The Media Versus The Math

note from me: John did an interesting analysis of the Democratic Primary race and the media narrative as it unfolded. He’s agreed to let me post it here. So without further ado:

The Media Versus the Math

Clinton supporters may cry foul over the media’s supposed Obama crush, but the media’s real bias has been towards sensationalizing and drawing out the race. To demonstrate this bias, I’ve listed the contests chronologically along with Obama’s margin of victory for the night (in delegates) and a running total of his delegate lead over Clinton.

As you’ll see, the night’s media story rarely matched the results. The media tended to focus on momentum and who won each state (no matter the margin) while ignoring the one metric that mattered—the delegate math. Super Tuesday, reported as a Clinton win, was actually a narrow Obama victory. And remember Clinton’s big night in Ohio and Texas? It was, in fact, a smaller victory than Obama’s was in Maine, effectively ending any chance she had of winning. The media, at least pretending to be oblivious, continued to push the notion of it being a horse race until finally—and very suddenly—calling it over after North Carolina and Indiana.

In case you’re wondering, these delegate shifts were known, almost exactly, the day after each primary.

totals compiled and calculated using numbers from the Results Center on

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