Round and Round the Candidates Go, It's 'Conservative' Wherever They Go

At least on the CBS Evening News. On Thursday's newscast, reporter Chip Reid explained that John McCain campaigned in northern Ohio towns Reid described as “conservative areas” while CBS colleague Dean Reynolds, with Barack Obama in Sarasota, Florida, marveled at how he's “not just concentrating on Republican states now. He's stumping in their most conservative strongholds.”

Over the past few weeks Reid has referred to how Sarah Palin campaigned “in conservative rural Pennsylvania,” how Obama in Roanoke “drew a crowd of more than 8,000 in this conservative corner of Virginia” and how a McCain rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin put him in a “deeply conservative suburb of Milwaukee.”

From my memory, and a check of Nexis, only once in October did a CBS Evening News story describe any area of the nation as liberal -- and that came in tandem with a conservative tag. In a Friday, October 17 story, Kelly Cobiella described how in Florida “Obama has the southeast and its large number of African-American, Jewish and liberal white voters. McCain is the favorite among military and socially conservative voters in the southwest and north.”

Fuller versions of the labels:

Thursday, October 30, Chip Reid on McCain in Ohio:
Traveling from the northwest corner of the state, along Lake Erie, to Mentor in the northeast, the stops were in small towns where McCain found passionate fans at every turn. The purpose in these conservative areas is not so much to find new supporters as it is to make sure the already-converted get to the polls.
Same night, Dean Reynolds on Obama in Sarasota:
Barack Obama is not just concentrating on Republican states now. He's stumping in their most conservative strongholds. Today it was Sarasota, Florida, which George Bush won by eight points four years ago.
Friday, October 17, Reid on how Obama in Roanoke:
...drew a crowd of more than 8,000 in this conservative corner of Virginia today.
Tuesday, October 21, Reid:
Running mate Sarah Palin, still popular with the party's base, was in conservative rural Pennsylvania this weekend.
Thursday, October 9, Reid on McCain in Waukesha, Wisconsin:
Many in this deeply conservative suburb of Milwaukee are in a state of disbelief that Obama could actually win.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center