WaPo Reporter: No McCain -Clinton Polling Because Nobody Cares
Washington Post reporter Paul Kane had an online chat today. He was asked a few times why the Post didn't report on Rasmussen daily tracking polls and the recent Gallup poll showing Hillary doing better than Obama against McCain in the swing states.
His answer: He's covered the superdelegates extensively and he knows they don't care.
Question 1 on the topic:[More...]
Washington: Looking at the most recent Rasmussen daily polls, I see that Hillary manages a tie today against McCain, but Barack is down by five points to McCain. What piqued my interest was that while Hillary had a "highly unfavorable" rating of 32 percent (i.e., as I see it, people who never will vote for her) Barack was at 35 percent. On Jan. 30, as we entered primary season's main show, Barack's "highly unfavorables" were 20 percent and Clinton's were 35 percent. Is this something superdelegates may be watching?
Paul Kane: I've spent the past several months talking to as many super-delegates as any reporter in America, I'd guess, since I cover on a day-to-day basis about 280 of them here on Capitol Hill.
I hate saying this, because all the Clinton people are going to flip out and say, You're biased, you're biased, you're biased. So go ahead and flip out if you want, but the simple basic truth is that the super-delegates stopped paying attention to the Clinton-Obama race about a couple days after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.
They've stopped paying attention to the primary, and instead they're focused on an Obama-McCain matchup in November. That's the basic, simple, definitive reality that has happened in this race. The "undecided" super-delegates at this moment are not going to "decide" any time soon, because to them the race is over, they're just waiting for Clinton to drop out.
Question #2 on topic:
Centreville, Va.: I was surprised and disappointed that The Post did not seem to address the Gallup poll yesterday which seemed to say Hillary Clinton had somewhat of an advantage over Barack Obama in the so-called swing states. The news of that poll was bandied about all day on the political blogs, and I have to say the Obama supporters seemed to be getting the worst of it. (Or is it "worse" with only two candidates in the poll?)
Paul Kane responds:
Paul Kane: Again, don't yell at me because I'm only the messenger here. But the super-delegates have moved on, they're no longer looking at how Hillary Clinton fares in battleground states against McCain. This is very hard for Clinton
supporters to hear, I'm sorry, but the super-delegates are not paying attention to your candidate anymore. These head-to-head matchup polls (Clinton v. McCain, Obama v. McCain) are not having the impact on people's thinking anymore.
Another reader asked why there had been no coverage of third party candidates. His answer:
I'll happily answer this one, and I'll be brutally honest. We don't have enough resources to cover your party. it's that simple, and if that infuriates you, I'm sorry. But that's life. The Green Party and Nader got plenty of coverage in '00 when, at the least, he had the chance to play a decisive role in some states. So far, there's little indication that the Greens will have any major impact on the '08 election. Until you can demonstrate that there is some level of support for your party, our paper isn't going to spend precious resources reporting on whatever it is you're doing. I'm sorry, but we're a business, and lots of my colleagues are walking out the door under volunteer buyouts. We don't have the resources to cover you guys.
Your national media at work.
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