Fox News Effect
Kevin Drum and I have the same question about this Pew Poll:
Democrats and Republicans rate the Republican candidates almost identically, but they differ quite strongly in their ratings of the Democratic candidates. I’m not quite sure what this means.
Could this be a Fox News effect? Republican candidates get more or less the same coverage on Fox News as they do from reputable media outlets. The difference is with the Democrats; Fox News launches into jihads against every Democratic candidate of substance with almost hilarious regularity. As there is no corresponding left-wing news organization, this results in a situation in which Democrats have about the same attitudes of Republican candidates as Republicans do, while Fox-obsessed Republicans believe that Democrats are socialist radicals.
Anyway, I don’t think that the perception that Dem candidates are more extreme than Republican candidates is anything to worry about. The most radical man in American, according to the poll, is Bill Clinton; looks as if the much vaunted move to the center didn’t really take. Didn’t seem to matter that much, though.