Recent comments by Joe Biden have raised questions from analysts about whether he will stay on the Democratic ticket with Obama. Since May, discussion of Biden has been accompanied with significant criticism toward the Obama campaign.

Chart shows percentage of statements from Joe Biden in election coverage, out of total statements from the Obama campaign.  Time frame is May 1 – August 24.

Chart shows percentage of statements from Joe Biden in election coverage, out of total statements from the Obama campaign. Time frame is May 1 – August 24.

In the past week, Biden’s status as running mate for Barack Obama was questioned after he made a gaffe about Romney and Republicans putting people “back in chains”, that got amplified across the media space. In the chart above, we can see that from August 10-17 statements from Joe Biden as a percentage of statements from the Obama campaign spiked from 2% to 18%. This is stemmed from the one gaffe, and has been the biggest spike in Biden’s VoiceShare among the Obama campaign since May, when Biden’s comments on same-sex marriage were also widely amplified. The other major spike came in mid-July, following the Healthcare ruling in which Biden received coverage on various topics.

Chart shows percentage of statements from Joe Biden in election coverage, broken down by topic and sentiment.  Time frame is May 1 – August 24.

Chart shows percentage of statements from Joe Biden in election coverage, broken down by topic and sentiment. Time frame is May 1 – August 24.

Since May, statements from Biden in election coverage have mainly been about the Economy and Candidate Character. 79% of Biden’s statements about the Economy have been negative to Romney, showing that Biden is taking every chance to attack Romney’s jobs record and ability to fix the economy. The 19.8% focus on Social Issues is due to the amplification of Biden’s remarks on same-sex marriage in May. Otherwise, Biden has talked very little about other policy issues since May.

Chart shows sentiment of statements in election coverage that include the word “Biden”.  Time frame is May 1 – August 24.

Chart shows sentiment of statements in election coverage that include the word “Biden”. Time frame is May 1 – August 24.

Discussion about Biden has not been positive. In statements where the word “Biden” is mentioned at least once, 17.6% are negative to Obama, and just 14% are positive to Obama. Surprisingly, it has not been Romney and his team to cause this high negativity. Just 6.8% of statements with the word “Biden” since May have come from Romney or his campaign staff. The majority of the criticism (62.5%) has come from political analysts and members of the Republican Party who have rebuked comments from Biden such as his “chains” reference and have criticized him for poor campaign etiquette.