Horse Race Coverage of Elections Can Harm Voters, Candidates, and News Outlets

From a story on journalistresource.org by Denise-Marie Ordway headlined “‘Horse race’ coverage of elections can harm voters, candidates, and news outlets”:

When journalists covering elections focus primarily on who’s winning or losing instead of policy issues — what’s known as horse race reporting — voters, candidates and the news industry itself suffer, a growing body of research has found.

Media scholars have studied horse race reporting for decades to better understand the impact of news stories that frame elections as a competitive game, relying heavily on public opinion polls and giving the most positive attention to frontrunners and underdogs gaining public support. It’s a common strategy for political news coverage in the U.S. and other parts of the globe.