In the final week before Election Day, Obama and Romney honed in on the topic of Candidate Character the most. Both of them also spoke positively towards themselves regarding the economy and their chances of winning.
In the final week of campaigning, Obama spoke most about Character. 23% of Obama’s statements in election coverage from October 29-November 5 were about Character. The majority of his statements on Character were positive to himself, showing how much he framed himself as “someone you can trust”. Hurricane Sandy also had a huge impact on the President’s messaging. 4thEstate categorized statements about Sandy as an auxiliary Campaign issue, which is why over 22% of Obama’s statements in the final week were about general Campaign issues. Obama also spoke frequently about the Economy, pushing positive messaging about himself but also dishing out significant criticism toward Romney and his policies that would have “returned America to the past”. Also of note is Obama’s discussion of Strategy. Obama heavily criticized his opponent concerning his campaign Strategy, specifically attacking him for misleading advertisements about Jeep and Chrysler, as well as framing Romney as a shape shifter.
Romney also spoke frequently about Character. Over one-quarter of Romney’s statements in the last week of election coverage before Election Day were about Character. Roughly equal amounts of Romney’s statements on Character were positive toward him and negative toward Obama. He criticized Obama as someone who does not possess leadership qualities and himself as someone who does. Discussion of his position in the race (Horse Race) and the economy were the second and third most discussed topics from Romney. On the economy, Romney battered Obama in the final week, with an overwhelming majority of his statements on the issue being negative to Obama. However, Romney was very positive in speaking about his chances of winning (Horse Race), with a vast majority of his statements on the topic being positive toward himself. He continuously projected an optimistic outcome in various swing states and resolutely declared at a rally that he would win. These statements were amplified across the media space.