Etch-a-Sketch Mania!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 27 2012 3:41 PM

Etch-a-Sketch Mania!

The weekly Pew survey of news asks about awareness of the Romney campaign's "etch-a-sketch" moment. "Just more than four-in-ten (44%) say they heard about the remark," we learn. Chris Cillizza is unimpressed.

The numbers serve as a reminder — for the umpteenth time — that simply because 100 percent of people who do politics for a living (the Fix included) are closely following a story, it’s no guarantee that the story is penetrating nearly as broadly among the general public.

Really? This strikes me as entirely wrong. (And Cillizza does on-the-other-hand the point later in his item.) Forty-four percent awareness of a comment made by 1) a spokesman, not a candidate, asked on 2) a cable news morning show by a 3) stand-up comic? That's enormous. If you ask 20 random people whether they heard about Romney and the etch-a-sketch, nine of them will say yes. I don't think you could get that many people to tell you who the Treasury Secretary is. Hell, a poll from two months ago revealed that 44 percent of people had no idea what Mitt Romney's first name was. I don't know how repeatable the mania will be, because it was helped along by Gingrich, Santorum, AND the Democrats, and only one of these entities will end up facing Romney. But it got around!

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059


Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

So, Apple Is Not Shuttering Beats, but the Streaming Service Will Probably Be Folded Into iTunes

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
Sept. 22 2014 4:06 PM No, Women’s Soccer Does Not Have a Domestic Violence Problem Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 5:45 PM The University of California Corrects “Injustice” by Making Its Rich Chancellors Even Richer
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.