Rick Santorum officially dropped out of the race today, but as noted in a previous post, the mainstream media as a group behaved as if the race was over for the latter part of March. As noted, the coverage was decreasing all through March and when Santorum lost Wisconsin (along with Maryland and the District of Colombia), this put a capstone on process. As also noted in a previous post, analysis of the coverage revealed that both the topical focus and negative campaigning focus had shifted from a Romney-Santorum axis to a Romney-Obama axis.
As the race has shifted to a Romney-Obama axis, the coverage has begun an uptick as noted in the charts below. As the charts show, it looks like National Public Radio was the first to market in accepting and defining the race to be between Romney and Obama. The volume of weekly statements in NPR coverage has doubled since the beginning of the April. While the NPR statement total has doubled since April 1, the statement volume in collective Print media has experienced only a 45% increase.