Social Media’s Influence on Politics
Campaign and policy-related material on social networking sites plays a modest role in influencing most users’ views and political activities. Democrats and liberals are the most likely to say the sites have impact and are important and the politically engaged stand out in their use of the sites
The Master Character Narratives in Campaign 2012
The portrayal in the news media of the character and records of the two presidential contenders has been as negative as any campaign in recent times, and neither has enjoyed any advantage over the other. More of what the public hears about candidates also now comes from the campaigns themselves and less from journalists acting as independent reporters or interpreters of who the candidates are.
Economy, Election Are Public’s Top Stories
The public continued to track news about the economy and the presidential election, while paying less attention to another important political story – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in a hard-fought recall election.
Presidential Campaign Public’s Top Story
Americans continued to follow news about the presidential campaign more closely than any other news last week, though they also closely followed news about the price of gasoline.
Presidential Campaign Tops Public’s News Interest
Americans focused most closely last week on news about the presidential election, as the race increasingly shifted from the Republican primary contest to the head-to-head fight between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
How the Media Covered the 2012 Primary Campaign
Mitt Romney needed 15 weeks once the primary contests began to gain a secure hold over his party’s nomination for president. But he emerged as the conclusive winner in the media narrative about the race six weeks earlier following a narrow win in his native state, Michigan.
Romney’s Storyline Improved, Santorum’s Became More Mixed on Eve of Arizona, Michigan
The frontrunners’ fortunes in the media changed significantly last week as Mitt Romney rebounded from very negative coverage the previous week and Rick Santorum saw his narrative turn decidedly less positive. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich continues to suffer from both unflattering coverage and little of it.
Cable Leads the Pack as Campaign News Source
Cable news is now the top regular source for campaign news. The long-term decline in the number of Americans getting campaign news from local and network TV news, and local newspapers, steepened this year. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are used for campaign news by a relatively limited audience.
Gingrich and Romney Both Face Mixed Portrayal
As Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney took their battle for the Republican presidential nomination to Florida for its Jan. 31 primary, both of them arrive in the state with portrayals in the news media that are almost equally mixed
Economy Fades as Election Intensifies
The weakening economy was the most-covered news story in 2011, but it has now been overtaken by coverage of the presidential campaign.