Obviously, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been the biggest voices on the stage of Election 2012. As we approach the finish line of the election, we decided to take a look at the VoiceShare of all participants besides the candidates themselves. We have highlighted in a transparent red or blue, those participants who are declared partisans. Throughout our analysis, we have not assigned partisan status to media figures who have not explicitly declared a partisan position – for example, Charles Krauthammer or David Corn.

Chart of key people's VoiceShare from May 15th through October 15th.

Chart of key people’s VoiceShare from May 15th through October 15th.

It is an interesting chart embedded with many stories. Paul Ryan has double the VoiceShare of any other actor, his VP competitor, Joe Biden, having the next largest share. David Axelrod has a much larger share than any member of Romney’s staff, which reinforces a post we published months ago about the nature of Romney’s campaign staff; i.e. Romney has a short, or even non-existent, bench. Ann Romney has been an important figure in this election, and in stark contrast to every other important actor on this list, the overwhelming percentage of her statements have been positive toward her husband. She has avoided negative sentiment toward Barack Obama. In truth, this probably underpins her status as one of the more likeable actors on the stage. Finally, the fact that Unnamed Republicans make this list underlines an important problem Mitt Romney has had in this election until the first debate, and that is the lack of strong and consistent Republican unity.