January 3, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Editors vote for Iowa caucuses as front-page story

Around the U.S. today, the first major step in the 2008 presidential election — the Iowa caucuses — was big news. From Alabama (where the Montgomery Advertiser explained what a caucus is and how it works) to California (where Santa Ana's OC Post had cartoon donkeys and elephants charging to a finish line on its front page) and many places in between, the caucus garnered national attention. Denver's Rocky Mountain News said Iowa's voters were "First come, first heard."

In Iowa, the caucus was the biggest story for local papers. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids told voters, "The fate of presidential hopefuls is in your hands," while The Des Moines Register reminded its readers, "Now you decide." Davenport's Quad-City Times showed 15 pictures of candidates under the headline "Decision Day Arrives."

Papers in many of the presidential candidates' home states carried election stories on the front page as well. In John McCain's home state, The Arizona Republic ran a story on McCain's unexpected resurgence to the top of a national Republican poll. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) from Mike Huckabee's stomping ground said, "Huckabee scarce on Iowa eve," as Huckabee went to Los Angeles to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Boston Globe said, "For GOP, a test today of whether money talks," as former Massachusetts governor and big spender Mitt Romney is challenged by the "underfunded" Huckabee.

On the Democrats' side, suburban Chicago's Daily Herald proclaimed that Illinois senator Barack Obama "Needs big caucus turnout from young supporters" in "The first vote." The New York Post said of its state's senator, "Dead heat has Hill sweating." The News & Observer from Raleigh in John Edwards's home state of North Carolina ran a story on all the help Edwards has received from volunteers as "Up to 3,000 spent a year focusing on tonight's caucuses."

Emily Hedges is an assistant editor at the Newseum.

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