Boston, September 14, 2012: Media tonality on the economy has become slightly more positive in September, influencing the rating of both candidates for the better in light of their respective conventions, according to the latest findings from research institute Media Tenor International.
“Media tone on the economy is far less negative than it was in 2008,” says Kate Dinota, researcher at Media Tenor International. “When any topic gets more than 1.5% of total coverage, it becomes an important issue for the public and for voters. When we see topics getting more than 13% of coverage we know that it will be a deciding factor in the election. The interesting part is that the tone is more positive, which could keep voters more optimistic than they were in 2008.”
Obama has a more positive tone than Romney in the statements he´s made that have been quoted by the media, which could be a factor this election, says Dinota. “Everyone´s asking this election: with the economy this bad, what is the x-factor keeping Obama afloat? One theory is that he has been more optimistic about the future than his opponent, and in a dire economy, voters still want hope.”
Media Tenor´s “Slant-o-Meter” shows in which categories each candidate excels. “Romney´s criticisms of Obama have given him an advantage in some key areas such as leadership skills and the economy,” Dinota notes.
“Surprisingly, despite these advantages, media reporting on public opinion and polls seem to favor the President. It tells us that there are other factors voters are considering besides the economic situation.”
The major US networks have balanced their ratings on both the candidates since the conventions. Media Tenor compared Obama´s rating from May-July and August-September. “We can actually see that the convention created positive buzz for Obama,” Dinota notes. “His positive ratings increased about 10%, helping to balance his overall media rating.”
“Media rating on the economy became a bit more positive this month, and the tonality of the media can be a major influencing factor for voters,” Dinota says. “Interestingly, despite a long trend of negative tonality on the economy, the media has actually changed their tone to be slightly more positive since the conventions. This could have definitely contributed to Obama´s 6-point bounce in the polls, and could have a positive affect on the Consumer Confidence Index.”
This week, with the media reporting just slightly in Obama´s favor, the President has picked up momentum post-conventions and jumped in the polls.
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