Historical potential shaping presidential race
Just over two weeks away from Super Tuesday, a day that could ultimately reveal who will receive both party's nominations for president, one party has distanced itself, at least in media coverage.
If you follow national news closely, you could be convinced that the presidential election is a two-person race, and both are Democrats.
In a crowded primary field, which includes a woman, a minority, a pastor and a former prisoner of war, the Republican presidential candidates have all but been lost in the shuffle.
Democratic hopefuls Sen. Hillary Clinton, of New York, and Sen. Barack Obama, of Illinois, have stolen the spotlight of this year's primary, leaving the Republican contenders as the also-rans.
"I think a lot has to do with that Clinton is our first strong female candidate and Obama is the country's first strong minority candidate," Jerry Fancher, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Executive Committee, said.
"Naturally, something like that will draw some attention."
Brian Hamilton, chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Executive Committee, agreed that the historical significance of the 2008 race could be a key factor in the amount of publicity candidates are getting.
"I do think the possibility of having our first African-American or female elected has been a factor," Hamilton said.
Despite the historical milestone that could be reached should Obama or Clinton take office, Fancher said the left-leaning national media plays a major role in dictating which party gets the most coverage.
"Most of your national media outlets, both papers and television, have traditionally been Democratic," he said. "Naturally, they're going to push their candidates and their party."
In the tussle for media coverage, John McCain, Fancher said, has emerged as the media's favorite.
"He seems to get the most coverage, more so than the other Republicans," he said.
"But he's still their secondary story and they never get too deep…never tell you what he stands for or what he's about."
The race for the Democratic nomination has been heating up lately, but Hamilton said he expects the party to present a strong front in the fall.
"Our party is having a vigorous debate at this time but I think we will unite once the primaries are over."