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Politics have dominated the headlines—and prime-time news channels—in recent weeks as media outlets zeroed in on the happenings at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. And LexisNexis was there right amidst media. As we mentioned in a previous post, we were on the ground at the RNC in Cleveland. Last week, we had a team at the DNC too. Now that the delegates have gone home and the confetti-strewn convention center in Philadelphia has been swept up, we conducted some news analysis of the DNC as well. Here’s what we discovered.
As expected, Hillary Clinton received a major surge in media coverage during the week of the DNC. Trump earned some media attention last week as well, eclipsing the number of mentions received during the RNC.
The reason for the jump in coverage, however, bears consideration. Trump’s critical comments in response to one DNC speaker, the Muslim father of Captain Humayun Khan. Captain Khan, who was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, posthumously received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart in recognition of the sacrifice he made for his adopted country. Trump has continued to stoke the fire, reports CNN, despite backlash from within his own party. Senator Lindsey Graham said, “There used to be some things that were sacred in American politics—that you don't do —like criticizing the parents of a fallen soldier even if they criticize you. If you’re going to be the leader of the free world, you have to be able to accept criticism. Mr. Trump can’t.” Senator John McCain also released a statement addressing Trump’s controversial comments.
Speculation and post-announcement media attention focused on Indiana’s Republican Governor Pence more so than Virginia’s junior Democratic Senator Kaine. We’ll have to wait and see if the low volume of articles for both VP candidates picks up over time.
Who were people talking about when it came to the DNC? Hillary Clinton stole the show, but Trump and Bernie Sanders also got plenty of press, as did his many disappointed supporters who staged a walk-out. Their frustration was fueled, in part, by the DNC email scandal which pushed Debbie Wasserman Schultz into the spotlight. Rounding out the Top 10 were President Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Tim Kaine.
Speakers Win Media Favor During DNC
While the most talked about speaker during the RNC was Melania Trump by a huge margin, the reaction which was initially positive quickly took a huge swing to negative as accusations of plagiarism surfaced. The DNC speakers that earned the greatest share of voice were President Obama, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton. Maybe there is something to be said about the experience of living in the White House! An opinion piece in The Washington Post ranked the top five (sort-of) speeches during the DNC putting Michelle Obama first, followed by Vice President Biden, Khizr Khan, President Obama, and the Clintons (that’s where the ‘sort-of’ fits in).
We also took a look at the Presidential candidate’s daughters who both spoke on their respective parent’s behalf. While Chelsea had a bigger spike of attention on the day of her presentation than Ivanka, Ivanka enjoyed two straight days of good coverage. Chelsea took a bigger dip on the day after her speech.
It’s a long road until November, so keep coming back to the blog to find out what our ongoing media monitoring reveals.
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