June 29, 2011

Bachmann v. Palin—Race for Coverage

Bachmann and Palin Other Candidates
Barack Obama 18
Newt Gingrich 12
Donald Trump 11
Mitt Romney 10
Sarah Palin 8
Jon Huntsman 5
Tim Pawlenty 4
Michele Bachmann 4
Ron Paul 3
Rick Santorum 2

1/2 – Up to her announcement, Michele Bachman had attracted just half the coverage of Sarah Palin

Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachman announced her presidential candidacy June 27 in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. With a well-received debate performance and strong showings in Iowa polls, the representative’s presidential fortune seems to be rising.

But one of Bachmann’s biggest hurdles has been the frequent comparisons with media magnet Sarah Palin.

Both women have close ties to the tea party and are well-known for the fiery rhetoric that occasionally gets them into trouble, but Palin tends to attract the media spotlight. Since the beginning of the year, Palin has been a primary subject in twice the stories of Bachmann, according to PEJ’s News Coverage Index. Governor Palin has been a dominant newsmaker in 8% of the 2012 election stories (meaning that she is featured in at least 50% of a story), making her the fourth most covered figure; Bachman was featured in just 4%, ranking 8th.

But Bachman appears to be gaining ground. In the two weeks leading up to her announcement, (June 13-26), Bachmann has been a main subject in 9% of the stories. Palin, on the other hand, has been featured in just 1%.

Elsewhere on the list:  Barack Obama leads as a dominate newsmaker in 18% of the 2012 Election stories. Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, is next with 12%, due mainly to media focus on his many bumps along the campaign trail. Donald Trump comes in at 11% of the stories, generating most of that attention by calling for Obama’s birth certificate. And reported front runner and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is fourth with 10%.

The No. 6 figure is former Utah Governor Jon Hunstman with 5%. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty ranks seventh with 4%. And rounding out the list is Texas Representative Ron Paul at 3% (9th) and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum with 2% (10th).

Tricia Sartor of PEJ