After MoveOn.org accused the Gallup polling firm of using a survey methodology that stacks the deck in favor of Republicans, CNN (which uses Gallup) responded with a news segment that "implicitly confirmed a criticism of itself that was leveled in the MoveOn ad: the charge that CNN winds up 'acting as unquestioning promotional partners [with Gallup], rather than as critical journalists.'" Gallup's polls have shown a substantial lead for Bush, but other recent
"If 2000 was any indication," writes Joshua Micah Marshall, the winner of this week's presidential campaign debate "won't be determined during the 90 minute encounter itself but during the spin war that will follow it. And with the advantage the Republicans have on the cable nets, talk radio and chat TV shows, the odds are stacked in their favor." In 2000, the initial public reactions to the first Bush/Gore debate had Gore coming out on top. "It was only after several days of pundit churn that Bush became the winner," Marshall notes.
"The Kerry campaign has enlisted congressional Democrats to play down expectations of the challenger's performance in the first presidential debate this Thursday, and then flood the airwaves with jubilant analysis that he has won it." Kerry campaign officials asked press secretaries of Democratic members of Congress "to schedule their bosses on television and
U.S. lawmakers blocked a proposed "covert CIA operation to aid [Iraqi] candidates favored by Washington" - suggested because their opponents might have "covert backing from other countries, like Iran." Leading up to Afghanistan's October 9 elections, U.S.
U.S. media "gives inordinate attention to fly-by-night groups with little evidence of real support. Why? Because these groups' sensational claims make for entertaining and easily produced news stories. The result is that a Swift Boats Veterans for Truth has greater impact on the national debate than long-established activist organizations," writes the Center for Media and Democracy's Diane Farsetta.
The presidential campaign trail offer lessons to the "public affairs community, the PR people paid to push the issues. But what they're watching isn't so much who wins, but how they do it," PR Week's Douglas Quenqua writes. "Nearly every technique for moving public opinion, every tactic employed by public affairs people to get an issue on the radar or to get legislation passed, traces its roots back to a political campaign - usually a presidential one.
"Something has methodologically gone awry when polls are swinging about this wildly," writes David Price, about presidential campaign polling.
The environment is "the sleeper issue of Australia's October 9 election," and Prime Minister John Howard, "once regarded as the nemesis of conservationists - [is] vigorously courting the green vote." Howard pledged Aus$2 billion for "the country's ailing river systems, prompting Labor leader Mark Latham to respond with a billion-dollar package of his own." At the same time, Howard's Deputy Prime Minister attacked the Green Party, saying