Pew: Voters Following Election News Very Closely

Obama news dominated McCain news seven-to one

Voter interest in campaign news on the weekend prior to the presidential election was higher than any comparable weekend in at least 20 years.

According to the Pew Research News Interest Index, 88% of registered voters said they were following the election either fairly closely (28%) or very closely (60%). That is the highest score since Pew began the survey 20 years ago.

The story news consumers had heard most about was Barack Obama securing the Democratic nomination back in June (71% had hear a "lot" about it). And what was number two, ahead of Joe the Plumber, Reverend Jeremiah Wright or Hillary Clinton suspending her campaign? Sarah Palin's pregnant teenage daughter, with 69% saying they had heard a lot about that.

But most of the news they were hearing about had to do with the eventual winner, Barack Obama, according to Pew. Last week, 64% said he was the candidate they heard most about, while only 16% said McCain.

Throughout the run-up to the general election, Obama news dominated McCain news to the tune of a seven-to one disparity, said Pew. McCain coverage exceeded Obama only twice, the two weeks of the Republican convention and the naming of Sarah Palin as his VP running mate.

But in terms of having heard a lot about a story, just as many said they had heard a lot about Palin's appearance on SNL, as said they had heard a lot about her being picked as McCain's running mate.