During what may prove a key period in the race for president, the candidates received very different treatment on Twitter, Facebook and blogs than in the mainstream media, a new PEJ study finds.
Nearly half (46%) say the coverage of Romney and Obama has been fair. Among those who see a bias, as many say the press has been too easy on Romney (20%) as too tough on him (21%), while nearly twice as many say press coverage of the president has been too easy (28%) than too tough (15%).
In the wake of the party conventions, Democrats express increasingly positive views of the presidential campaign.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.