Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'm reading the results of the new New York Times/CBS poll and, well, I don't get it. Is there really this much doubt on the GOP side and this much confidence among Democrats?

...Forty percent of Republicans said they expected Democrats to take control of the White House next year, compared with 46 percent who said they believed a Republican would win. Just 12 percent of Democrats said they thought the opposing party would win the White House....

"There is going to be so much antiwar in the news media that there is no way the Republicans are going to win," Randy Miller, 54, a Republican from Kansas, said in a follow-up interview after participating in the poll. "The Democrats will win because of the war. I think the Republicans just won't vote."

Compared with the Democrats, Republicans appear far less happy with their choice of candidates for 2008 and are still looking for someone who can improve the party's prospects, the poll found....

Why? It's clear from the coverage already that if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, the press is going to describe the race as if it's the last fifteen minutes of Fatal Attraction, with the same rooting interest. Any other Democratic winner is going to be tarred as delusional, naive, and (if it's Obama or Edwards) dangerously callow and effeminate.

The two GOP front-runners, by contrast, are encased in a triple layer of Teflon. Sure, we're seeing negative stories about Giuliani now, but they don't feel negative -- it's as if the press is waving items before GOP base voters that it knows are essentially harmless, like a movie scientist testing the fear response of a creature from his laboratory. There's just no sense that the press finds Giuliani's flip-flopping or estrangement from his family in any way untoward -- there's just curiosity about whether the Creature from the Red State does.

And as for McCain, his campaign is utterly imploding and still he's in the good graces of the media, which will clearly welcome him back with loving arms if he ever rights himself. (His campaign is floundering much more than Hillary's is, but there are far more stories chiding her for losing some of her lead than there are about the fact that his lead has turned into a huge deficit.)

So count me in that 12 percent of Democrats that thinks the GOP will win in '08. The coverage of Democrats is still too nasty (Hillary's fake Southern accent! The evil John Edwards bloggers! Hillary-Obama catfight!).


UPDATE: This Media Matters item about Howard Kurtz is relevant: "Kurtz asserted that Obama receives fawning press coverage, ignoring Giuliani's fawning coverage."


UPDATE: The first item in today's Daily Howler makes clear how the coverage of this race is shaping up.

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