June 9, 2016


Hillary Clinton Has Been the Subject of More Negative Media Coverage Than Any of the Other Candidates : And the least positive coverage too. (Lisa Wade, 6/9/16, Pacific Standard)

Vox recently released the following figure illustrating the results of an analysis by social media analytics company Crimson Hexagon. Excluding neutral stories, it shows the percentage of positive and negative media coverage for the final five candidates in the presidential primary. Hillary Clinton has received the most negative coverage and the least positive coverage.

Maybe Donald Trump Isn't A Master Of Media (Warren Henry, JUNE 8, 2016, The Federalist)

To be sure, Trump's celebrity status was a major factor in securing the GOP's presidential nomination. Along the way, his notoriety attracted an estimated $2.4 billion in free television coverage, 91 percent of which was positive, according to media analytics firm mediaQuant. Notably, while Trump's television coverage was most positive throughout the primary season, it was not much more so than the ratings given to other candidates. Crimson Hexagon, a social media software analytics company, similarly concluded in a study that Trump received a mix of positive and negative print coverage similar to that of other major candidates--about the same as Democrat Bernie Sanders.

Trump occasionally received special treatment, such as being allowed to conduct television interviews by phone. In this way, Trump exploited television's hunger for ratings, as the threat (stated or unstated) of losing access to Trump interviews represented a prisoner's dilemma or collective action problem not unlike that Trump's GOP rivals faced. This advantage, however, was marginal compared to the sheer volume of coverage he received, which largely drowned out Trump's rivals.

The Donald's near-universal name identification, combined with saturation television coverage, arguably made him the establishment candidate to casual, "somewhat" conservative voters. The Republican Party had a deep bench in 2016, but the only candidate who could have possibly competed with Trump for the establishment position in terms of name identification and branding was Jeb Bush. Yet not even the Bush dynasty could raise $2.4 billion. Moreover, Bushworld never realized Jeb's brand was not marketable in 2016 due to lingering buyer's remorse over his brother's presidency. Trump realized it and ruthlessly exploited it--but that was not a media skill.

As a result, television outlets got their ratings and Trump (barring a catastrophe) got the Republican nomination. Looking at the world through a Trumpian lens, who got the better end of that deal? The media was able to charge what Rush Limbaugh might call confiscatory ad rates for events like the GOP debates, and the television channels got their infotainment. Trump is nothing if not entertaining. But that $2.4 billion in free media, while making Trump more popular with Republicans, made him less popular with everyone else.

As this starts to balance out the numbers will get really ugly. 

Posted by at June 9, 2016 7:20 PM