A new article by Brendan Nyhan in the Columbia Journalism Review (The Gore-ing of Mitt Romney) has an interesting little snippet in it:
Beyond the frustration and resentment, an underlying problem is that the demand for gaffe news far exceeds the public’s interest in substantive reporting, especially during a general election in which only 5% of adults are truly undecided. The average news consumer follows presidential politics more like a sports fan than some sort of ideal citizen. Though there’s little evidence that gaffes prompt voters to rethink their loyalties, Romney’s missteps seem like news in this context.
Is the horse race coverage just the media giving the punters the thrill they need?