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The case could certainly be made that no other presidential race in memory or potentially history has received so much media attention—and, let’s face it, felt so much like a reality TV show—as this one. Now that the election is one for the record books, let’s take a look at how this chapter came to an end, and while we’re at it, how the next chapter is shaping up.
First, let’s dig into coverage. We had a theory at the beginning of the election that the winning candidate would have more media coverage over the campaign, so we started monitoring media with our Presidential Campaign Tracker. The theory did not necessarily suggest causation, yet a correlation still persisted in elections past that when a candidate has more media coverage, they tend to do better at the polls.
Looking at the chart from the last month, this would indicate that the race was going to be a tight one, and it was!
Prior to these last 30 days, Donald Trump had been receiving significantly more media coverage than Hillary Clinton, but over the last month, coverage over time really evened out across candidates. In fact, for the first time since the DNC, Hillary Clinton won the share of voice (51.8% to Trump’s 48.2%) in the two weeks leading up to the election. Now, “won” may not be the right word, as the majority of the articles swirled around the FBI releasing info about the email scandal.
The last 2 weeks leading up to election:
It appears that media coverage was a pretty good indicator for how close the race was going to be. What about the sentiment of the articles? Despite claims of biased media on either side of the aisle, the vast majority of the coverage stayed neutral about both candidates.
Let’s pull out the neutral and take a look at just the percentages of positive and negative coverage for the two candidates over the last month. Clinton took a dip when the Comey email announcement came out, but it did rebound and peak on the day of the election. Meanwhile, Trump started out with significantly more negative coverage with his scandal, and then worked his way up to more positive with his election win. All things considered, coverage was still pretty even.
The world took notice—publishing many articles with concern, surprise and praise for Donald Trump over the last month. Outside of the US, the countries with the most publications about our election and Donald Trump include the United Kingdom with 37,000+ articles, Australia with 23,000 and France with more than 16,000. Our neighbors Canada published near 12,000 articles, Mexico 5,000. Russia? Only 595 articles were published over the last month.
So, where do we go from here? Recent news has focused on the President-elect and his transition team. Some other subjects are creeping into media as well—like stock indexes, protests, racism and other heads of government. We’ll be monitoring the news and social media coverage with our tracker through the inauguration, and sharing our analysis right here in our blog. Register to stay up-to-date!