SPINDEX;DEMS LAG GOP IN CONVENTIONS, THOUGH HILLARY IS FIRST OF LADIES

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SPINdex hasn't decided who it will vote for Nov. 5, but it definitely thinks the Republicans know how to throw a grand old party.

The Republican National Convention and the Dole-Kemp campaign team scored decisive victories over their Democratic rivals in this week's Convention Wrap-up Edition of SPINdex.

But the Democrats won on the spousal and literary fronts.

It could be that presidential challengers are simply more newsworthy than incumbents, but media coverage of the Republican convention generated 632 stories in the SPINdex sample of influential electronic and print media during the two-week period leading up to the event.

During the comparable two-week period, the Democratic National Convention scored only 454 news stories.

Electronic media were particularly enamored of the GOP event, allocating 66 minutes of network newscast time vs. only 36 minutes for the Democratic convention. With 418,921 words of copy, the Republican convention earned nearly 100,000 more words of coverage than the 319,070 devoted to the Democrats.

Likewise, news media-particularly the Big 3 networks-were more focused on the Dole-Kemp team than on Clinton-Gore. The GOP ticket attracted 21 minutes of network news time and 107,477 total words of copy vs. only 5.5 minutes of TV time and 97,548 words of overall news copy for Clinton-Gore.

The Democratic ticket did better with matrimonial mates. Possibly due to Elizabeth Dole's Oprah-like convention performance, the news media seemed galvanized on Hillary Rodham Clinton's role going into the Democratic confab. Hillary attracted 17,005 words of copy in 27 stories vs. only 7,353 words of copy in eight news stories for Ms. Dole.

Bill Clinton also won as best presidential scribe, attracting 17,380 words in 20 news stories about the publication of "Between Hope & History"; the Doles' reissue of "Unlimited Partners" just before the GOP met generated 5,593 words, with seven news stories. Dole is working on another book, making SPINdex wonder why these guys really run for office?

Joe Mandese is senior VP of Myers Reports. Mark Weiner is VP of Medialink PR Research.

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