23 October 2008

Obama Coverage Trending Upward as McCain’s Remains Flat

By Glenn Fannick
Dow Jones Insight Staff

The trend lines of daily headline coverage of the two candidates for September 1 through October 20 show a very clear story – McCain’s gains in September have disappeared and as each day progresses through October Obama widens the gap.

Headline mentions, as we’ve written before, are a telling indicator of what the media and bloggers think the main focus of the events of the day should be.

Overlaying a linear trend line atop these daily counts, as shown here, shows more clearly the direction the volume counts are moving.

The three most recent spikes in coverage, just following September 26, October 7 and October 15, are a result of more coverage in the days after the three presidential debates. After the first debate, McCain picked up many more headline mentions than Obama. But after the other two debates, including the October 15 event, which many say was McCain’s strongest showing, more headlines were written about Obama than McCain. And in the days since, the gap has been growing.

Methodology: Mainstream press sources include more than 6,000 newspapers, wires, magazines, radio and TV transcripts and more than 13,000 current-awareness news Web sites. Social media sources include 2 million of the most influential blogs and more than 60,000 message boards.

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