Press Coverage is Highly Negative for Obama and Romney
August 23, 2012 - On the eve of the conventions, the portrayal in the news media of the character and records of the two presidential contenders in 2012 has been as negative as any campaign in recent times, and Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have received similar treatment. The analysis also finds that journalists are a shrinking source in shaping the candidate narratives. More of what the public hears about candidates now comes from the campaigns themselves and less from journalists acting as independent reporters or interpreters of who the candidates are.
The study was conducted by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism based on the personal portrayal of each candidate in 50 major news outlets over a 10-week period.
The Democratic Party continues to maintain an advantage in party identification among voters going into this year's campaign, but its lead is much smaller than it was four years ago. Since 2008, the GOP has made sizable gains among white voters, particularly working class white voters. This analysis takes a comprehensive look at trends in party identification, who the partisans are, and what they believe.
Coming Friday: Americans' values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. How do your political values compare with other voters? Look for our upcoming quiz, designed in partnership with the PBS NewsHour. Answer 12 questions that were part of a national survey and find out where you fit on the partisan political spectrum.
About the Campaign 2012 Newsletter and the Pew Research Center
This is the first of a series of newsletters about the 2012 elections that the Pew Research Center will send out weekly. The center is a non-partisan 'fact tank' that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The center conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. It does not take positions on policy issues.