Report Summary

American voters gave the press a C+ grade for its coverage of the 1990 campaign, but that is a substantial improvement over the D+ grade the press received for its coverage of the 1988 presidential campaign. The press received better ratings than the parties and the campaign professionals for Election ’90. In 1988, when voters were highly displeased with the conduct of the campaign, the press took more heat than Bush, Dukakis, the parties or the pros. The Democratic Party also improved its performance in the eyes of the voters, moving from a C- in 1988 to a solid C in the 1990 campaign.