Boston, July 20, 2012. New questions about Romney´s career with Bain Capital dominated coverage for the presidential challenger in the first half of July as economic sentiment and media tone on the job market dropped precipitously, according to research institute Media Tenor International.
“At this point, there are effectively two different campaign season discussions going on. One is about policy issues and focuses on Obama´s positions around taxation and healthcare. The other is on Romney´s career history and personal wealth. The candidates largely aren´t being evaluated on similar subjects,” says Racheline Maltese, a researcher at Media Tenor.
With drops in the Consumer Confidence Index, as well as in media tonality on the economy as a whole and jobs in particular, the media has painted the Bain Capital story in a particularly negative light for Romney. However, economic doubts and negativity also hurt Obama and the view of his record as president.
“Both candidates are at risk from the same factors, but for different reasons,” Maltese said, adding that all the networks have criticized both Obama and Romney heavily. “If anything, the network story is about which candidate is the less poor choice. NBC and CBS are rating both candidates nearly identically, and while Fox News has been portraying Romney more favorably than Obama, they´re still clearly not enthused.”
Media Tenor anticipates further declines in the Consumer Confidence Index as the summer continues in light of recent sharp drops in the media tone.
“Looking ahead, the Bain story will probably give way to a more generalized election focus on the economy and jobs which will put Romney and Obama in a more head to head contest,” says Maltese.
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