Chart 1: Coverage of the Economy Almost Surpassed Campaign Talk
The Jobs Report released on June 1st drove discussion of the Economy back to the fore of election 2012 coverage, almost overtaking discussion of campaign-centric issues. The poor numbers of the report allowed Romney a window to criticize Obama’s handling of the economy.
In response to the May’s jobs report released on June 1, there was a large reaction in the election media space to the poor numbers. As the most amplified policy issue in this election, the poor numbers caught the attention of all outlets and mediums. Chart 1 shows that the Economy topic comprised 13% of the total coverage in late May, and then briefly skyrocketed to 45% of the total coverage, almost surpassing discussion of campaign issues. Since then, coverage on the Economy has dropped slightly and is hovering above 30%, remaining the most-discussed policy issue thus far in June.
Chart 2: Poor Job Report Brought Obama Plenty of Criticism
As is usual for the traditional media space, the majority of the sentiment of the coverage surrounding the economy during this time has been neutral (45%). However, there has also been a lot of criticism toward Obama. Chart 2 shows that 27% of statements about the Economy in this time frame have been critical of Obama. Not surprisingly, Mitt Romney has been driving a significant portion of this negativity. Over 50% of statements negative toward Barack Obama on the economy have come from Romney himself in this time period, while the other half have come from a mixture of Romney staffers and other Republican officials.