Asked who they had heard about in the news, respondents said:
- Barack Obama, up in March from 38% to 70%
- Hillary Clinton, down in March from 37% to 15%
- John McCain, down in March from 6% to 3%
- Other, down from 4% to 1%
- Don't know, also down from 15% to 11%
Of course this raises the question of whether any publicity is good publicity. Obama's all over the news during this period thanks to video of an inflammatory sermon by his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Is there an effect? Says the Pew survey:
Most voters aware of the sermons say they were personally offended by Wright's comments, and a sizable minority (35%) says that their opinion of Obama has grown less favorable because of Wright's statements.
So we have an effect not only on what people know, but how a candidate is framed. That's important stuff. But for Obama fans, at least he's being talked about (and, apparently, has weathered this particular storm).
For our friend John McCain, almost no one is even talking about him. It'll be interesting to see analyses on the image people have of McCain now versus later in Fall, when the ads on both sides attempt to define the candidates.