One thing was clear last week, the first time that the 2012 presidential race generated significant coverage. Donald Trump has emerged as the early winner of the media primary—at least in terms of coverage and ability to drive the news agenda.
For much of this year, the looming presidential race has been simmering only in the background of the news. That is in sharp contrast to 2007, when the race to succeed George Bush was already a major story at this point in the year. But now, at least for the moment, things have changed.
For the week of April 18-24, the 2012 presidential race emerged as a big story, more than doubling its previous high water mark this year. It accounted for 8% of the newshole studied by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, making it the third-biggest story in the news last week. And a closely related story (at 3%) involved attention to Obama himself, with a particular focus on the “birther” movement that questions whether the president was born in the U.S.
Read the full report, Trump Pushes the 2012 Race into the News on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.