Santorum Coverage Turns More Negative - Broadcasting & Cable

Santorum Coverage Turns More Negative

PEJ report on press narrative shows Romney coverage sharply improved
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Rick Santorum appears to be coming down from the press coverage high he has been on for the past couple of weeks as he heads into Tuesday's primaries in Arizona and Michigan.

That is according to the latest Project for Excellence in Journalism report on the "press narrative" of the race for president.

By contrast, the narrative for the campaign of Mitt Romney, who had seen some of his worst coverage, was sharply improved, according to PEJ.

Between Feb. 6 and Feb. 19, Santorum's positive coverage was 25 points higher than his negative. Last week (Feb. 20-26) it was a wash, with only a 1 point difference between negative (29%) and positive (30%) coverage, with the rest neutral.

By contrast, Romney, who had a 51%/23% negative to positive differential last week, was at 33%/26% for the week of Feb. 20-26.

Santorum was also the center of press attention last week, with 505 of the stories featuring him as a significant part, his highest percentage to date in the PEJ accounting. It was also the first time Santorum had received more coverage in a week than Romney.

Meanwhile, coverage of Newt Gingrich continued to fall, with a significant presence in only 13% of the stories, down from his high-water mark of 65% in late January after he beat Romney in South Carolina and was being hailed as the comeback story of the campaign. His fallback began after he failed to secure that with a follow-up win in Florida.

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