PEJ: Romney Coverage Turns More Negative

Coverage during Jan. 23-29 shifted 13% to the negative side
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Mitt Romney appeared to be subject to the old
adage about the highest head above the trench drawing the most fire. While he
was going into Florida's Tuesday primary with
a double-digit lead in some polls and predictions of his victory over
formerly-surging New Gingrich, coverage of Romney by the national news media
has gotten tougher. That is according to a news analysis by the Project for
Excellence in Journalism.

According
to the latest installment in its recently launched election 2012 reports,
coverage of Romney was 38% negative to 25% positive for the week of Jan. 23-29
(a 13 percentage point differential), compared to Gingrich's 29% positive/27%
negative (2 percentage points).

The
week before, 35% of the Romney coverage was negative, but 33% positive for only
a 2 point spread, while Gingrich's was an even 28%/28%, statistically the same
as last week's coverage.

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