Boston, September 7, 2012: President Obama´s speech to the Democratic National Convention last night focused on convincing voters that he can handle the economic crisis, as he struggles to overcome media criticisms on the economy that threaten his re-election, according to research institute Media Tenor International.
Since 2007, of the 27 new member states in the EU, 16 have voted for a change in government due to the global financial meltdown, notes Media Tenor. Regardless of responsibility, voters have been outraged about their situation and voted out the incumbent.
The main question with the US election is, which candidate will be framed as the best option to deal with the economic problems portrayed by the leading TV networks.
“Romney and President Obama have two different strategies,” notes Casey Chancellor, analyst at Media Tenor. “Obama is attempting to convince the public to look forward, rather than dwell on his economic record as the incumbent, while Romney campaigns to attack that record, rather than advance his own policies as the best alternative for America. The success of these strategies will be dependent on the salience and tonality of economic issues in the media,” adds Chancellor.
Media Tenor found that across the major TV networks, President Obama suffers more negative tonality across the board. With media focusing on his economic policies, employment record and tax policies, few other topics have generated much praise. The same trend is evident in the Wall Street Journal (US), where nearly 70% of criticism on Obama and the economy stems from journalists. Media focus on poll results also accounts for a large portion of “other” criticisms.
Romney´s speech at the RNC did little for his position in the polls this week, as Obama pulled slightly ahead, despite Romney having more positive TV ratings overall. However, neither candidate has managed a strong lead in the polls up to this point, and the negative tonality on Obama may compromise this lead.
“It is unlikely that Obama will shake the criticism of his economic policies, as social issues have failed to rally voters this election,” adds Chancellor. “His biggest challenge will be convincing voters to give him more time to deal with the damaged economy.”
In addition, August ended with a drop in the Consumer Confidence Index and media tonality on the economy reached a record low. Whether this trend will continue as we head into the final days of the election remains to be seen, but is likely. This week, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at its highest point since 2008 based on encouraging reports about private-sector employment, but the pressure will be strong on Obama to maintain positive forecasts as economic sentiment remains vulnerable to forecasts.
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