News Media Influencing Candidate Selection
|by Dennis Babish|
Last night was the Republican debate in California with only two remaining candidates, McCain and Romney. At least that’s the way it looked -- Huckabee and Paul were virtually ignored. In fact the NY Times political blog, The Caucus, summarized it this way: “The debate was essentially between Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney.” (Image © The New York Times)
News articles covering the debate made statements like “The field narrowed, McCain and Romney trade angry charges in the last GOP face-off before Super Tuesday” (LA Times); or “McCain vs. Romney on Iraq” in the Washington Post. Large photos with these articles show only McCain and Romney with only a passing statement about Huckabee or Paul in the articles themselves. Even Fox News.com, which portrays itself as fair and balanced, focused only on Romney and McCain. At least their photo showed all four candidates.
These articles give voters the impression that their only choice is now Romney or McCain with the underlying message that Paul and Huckabee are out of the race. At one point Huckabee, irritated, commented, "I didn't come here to umpire a ballgame between these two, I came here to get a chance to swing at a few myself."
Is this only a two-person race? The delegate numbers don’t reflect that. McCain has 93, Romney 59, Huckabee 40, Paul 4. Here's a novel idea . . . let the voters decide.