Análisis de la cobertura de la prensa de EU al proceso electoral

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Por Daniel Politi

Lo diarios de EU centraron su atención en la victoria de Obama en Wiskonsin, considerándola decisiva. Según el análisis de medios de Slate Magazine, el aspecto más revelador de lo ocurrido en Wisconsin fue que Obama sigue quitándole a Clinton votantes de lo que se consideraría su base (voto duro). Obama tuvo un amplio margen de respaldo entre votantes con ingresos menores de $50,000 dólares anuales, así como aquellos sin un grado académico. Ambos grupos habían sido importantes en anteriores victorias de Clinton. Se pronostica que ante este escenario y con Clinton urgida de ganar por amplio margen Texas y Ohio, el nivel de ataques irá en aumento.

The Washington Post and USA Today lead with Sen. Barack Obama’s decisive victory over Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Wisconsin primary. With almost all the precincts reporting, Obama managed to get 58 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 41 percent to mark his ninth-straight victory since Super Tuesday.

On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain continued racking up victories over Mike Huckabee in Wisconsin and Washington. During his victory speech, McCain acted as if the Democratic nominee had already been decided and pointedly criticized Obama for offering “an eloquent but empty call for change.” As was widely expected, Obama also won the Hawaii caucuses by a landslide, according to early-morning wire reports.

The most revealing aspect of the Wisconsin vote was how Obama continued to take away voters from Clinton’s base, which could spell trouble for her in the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4. The candidates pretty much split the votes from women, while Obama had a significant advantage among men. Also, Obama defeated her by a wide margin among voters with incomes of less than $50,000 as well as those without college degrees, two groups that had been essential to Clinton’s past victories. Slate‘s John Dickerson says that by winning “in every key geographical area and across racial and gender lines” Obama has proved that “he is not just the boutique fascination of young people and wealthy elites.”

The NYT says Clinton will now need to pull off “double-digit victories to pick up enough delegates to close the gap.” If Wisconsin is any guide, “the next two weeks could be the most negative of the Democratic race,” says the Post. After losing yesterday’s primary, Clinton didn’t mince words and launched what the LAT calls “her most lancing election night critique of Obama yet.” But the line of attack was hardly new as she once again chose to call attention to Obama’s inexperience, which, as the NYT points out, is an argument she has made many times before, but it doesn’t appear to be resonating with voters.The Post says McCain’s victory “signaled a coalescing of a Republican electorate that has struggled for a year to find a candidate it likes.” It was one of his best nights, but, as the NYT emphasizes, exit polls still showed that many still have doubts over whether McCain is conservative enough. Huckabee continued to carry the vote of those who described themselves as very conservative, even as the majority also said they’d be satisfied with McCain. Slate‘s Chadwick Matlin suggests Huckabee may actually be helping Republicans get some free publicity because if he were to drop out, “McCain’s victories would be completely empty -and completely unnewsworthy.”

Barack Obama writes an op-ed piece for USAT where he answers criticism that he has gone back on his pledge to use public funding in the general election if his Republican opponent also agreed to shun private money. Obama insists he will “aggressively pursue such an agreement” if he’s the nominee but emphasizes that it cannot “be reached overnight.” Obama writes that an agreement would have to commit the candidates to “discouraging cheating by their supporters” as well as refusing help from outside groups so that it “results in real spending limits.” He also suggests that it might have to include what McCain will spend while the Democratic primaries continue. In a related story, the NYT notes the Obama campaign will report today that it collected $36 million in January, which is $4 million more than previous estimates.

After missing out on some of the most exciting weeks of the political primary season, Saturday Night Live is back this weekend. One of the biggest concerns of SNL‘s producers right now is that the show “is bereft of a Barack Obama mimic,” notes USAT. Auditions are ongoing, and someone will probably be picked this week. “Finding a way to get people to laugh at him is complicated right now,” the executive producer said. “People aren’t seeing the cracks yet, but it will happen.”



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