PEJ: Bain is No Boon for Romney

Republican presidential hopeful drawing more negative coverage than at any other time during race
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The
observation that the head highest above the trench draws the most fire appears
to be playing out in the Republican presidential contest.

According
to the first installment of a Project for Excellence in Journalism campaign
news analysis
,
after winning in Iowa and New Hampshire, Mitt
Romney has drawn more negative news coverage as he enters Saturday's (Jan. 21)
primary in South Carolina that at any other time
in the race.

That
coverage has been driven by Romney's career at investment firm Bain Capital.
Romney's negative coverage percentage was at 41% for the week of Jan. 9-15
compared to a 30% positive number. That positive was actually up from 25% the
week before, but the spread increased because the negative number was up 16
percentage points from the 26% figure the week before.

The
most positive coverage went to Ron Paul, with a 45% positive vs. 12% negative
spread.

Newt
Gingrich coverage is becoming more neutral, although negative (27%) still outweighs
the positive (20%), while Perry gets the unwanted prize for largest spread
between negative and positive among the Republican candidates, with 37% of the
coverage negative to only 19% positive.

Rick
Santorum apparently got little bump from almost winning Iowa. His coverage was
actually more negative afterwards (head above the trench?) and after his
fifth-place finish in Iowa, coverage, good or bad,
"plummeted," said PEJ.

Romney
has also risen in the ranks of online coverage. He is now the most-searched-for
candidate on Google and has topped Ron Paul as the candidate whose YouTube
channel got the most viewers. He also retained his standing atop the candidate
with the most mentions on Google News. 

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