Political analysts and commentators have been maintaining discussion of the election on television news and talk show programs, but very little talk has to do with actual policy. The majority of coverage coming from those newsmakers has been about campaign strategy coupled with dissective analysis of Romney and Obama statements.

Chart shows percentage of statements from different newsmaker types in television coverage of the election.  Time frame is June 10 – July 8.

Chart shows percentage of statements from different newsmaker types in television coverage of the election. Time frame is June 10 – July 8.

On July 4, 4thEstate published this post about the decrease in print coverage on the election, and relative increase in television coverage. It was concluded that political analysts and commentators on TV news and talk shows were responsible for driving the election discussion.

On television news and talk shows, statements from analysts and commentators consisted of almost 30% of total statements in election coverage in the past month. That is almost 10% more than the next newsmaker type, Partisan/Former Politicians.

Chart shows percentage of statements from analysts and commentators in television coverage of the election, broken out by topic and sentiment.  Time frame is June 10 – July 8.

Chart shows percentage of statements from analysts and commentators in television coverage of the election, broken out by topic and sentiment. Time frame is June 10 – July 8.

However, the discussion that these analysts and commentators provide lacks substance. In their statements in TV election coverage in the past month, almost half (44.5%) have been about campaign strategy. The most-discussed policy issue in the past month has been Healthcare with just 15% of total analyst statements. Therefore, it is not the policy positions of Obama and Romney that are being debated, but the speech style and presentation of the policy positions that analysts have been critiquing. Making it more mundane is the sentiment distribution of the analysis on campaign strategy. In the past month, just 30% of statements by analysts and commentators in TV election coverage on campaign strategy have been opinionated, and 70% have been neutral toward Romney or Obama.