After days of all-but whining about the blanket media coverage Barack Obama is getting on his overseas tour, John McCain's campaign this afternoon argued that the press in key swing states is actually focusing on the message it wants to present voters.
"In the past few days, the gap between what the national press corps is writing and focusing on and what actual voters in battleground states are reading is larger than usual," the campaign said in a memo on the "coverage gap." "This is extremely important to note because according to recent polls, the majority of Americans consume their news from local and regional newspapers and local television news programs. One survey found that only 19 percent of respondents regularly read a national newspaper while 64 percent regularly read a local newspaper."
The memo then lists headlines in The Washington Post and The New York Times about McCain's difficulties getting his message heard, including the cancellation of an event because of Hurricane Dolly. It contrasts them with headlines in local newspapers, including several in Maine and New Hampshire, about McCain's arguments on the Iraq war and his proposal on energy.
"[I]n the states where John McCain has traveled, the coverage has been focused on John McCain's record of bipartisan reform, his leadership and his vision for the country," the memo says. "Instead of focusing on process, the local and regional media have focused on informing voters about John McCain and his record. Further still, regional media have included in its coverage the concerns of undecided voters about Senator Obama's lack of experience and his limited, partisan record. While it may not be portrayed nationally, John McCain's message continues to resonate with voters in the states."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.