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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Interview time by presidential candidates

This is an interesting chart depicting the (partial equilibrium) number of minutes during which each of the presidential candidates have been intereviewed during prime hours by each of the major broadcast and cable news programs. The actual number of minutes is an equilibrium in as much as the candidate and the networks agree to participate in an interview (however scripted).

It is very interesting that McCain has the most minutes of actual interviews yet he is most likely the next candidate to drop out of the race (or at least become a permanent second-tier candidate). Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has very few minutes of actual interview face-time (although I do remember her "let's have a dialogue, let's chat" announcment on YouTube some months ago).

It will be interesting if Clinton gets the nomination and the presidency by giving only her pre-canned (and most likely written by someone else) speeches and letting others (media reporters, pundits, "strategists") do her talking while never having to address serious and, arguably, important questions in an interview format where the reporter (whether left-leaning or not) can ask follow up questions and (in the best of all worlds) would be able to ask questions that had not been pre-cleared.

Obviously, no candidate can be forced to appear on a particular network, although I find it interesting that Democrat candidates don't appear on Fox at all (I suppose they have the numbers to win without any Fox viewers?). Moreoever, there seems to be a negative relationship between overall support (at least in polling) and amount of time answering interview questions. Does this say more about the candidates or about the electorate?

Finally, one wonders how much each candidate and the media respectively contributes to the equilibrium number of minutes during which they are actually interviewed on the air.

[Note: Stata File coming with more analysis]

Comments:
Ron Paul should get more time.

(I just wish he'd give up the gold bug thing...)
 
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