Monday, 3 November 2008

Obama's media

Tremendous article in the Guardian (how many times will I use THAT phrase?!) on Saturday which goes a long way to explaining some of the things I'd been trying to say in the comments on this piece. Hat-tip to my Canadian friend who spotted the story and sent it my way.

Harold Evans' opening line sums up neatly how this Presidential race has been run (read: reported on in the US media):
In this 2008 race, it's the American media that have voted very early and often. They long ago elected the star graduate of Chicago's Democratic machine, Barack Obama.
Now, for some readers, this will appear that I'm getting my excuses in early, that I'm already finding reasons that McCain won't win. Although that may appear to be the case, I can assure you it isn't.

All I'm doing is highlighting a fact of the campaign - that the US MSM has been pulling for Obama, whether they'll admit to it or not.

Equally, as I've been arguing, the media's "coronation" of "The One" has influenced how McCain's campaign has played out - from forcing him into a low-percentage, high-risk VP pick to running to the right and emphasising what makes him different from Obama rather than challenging him on the issues in the centre (where, arguably, he is more comfortable positioning himself as a "maverick" Republican).

Incidentally, according to an AP-Yahoo poll released on Friday, one in seven votes remain undecided - five days out. I'm not sure what that says to other people, but I'd read it like this: 14% of American voters are not convinced by the arguments of either candiate. I guess I'd argue that might favour McCain slightly - if you go with the theory that Obama is the "Change Candidate" then McCain is the "I'll change some things but I'm not as radical as Obama" guy - and one which might be the recipient of voters who want change, but not too much.

In terms of "Undecideds" in the past they have tended to go against the incumbent - which is bad for McCain (if Obama's McCain IS Bush attacks have been successful). However, there is no individual incumbent in this election. On the other hand, with the huge poll leads and the media coverage that Obama has, he has been treated as an incumbent might have been - as this post demonstrates. Which makes it interesting.

Also, as a last thought. Latest odds from Ladbrokes:
Obama to win: 1/12
McCain to win: 6/1

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