The tone of press coverage for both President Obama and Mitt Romney has been more negative than positive, especially since the last debate. Research from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that in the eight weeks after their last debate, both candidates have gotten more negative press than positive.
Despite their common woe of being getting a higher percentage of negative press, Obama still came out ahead.
In the past eight weeks, 38 percent of news coverage about Romney has been directly negative, and Obama has gotten 30 percent. But Obama’s percentage of mixed postive-negative coverage has been 51 percent, while Romney’s has only been 47 percent.
Before the first presidential debate, Obama had twice as much positive press coverage as Romney in September. After the debate, in October, Romney had a 7 percent edge on Obama.
Comments and conversations in social media were largely more negative than in the mainstream media. About 60 percent of comments made on Facebook and Twitter about Romney were negative, compared to 38 percent in the media.Obama’s buzz on social media was about 45 percent negative on Twitter and 53 percent negative on Facebook.
In terms of broadcast coverage of the candidates, specifically MSNBC and FOX News exhibited polar opposite approaches to their portrayals of the candidates. 71 percent of the stories on MSNBC about Romney portrayed him a negative light. On FOX, 46 percent of the stories about Obama were negative.