In postmortem election coverage, from November 6-11, Romney received mostly negative coverage and Obama received mostly positive coverage. Third-party newsmakers (those outside of the campaigns), praised Obama in over half (50.8%) of their discussion about him, while they criticized Romney in just under half (45.6%) about him. This comes as no surprise. Obama won and Romney lost. Sentiment follows suit.
What is more surprising is the DNA of Romney’s postmortem negative election coverage and Obama’s postmortem positive election coverage. In negative coverage about Romney from third-party newsmakers from November 6-11, the majority (51.4%), was about his strategy. Even before Election Day, Romney was criticized for his strategy, so again this was predictable in postmortem coverage. What was not predictable was that GOP pundits and officials threw Romney under the bus, holding no punches in their disapproval of his strategy. 44.7% of the negative coverage on Romney’s strategy came from Republican and Tea Party newsmakers, with only 10% coming from Democratic newsmakers.
In positive coverage of Obama by third-party newsmakers from November 6-11, significant praise (41.3% of Obama’s positive postmortem election coverage) was about Horse Race. As the winner of the election, this amount of positive Horse Race coverage was predictable. Factual statements and analysis about his swing state victories flooded the airwaves. Praise of Obama’s strategy made up 22.8% of Obama’s positive coverage. As would be expected, a bulk of this (42.9%) came from Democrats. However, Republicans also praised Obama’s strategy, making up 19% of Obama’s positive coverage on the topic in this time period.
Postmortem coverage proved to be especially brutal for Romney and surprisingly positive for Obama. GOP newsmakers had three times the VoiceShare of Democrats in postmortem coverage and they let their frustrations with their candidate and their party flow freely as they were unabashed in their critique of Romney while also admitting praise for Obama.