21 November 2008

Even in Defeat, Palin Continues to Attract More Attention than Biden

By Glenn Fannick
Dow Jones Insight Staff

Media coverage of Sarah Palin has fallen with her ticket’s loss on Election Day but hasn't disappeared. In fact, in the week following the election, she still received more coverage than the victorious Biden, who has been largely in the background since his announcement as vice presidential nominee.

November 5, the day after the election, was Biden’s best media day in terms of volume of coverage since the vice-presidential debate. But, perhaps most interestingly, his Election Day tally of approximately 4,000 mainstream media mentions still fell short of Palin’s 6,000 mentions that day. In social media, the gap was even wider, running at nearly 2 ½ to 1 in favor of Palin (7,059 to 3,177) in the 2 million blogs and message boards being studied. The average gap before Election Day was about 4 to 1. In the week after Election Day it was 3 ½ to 1.

Post election, the governor of Alaska maintained her news coverage as a result of a handful of national television interviews, a speech to the Republican Governors Association, talk about her plans for the 2012 election and discussion of a book deal. Pundits, meanwhile, discussed whether her presence as a polarizing figure cost McCain the election.

The vice president-elect, meanwhile, got a modicum of attention from his meeting with outgoing Vice President Cheney and discussion about his anticipated role in the new administration.

Methodology: The data come from approximately 20,000 English-language mainstream media print and Web sources, more than 60,000 English-language message boards and 2 million blogs.

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