Tossing aside the question of whether People has a pro-McCain-Palin bias, eventually the issue of covering the Republican candidates will be decided by the newsstand numbers.
MSNBC's Courtney Hazlett reports that Sarah Palin may be a newsstand superstar, but the McCain family isn't faring as well. From her Scoop column (second item down):
According to a well-placed industry insider, the McCain family issue has not sold as well as the Palin cover; in fact early estimates indicate it is selling below the magazine's weekly average.
"The early numbers have (the McCain issue) a good bit below their average -- about 1.3 million," says the source. "Palin did about 1.7 million, which is above average."
A rep for People said it was still "too early" to know whether the numbers were accurate.