As the month of October has come and gone, the coverage of the election has shifted. Starting in early October, topical discussion of the Debates was at the forefront of coverage, occupying about one-quarter of the coverage during the first week of the month. However, as the debate season progressed, discussion of the debate as a topic decreased to below 5% by the end of last week.
In its place, coverage of Horse Race and Strategy and the Economy have once again taken front stage. Heading into the 3rd Presidential debate on October 22nd, coverage of the Economy, Horse Race and Strategy were each between 7-11% of total election coverage. In the following week, each of those three topics increased to 15-20% of total coverage. With the debates in the rear-view mirror, the campaigns, the pundits, the surrogates and party affiliates are now all talking about the campaigns plans for the final stretch (Strategy) and predicting outcomes in swing states (Horse Race). The most important issue of this year’s election cycle, the economy, is also rising once again as Obama and Romney are making their final pitches to the media and the public for why they are the better choice to improve the economy.