Share of voice and sentiment in presidential campaign media coverage

With one of the candidates complaining about the “corrupt” and “lying” media on a daily basis and another who has had reporters singularly focused on everything except policy questions, many of us face questions about media bias. While the debate will never end, some facts may make our conversations more productive.

The comprehensive media database LexisNexis has been tracking news coverage of each of the candidates and their running mates. Their U.S. Presidential Campaign Tracker finds that in the past 30 days:

  • Overall, Trump has dominated “share of voice” (the number of times that his messages were reported) with 55% (353,297 articles,) compared to 45% (278,452 articles) for Clinton.
  • The overwhelming majority of coverage of both candidates is rated as “neutral.”
  • The number of “positive” stories about each candidate stayed fairly steady. Trump had a bump in negative stories during the week following release of the Access Hollywood tape in which he boasted about groping women. Clinton has had several spikes in negative coverage, including yesterday (483 negative stories vs. 334 positive, and 3,610 neutral. Trump had 234 negative stories yesterday vs. 187 positive, and 2,293 neutral.)

More details in the charts below. Click on each date to see the numbers for each type of story:

For another way to measure media coverage, see what the New York Times did when it tried tallying up the dollar value of each candidate’s coverae.