COMMENTS: Hoosiers, Tar Heels Vote in Hoops Primary

It is an election Tuesday during Campaign 2008 so the Democratic Presidential primary in North Carolina and Indiana would normally be the unanimous selection for headlines. Sure enough the voting was the Story of the Day, attracting 31% of the three-network newshole (17 min out of 57) but only two of the three newscasts kicked off with it. ABC and CBS both chose Indiana as the more newsworthy of the two states. At NBC, the devastation from Cyclone Nargis was so catastrophic that it grabbed the top spot.

CBS' Jim Axelrod (no link) laid out the expectations game of a split decision for Hillary Rodham Clinton: her win in Indiana; her loss in North Carolina. Yet "money is again a big issue" for her and aides told Axelrod that "she needs another big night to spark another big round of fundraising." NBC's political team saw both candidates target lower income voters. Andrea Mitchell noted that "this graduate of Wellesley and Yale Law has become blue collar Hillary." Meanwhile Lee Cowan heard Barack Obama "talking a lot about the economic anxieties of the middle class" and playing "a lot of Indiana's favorite sport--basketball." Yet he ended the day in North Carolina, noted CBS' Dean Reynolds (no link), where many African-Americans vote. "Obama gets great support from the black population."

Meanwhile Rodham Clinton announced that she "now wants to move the finish line," as CBS' Axelrod put it. For months both candidates have been working towards accumulating 2025 delegates. Now she makes victory more remote for both of them: "It is 2209." ABC's Jake Tapper explained the number "includes contested primaries in Michigan and Florida that the Democratic Party does not recognize."


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