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ABC News: "The Independent Effect"

Just wanted to highlight this latest bit of subtle media manipulation on primary day.

ABC has published an article "The Independent Effect in the New Hampshire Primary".


We all know Paul does extremely well with Independents, and totally cleaned up in Iowa in this demographic. Yet, the article features a giant picture at the top with signs for Perry, Gingrich (2), Santorum, and Romney, and the second half of the article itself basically just pumps Huntsman:

"Independent voters are not necessarily predictable," says Professor Dante Scala of the University of New Hampshire. "They break late, they don't have strong partisan allegiances. We're not talking about all undeclared voters, because some of them behave like partisan voters, but there is that group in the middle that is truly independent."

Scala believes that candidates who are currently running ads might benefit from this middle group of independents. The most likely beneficiary in that scenario, Scala hypothesizes, is Jon Huntsman, who is one of only three candidates running ads in the state. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are the other two candidates on the airwaves in the Granite state.

While Romney has consistently polled as the front runner, and Ron Paul supporters are a very dedicated group who have likely supported Paul for a long time, Huntsman could benefit from that casual, late-breaking voting block, asserts Scala.

"If you're a casual voter and you've seen Jon Huntsman in the last week and you really haven't been following the race much you might say 'I like Jon Huntsman.' But he's got to depend, in part, on that casual voter getting out there."