From October 28-November 5, in news content that mentioned terms associated with Hurricane Sandy, coverage driven by third-party newsmakers (those outside of the campaigns), was very positive for Obama. Almost 18% of statements from third-party newsmakers in content mentioning “sandy”, “storm”, or “hurricane”, was positive toward Obama, with just over 10% being negative toward Obama. Romney also had more positive than negative coverage from newsmakers in this news content, but not to the same degree as Obama.
Among third-party newsmakers who spoke positively toward Obama in news content mentioning terms associated with Sandy from October 28-November 5, Rahm Emanuel topped the list with over 10% of the positive Sandy-related election coverage. (Keep in mind that 4thEstate defines a third-party newsmakers as newsmakers who do not officially work for one of the campaigns, albeit some on the list are clearly supportive of one candidate or the other).
Most surprisingly, Republican governor Chris Christie made up a significant portion of Obama’s positive Sandy-related election coverage, which caused outcry from the GOP. His statements of appreciation toward Obama were amplified in print, TV, and radio. Overall, while Sandy was a devastating storm for the east coast, it brought out significant positive coverage toward Obama from unlikely newsmakers such as Christie.