How bad have things gotten when it comes to substantive coverage and discussion of the presidential election? Pew finds that at the end of August, just 2% of total news coverage focused on issues rather than the day-to-day strategies and conflicts between the two candidates (graph above).
Scholars have long recognized this trend in journalism towards a singular focus on the horse race to the exclusion of a substantive focus on the issues. In a forthcoming entry in the Encyclopedia of Survey Research I review this research and discuss its links to the growing over-abundance of daily tracking polls.
You can read the final draft of this forthcoming article in a past blog post.