O’Donnell is most covered candidate in 2010

She is 14 points behind in the polls, but Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell is the second most covered political figure of the 2010 election season, according to a study released by the Pew Research Center.

During this election season, only President Barack Obama was covered more than O’Donnell, the Tea Party favorite who came from behind to defeat GOP lawmaker Mike Castle in the Republican primary. The study showed that a total of 160 stories covered O’Donnell. Old video clips in which she admitted having “dabbled in witchcraft,” renounced masturbation and questioned evolution quickly made her a favorite of national journalists. Chris Coons, her Democratic rival, did not crack the top 10.

The Pew Research Center used 50 different media outlets, including morning TV shows, online news sites and newspapers, to put together its list.

“To be a leading newsmaker, it’s not simply that you’re mentioned in the story, in essence you have to dominate it,” Mark Jurkowitz Associate Director of Pew Research Project for Excellence in Journalism, told The Daily Caller. “A newsmaker will be featured in at least 50 percent of the story.”

“The number you’re going to see for O’Donnell [and other listed candidates] are from subset of stories we deem are about midterm elections,” Jurkowitz added.

The list shows that journalists do not necessarily focus their election coverage on the tightest races. Several contests are much closer than the one in Delaware. According to the most recent Real Clear Politics average, there are currently seven senate race toss ups, and only two of these close races include candidates ranked in the Pew Research Center’s Top 10.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who was ranked seventh most covered person during the election season, is running a “toss-up” race in Nevada against Sharron Angle, who ranked sixth on the Pew chart.

President Barack Obama tops the newsmaker list with 343 stories written up about him during the midterm elections.

Pew’s Top 10 features four Tea Party candidates. In addition to O’Donnell and Angle, the list also includes Kentucky Republican senate candidate Rand Paul and New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.

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  • barryaz

    Christine, I was sorry to hear that you lost this election. You did a great job to overcome all the barriers put in front of you by the media, fellow so-called Republicans, and your lying opponent. At least you were able to show what lack of knowledge Coons has in the constitution, especially the first amendment. You were right and he was lost. Don’t let this get you down cause I see a huge future for you coming. You really are a class act.

  • leilani

    She may be 14 points behind in the polls taken by phone yesterday, but Chris Coons sent out an SOS a little while ago that he is 20% behind in the only polls that get counted today. His voters aren’t showing up. And with good reason. If COD pulls this out, she should to send a framed copy of the First Amendment to Gawker with her thanks for using it to torpedo her opponent for her. And the rest of us should send one to MSNBC. In the 2010 election at least, they proved that arrogant, over-the-top hate-fueled leftists have often been conservatism’s most helpful allies

    • talibangelical

      Or not