Clinton, Obama and Edwards grabbed most of the air time, and the Associated Press reported some of the other candidates were visibly frustrated with how little chance they had to speak.
Although he might not have had much time on camera, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich received a lot of press coverage for an unusual debate topic: Sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). Kucinich confirmed that he once saw a triangular craft hovering in the sky. He also noted that former President Jimmy Carter reported seeing a UFO, and "that more people in this country have seen UFOs than, I think, approve of George Bush's presidency." The debate moderator pointed out that only 14 percent of Americans believe they have seen a UFO and that Bush's approval rating now is higher than 14 percent.
Why was one person missing? The Democratic National Committee and NBC News, whose channel MSNBC hosted the debate, decided that former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel had not met the polling and fundraising requirements it had set for participation. Gravel held his own debate in another venue – where he answered the same set of questions the other candidates were asked.
Questions or comments about political debates? Send them here.
31 October 2007
Boo! Happy Halloween – the holiday where young pranksters don ghoulish costumes and try to scare their neighbors.
So which presidential candidate would you be most scared to see tonight?
When asked which candidate would make the scariest costume, 37 percent of Americans picked Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to an Associate Press-Ipsos poll. Republican Rudy Giuliani came in second to Clinton in this poll, with 14 percent.
Not too surprisingly, two-thirds of Republicans said Clinton would be the scariest. But so did 18 percent of Democrats. A greater number of Democrats voted Giuliani the scariest. One-third of independents also picked Clinton.
Thinking of dressing up as Democratic candidate Chris Dodd? His Web site will tell you what to wear. They suggest you wear white hair and a passion for service and carry a copy of the Constitution and Dodd campaign literature.
Some candidates have been trying to link the holiday to their campaign themes. Republican candidate Mitt Romney gave a speech about "Hillary's House of Horrors" in which he described her candidacy as if it were a haunted house: "You go in one room, she wants to raise your taxes. You go in another room and she wants to have government taking over health care," he said in a town hall meeting in Florida.
In the October 30 Democratic debate, Illinois Senator Barack Obama said he was considering wearing a Mitt Romney mask for Halloween which "has two sides to it. It goes in both directions at once."
Read here for more about Halloween in the United States.
30 October 2007
Barack Obama is winning . . . the media coverage
If the election outcome were determined by how well the media treats the candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Fred Thompson would be the party nominees.
A study by the Project of Excellence in Journalism and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy shows that from January to May, Obama received the most favorable television coverage. Fred Thompson, who was not yet a candidate during that time, received coverage deemed nearly as positive. The study examined 1,742 stories from 48 news outlets.
Arizona Senator John McCain received the most negative coverage, with stories of his weak fundraising and slipping support in the polls.
About 63 percent of media stories on the presidential campaign focused on campaign tactics compared to only 15 percent that reviewed candidates' policy proposals and 1 percent that examined the candidates' past records.
Do you think media coverage of the candidates has been fair? Send in your comments.
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