SPINdex Scoreboard: Gore, Bush fight tight battle for attention

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ANOTHER SQUEAKER: The media may be surprised by the closeness of the presidential vote, but if they had only looked at their own pages and videotape over the past month, they would have realized just how tight the battle really was. Like a mirror of the nation's vote, only a small margin of difference separated Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore in the media impressions generated by the Spindex sample of influential media outlets during the month leading up to this column.

Coverage of Gov. Bush's marketing and advertising initiatives generated a Spindex of 1,343, only 31 Spindex points above the Spindex generated by Mr. Gore's campaign efforts. Interestingly, Mr. Gore would have topped Gov. Bush by a wide margin, if only he had attracted those media impressions that went to Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, who ranks distantly behind Mr. Gore, but well ahead of Pat Buchanan. The top story this month, of course, was political advertising itself, which with all the presidential and local races, generated a Spindex of 1,765.

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