While Mitt Romney's campaign narrative remained positive last week, Rick Santorum endured by far his worst stretch of coverage this year--suggesting the media may be moving closer to discounting him as a possible nominee.
There were no primary contests last week, but Romney appeared to solidify his status as the clear frontrunner with endorsements from party luminaries such as former president George H.W. Bush and Senator Marco Rubio. And his media coverage reflected his frontrunner status as well.
From March 26-April 1, the former Massachusetts governor generated almost three times as much coverage as his closest competitor (Newt Gingrich). And for the second week in a row, his positive coverage exceeded negative by a margin of 41% to 29%, with 30% neutral, according to the Campaign 2012 in the Media, a weekly tracking of the tone and volume of coverage of the candidates by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Read the full PEJ Election report, Coverage of Santorum Turns Negative and Sparse, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism website.