Election Connection

Anecdotal Evidence

The past two weeks saw some of the highest ratings ever for speeches at both the Democratic and Republican conventions, and the emails we received at Vote 2008 found that viewers had much to say about PBS' coverage and the campaigns in general.

By the numbers, over 38.9 million people watched Sen. John McCain's speech last week, and 38.4 million watched Sen. Barack Obama's address from Invesco Field. Add to that another 2.7 million for McCain's speech and 3.2 million for Obama's to include PBS' viewership estimates. At the start of the RNC, hurricane coverage took precedence and now that the candidates are back on the trail, the media covering the media have already shifted focus. After all, football season just started.

But in the stories and responses from viewers, we found an engaged, excited audience, both about the candidates and about the media coverage.


Sharon Christiansen wrote about McCain's candidacy:


"As a McCain supporter in 2000 primary, I am now extremely disillusioned with McCain. He appears to have sold out to the Bush clique and/or RNC machine. Very disappointing considering how the Bush camp smeared his war record in 2000."


Jake Witt wrote about cable news' limited time devoted to the conventions:


"Real people speaking first hand about the disgraceful condition this Republican Administration has left our country. But did MSNBC/CNN show it??? No, they had a commercial, followed by mindless pundits, mindlessly spewing shallow pontification and advertising for their own network.

PBS is actually SHOWING the convention."


And Daniel and Jill Pitterle shared their thoughts on a changing America:


"Come in off the coasts, we are having a great time here in Middle America. There is hope and optimism not only for us, but for our children and for our grandchildren."


What did you think about the convention coverage? How did you get your news last week?

Read more feedback from viewers on PBS Engage and share your thoughts below!


Rich Will said:

Your Presidential "debate" tonite did not mimick the "Saddleback" event, as was promoted. Your questions were slanted, as expected, toward Obama. You let Obama listen to McCain answers, thus giving him the opportunity to talor his answers. In fact, you reminded him of McCains answers when he didn't know. Once again, PBS revealed itself. You have no objectivity. Shame on You.

Sallie Mae said:

Let's see...three quotes, two trashing the Republican party, one neutral.
I've got my anecdotal evidence.

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