Percentage of statements from Mitt Romney that were negative to Barack Obama decreased significantly due to the discourse on gay marriage. From May 4 to May 7, 55% of statements from Mitt Romney were negative to Barack Obama. From May 8 to May 13, this number dropped to just 11% of total statements from Mitt Romney. Inversely, Mitt Romney’s neutral statements increased from 41% to over 80% of total statements during the same time period.
Over on third (37%) of Mitt Romney’s statements from May 10 to May 18 were about social issues, specifically gay marriage. After Joe Biden and Barack Obama came out with their support for gay marriage, Romney responded with his own views on the issue. Additionally, Romney had to respond to a story divulged on May 11 by the Washington Post “Romney pranks could go too far” about him playing a prank on a gay classmate. Therefore, instead of criticizing Obama on the economy, Mitt Romney spent a week explaining his views on a subject that he did not want to discuss and defending himself about an old story he hoped wouldn’t see the spotlight.