Thursday, October 28, 2010

Now for a Little Substance

Close of voting is just five days away. An untold number of ballots already have been cast, thanks to early and mail-in voting. Yet this is the first serious examination I've seen of where Tancredo and Hickenlooper differ on energy, water and environmental issues, though these are among the most important they'll deal with as governor. The differences are stark, but many Post readers, unless they did independent research, probably cast their votes in ignorance of these differences. The story comes too late to have the impact it should.

One of my many beefs with the media is how campaigns are typically covered. Most of the focus is on the horse race aspects, or tisk-tisking over the nasty campaign ads, while too little attention is paid, and often too late, to substantive differences between candidates. The media has made some adjustments to the prolonged voting period, which begins weeks before actual "election day" (maybe we should start using the term "election month"), but still seems to operate on the old timeline, holding important stories like this one until the 11th hour.

This story ought to have run weeks ago, when it could have stirred more debate and perhaps made a difference. As is, it's almost an afterthought -- something we should have talked more about before, not after, we elected a new governor.

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