March 4, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

It’s primary day in four states and dailies tell you all about it

“Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?” Those words are attributed to Robert Orben, a comedy writer and speechwriter, who may have had today’s primaries and other forms of vote-counting in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont in mind.

We thought that we would check our Web site dailies for those four states, to see how the election is being played. The first of our 15 Ohio dailies — the Akron Beacon Journal — touts the “Democratic tossup,” wisely noting that “Ohio polls differ on possible winner.” The Repository in Canton leads with “Making a final push for votes,” while The Cincinnati Enquirer tells its readers that “It’s in your hands” and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland urges “Make your vote count” as The Columbus Dispatch heaves an editorial sigh and banners “Finally, it’s here.” The Vindicator in Youngstown touts “The Youngstown effect” while noting “Early voters try to avoid bad weather, crowds” as The Lima News says that it’s “Ohio’s time to decide.”

Let’s start with the "A's" in our 21 Texas dailies, with the Amarillo Globe-News reporting “Nation has eyes on Texas” while also noting on Page One that “Snow blankets city.” The Austin American-Statesman leads with “Clinton and Obama sprint to Texas finish” as the El Paso Times ups the ante with “Candidates race to finish,” the Houston Chronicle claims “Democrats expect no knockouts,” the San Antonio Express-News prefers “All Eyes on Texas” and our friends in McAllen have the “showdown at polls” on Page One of The Monitor along with Bill Clinton stumping for Hillary in Edinburg.

As for the other two states voting today, we have only one daily from each to check. The Providence Journal in Rhode Island devotes most of Page One to the election, starting with the lead “Race comes down to the wire,” a sidebar about “More voters expected at fewer polling locations,” and then several shorter items about who may vote, where and how to get election results. The Burlington Free Press up in Vermont has several other news stories on Page One but leads with “State expects record turnout” and offers an analysis that “Ohio, Texas crucial to Clinton’s chances.” And that’s the way it is.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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