Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

This Time Around, Less News from the Campaign

News media coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign is down by about a third from the same period in 2008.

From Jan. 1 to May 15, about a quarter (26%) of the newshole was devoted to the presidential contest. That puts campaign coverage well ahead of the number two story, the economy, at 8%. In the same period four years ago, the campaign accounted for 39% of the newshole, while the economy accounted for 7%.

Election news got off to a big start in 2012 with key Republican contests in Iowa, New Hampshire , South Carolina and Florida. Coverage in January was similar to coverage in the same month four years ago.

But since that point, the early stages of the 2012 campaign – and Mitt Romney’s push to the status of likely GOP nominee – received less coverage that the early stages of the 2008 campaign. In 2008, both parties had hard-fought primary fights.And while Republican John McCain clinched his victory in early March, the Democratic contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was highly competitive well into May. Read More