Obama Could Lose on Substance

Double-digit lead may evaporate as media tires of cool trivia
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2008 5:03 PM CDT
Barack Obama speaks at an economic competitiveness summit at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., Thursday, June 26, 2008.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Barack Obama’s double-digit lead over John McCain may end up a mirage, writes Paul West in the Chicago Tribune, because many voters still don’t know much about the senator's politics. The media has focused largely on trivia, leaving wide swaths of the electorate unsure where Obama stands. “I just know ‘vote for change,’” says one undecided voter. “I don't know what change.”

Journalists have spent little ink on Obama's lack of ideas, and devotion to Democratic orthodoxy, West writes. Obama's camp has promised policy speeches this year, but he may tow the party line depending on the polls. "Summertime leads in presidential contests can vanish," writes West: Remember Michael Dukakis, who held a commanding 17-point lead in late July, 10 years ago.