horse-race journalism
n. Media coverage that focuses on poll results and political battles instead of policy issues.

Example Citation:
[O]ne reason the substance of policy is not communicated is that reporters carry over to their coverage of government the campaign mind-set of horse-race journalism. Process stories predominate, and the emphasis is on who is gaining or losing, not on what is being done.
—David S. Broder, "War on Cynicism," The Washington Post, July 6, 1994

Earliest Citation:
Pollster Daniel Yankelovich criticizes what he calls horse-race journalism, which he thinks explains why most newspapers misuse polls.
—Michael Wheeler, Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics, W W Norton & Co Inc, June 1, 1976

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