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
“I’m flat broke but I don’t care, I strut right by with my tail in the air.”
– Stray Cat Strut by the Stray Cats
Wall Street firms have been taking a beating by the public for a good while now – and some of their employees have gotten fed up with it. Just last week, in fact, a rally was held in New York’s Financial District to mark the formation of restorewallstreet.com, a group devoted to “putting the pride back into Wall Street.” The group was started by brokers and traders who feel the tone and language used to describe their jobs has been unfair, even childish.
Just how bad has the criticism been? Whether you think it appropriate or childish, one phrase sums up the critique of Wall Street these days: “fat cats.” According to research using Dow Jones Insight, the term “fat cats” has been used to criticize Wall Street more than 6,000 times in the past three months alone.
Specific events, largely related to President Obama, drove mentions of “fat cats” in the news.
However, looking at the trend above, you can see that even this coverage has been event-driven, rather than persistent and pervasive. The biggest spike hit in mid-December, due to coverage of President Obama’s call on Wall Street to stop lobbying against regulatory reform and boost lending, and his comments on CBS’s 60 Minutes about “a bunch of fat cat bankers” (Dow Jones Business News, 14 Dec 09).
In fact, 85 percent of stories that use the phrase “fat cats” mention Obama as well, in many cases quoting the phrase from the President. However, all mentions of “fat cats” in the news haven’t been expressed devoted to criticizing banks. President Obama received criticism when coverage of “fat cats” spiked in mid-January, due to a stock market plunge precipitated by President Obama’s seeking a new tax on banks. “It was the fat cats’ fault before. But now its becoming Obama’s,” wrote the Bernard Condon and Tim Paradis for the Associated Press (24 Jan 10).
“Fat Cats” Company Index
Which companies earned the inauspicious honor of ranking first in the “fat cats” league table? Goldman Sachs and Citigroup topped the list. For Goldman, Obama’s bank plans and public outrage over H1N1 flu shot availability drove mentions, while Citigroup coverage focused on paying back stimulus funds. Many stories also expressed skepticism that Obama’s proposed plans to regulate the banking system would have any real effect on big banks like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America.
It seems that categorizations of the nation’s bankers as “fat cats” may be on the decline, as President Obama receives more criticism about the Main Street effects of his criticism of Wall Street. Watch this space for updates to the Fat Cats Index.
Tags: fat cats, financial district, Obama, reputation, wall street