The Most Covered Candidates of 2010S

The Pew Center has released its tally of the most nationally covered candidates this election season, and guess who's No. 1? Some gal from Delaware who has magical powers. Maybe she used these powers to top this list?

Barack Obama got the most coverage of any politician within Pew's index, as you can see in the chart below.

The Most Covered Candidates of 2010S



This is one of the perks of the presidency, having so many nutty stories written about you all the time. But luckily for him, he's not a candidate this year. So the most covered candidate title goes to Delaware's Christine O'Donnell, followed by other Tea Party sensations and large state gubernatorial/senatorial candidates.

The interpretation most are going with here is that the media "freak show" has gotten so out of hand that eccentric candidates get all the attention with their silly antics, distorting the incentive system and taking away publicity from those who act more, well, responsibly. But local and state outlets are probably the best place to get more granular coverage of local and state races. The midterm elections are decentralized. The national media doesn't really have any purpose, except to invent annoying narratives and trends and post YouTubes of funny gaffes from other states that are stupider than yours.

Also, what is wrong with giving unusual candidates more coverage? It's certainly news to point out that many major party statewide candidates, like the Tea Party-supported Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, Christine O'Donnell, and Carl Paladino, are much further to the right this year and, in past election cycles, probably wouldn't have been considered acceptable to majority coalitions of voters. As annoying narratives and trends go, you could do worse! Not that showing an old clip about someone's teenage witchcraft-dabbling is the best way to showcase her current radical positions, but that was just a really funny clip. And people like to have their fun.

[via The Upshot, photo via Getty]