on the events depicted in this campaign. Although no freedom can be justified …

  • MoniQue

    I’m not a Hillary supporter, BUT I’m going to send her some Viva papertowels to help her wipe up the floor with Obama.

    Obama is nothing more than a novelty item, just like Mitt Romney was. Hillary is going to take PA then Indiana and Obama will go back to Illinois. Leaving the damage he caused behind all under the guise of the “uniter.”

    Yah, some uniter.

    Do you really think the American public, who can’t even wait more than 5 minutes in a fast-food lane, will be able to keep their attention on the rah-rah-rah adolescent cheer “Yes we can” and “Change” for more than a month?

    Obama: put a fork in him, he’s DONE.