In election coverage since September 1, US Senators have been quoted more than Representatives. Of the two groups, almost 70% of statements in election coverage from September 1-October 31 have been from Senators and just over 30% have been from Representatives. Among Senators quoted, 60% were either Republicans or of the Tea Party (represented solely by Marco Rubio in this case). Among Representative quoted, just fewer than 70% were Democrats.
The VoiceShare among Democratic congress people is evenly spread out, with no newsmaker in the group getting drastically more coverage than the others. Senator John Kerry has had slightly more VoiceShare in election coverage since September 1 than other Democratic congress people. Also high on the list is Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, with 9.4% of the statements from Democratic congress people coming from him. Schumer has boosted Obama with positive statements more than he has attacked Romney. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has critiqued Romney much more than he has elevated Obama, playing the role of attack dog. Overall, 6 out of the 10 Democratic congress people in the chart have amplified more positive coverage toward Obama than negative coverage toward Romney. Interestingly, the Democratic Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, has spent a considerable amount of his air time beating on Obama. These negative statements were about Manchin’s disagreement with Obama’s policies on coal mining, an industry that West Virginia relies heavily upon.
Among Republican congress people, Rob Portman has had significantly high VoiceShare. Almost 20% of the statements among Republican congress people have come from him. This is due to his role as debate coach for Mitt Romney, leading to media interest in his commentary surrounding the debates. He has played a positive role for Romney, helping to amplify positive messaging about Romney and his debate performances. The other GOP congress people shown in the chart have all been very aggressively attacking Obama. Only Portman has had more statements positive statements toward Romney than negative statements toward Obama in media coverage from September 1-October 31. Interestingly, Republican Representative from New York, Pete King, has had been negative toward Romney. These negative statements were in relation to Romney’s “47%” video, which King criticized Romney about.