In my last post, I analyzed the impact of traditional and social media on the Republican primary contest. Here, I’ll look at the issues that have had the most media traction since May 29, when Mitt Romney gained enough delegates to claim the Republican presidential nomination.
The dominant issue since late May has been jobs and employment. A key driver of coverage was the Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report, released on June 1. The release resulted in a large spike in coverage, as both President Obama and Romney commented on the report, and it’s likely that subsequent reports will draw significant pick-up during the rest of the campaign. A second spike in jobs coverage occurred during mid- June when both candidates visited the battleground state of Ohio to promote their visions for creating new jobs.
At the other end of the spectrum is the relatively light volume of coverage since late May for issues such as immigration, taxes and health care, which played central roles in recent presidential and congressional campaigns. The low volume of health care coverage has been particularly surprising, since the Affordable Care Act has been a much debated component of Obama’s legislative initiatives, and Romney’s health care program was a centerpiece of his term as governor of Massachusetts. It’s worth noting, however, that this issue will likely gain significant traction after the Supreme Court rules on key components of the Affordable Care Act this summer.
Social media results have generally mirrored traditional media for coverage of jobs, taxes and health care. This indicates that the candidates’ campaigns or the government’s scheduled economic reports are driving the discussions and setting the agenda for traditional media coverage and conversations in social media.
Traditional and Social Media Analysis of Presidential Campaign Issues: Jobs, Taxes and Health Care
Tags: elections, employment, Health Care, media analysis, Obama, Romney, Social Media
Advocates of social media have claimed that an effective social media campaign has become essential for candidates in recent election cycles. While the impact of social media may be increasing, particularly when used for organizing volunteers and raising campaign funds, findings from this analysis indicate traditional media still plays an essential role and is more likely to drive social media coverage of the candidates than the other way around.
Each election cycle is argued to be “the year” when a social media campaign will trump traditional methods of campaign success, like personal wealth, strong financial backing and support from party officials. In 2004, Howard Dean was considered the candidate most likely to break through due to his support among young voters and their reliance on social media, and Ron Paul has been viewed as the candidate who picked up that mantle in both 2008 and 2012.
While Paul received a higher percentage of social media results than the other candidates, Mitt Romney, the candidate with the fundraising advantage and stronger backing within the Republican establishment, has a 25-point advantage over Paul (according to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal polls). It appears that a reliance on social media has not yet proven to be the decisive factor in presidential elections.
Tags: elections, Mainstream, measurement, media analysis, Social Media
With Russia’s presidential election just completed, how did the candidates fare in the media and, in particular, in social media? Did they use the emerging medium to their advantage? We looked at the media coverage during 27 February – 4 March.
Despite having three very different presidential candidates, each generated similar exposure across the media landscape, albeit different volumes. The United Russia leader Vladimir Putin equally dominated in presence across all media channels. Businessman and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, expected to attract professionals and the youth vote, only managed around 11% of the social media coverage, which was surprisingly similar to Communist candidate Gennady Zyuganov.
While coverage on the candidates themselves was quite similar across media channels, the one area where social media drove public attention was not even related to the candidates’ political positions. Instead, on election day, blogger drugoi reported on an increased military presence in Moscow. This became the most commented post in social media with 1,369 comments. While some supported a visible presence of the military as a way to ensure order, others described it as the only way for Putin and his allies to stay in power.
Contributed by Elena Sokolova.
Tags: elections, measurement, media analysis, Social Media