US Election: Trump vs Clinton – UK media tracker

Signal is compiling a selection of key UK media metrics relating to the US election. Click here to read the first four instalments of these articles. We will publish our final update on November 11th, shortly after Election Day.

Signal has once again interrogated the British media coverage of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over the last week. A matter of hours after we released our update last Friday, FBI director James Comey announced that new Clinton emails had been discovered and were being investigated. The news has shaped and defined the week’s coverage: the last seven days saw Clinton featuring in more headlines than Trump for the first time since we began our analysis.

Below are a few key insights which we’ll dive into this week:

  • Following the end of the presidential debate cycle, coverage for both Trump and Clinton fell from the previous week
  • Post-debates, the proportion of total media coverage taken up by broadcast channels dropped sharply
  • Data shows that tabloid papers which sit on opposing political wings to Trump or Clinton may in fact give those candidates more coverage

This series of articles demonstrates the importance of a long-term viewpoint when digging into news data. One snapshot may not be enough to capture the true nature of a rolling story; instead, Signal takes the longer view, allowing readers to evaluate the presidential campaign week by week.

Key election metrics

Signal is analysing the following UK media metrics:

  • All press mentions of Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton
  • All headline mentions of Trump vs Clinton
  • Breakdown of Trump / Clinton coverage by media type (online news vs print news vs blogs vs broadcast)
  • Sources covering Trump and Clinton most often

All press mentions: Trump vs Clinton (28.10 – 03.11)

Trump Clinton all Mentions
Trump Clinton all Mentions

As the election looms, both Trump and Clinton have seen their UK media coverage soar from last week. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s lead over Hillary Clinton in total coverage continues to shrink, although this may not be for reasons which would delight Clinton. From a 78% gap three weeks ago, Trump attracted just 11% more press mentions than Clinton over the last seven days – by far the slimmest lead since we began our analysis.

All headline mentions: Trump  vs Clinton (28.10 – 03.11)

Trump Clinton Headlines
Trump Clinton Headlines

Two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton appeared in just 38% as many headlines as Donald Trump; with less than a week to go to the election, she is now pulling in more headlines than Trump. It’s worth reiterating that this turn of events is largely down to the email scandal which has dominated the last few days of press: it’s hard to tell at this stage whether this weekly snapshot indicates genuine shifts in the course of the election.

Media type breakdown (28.10 – 03.11)

Trump media Type
Trump media Type
Clinton Media Type
Clinton Media Type

Broadcast media has once again grown in prominence after declining to 6.3% of the total media mix last week; across Trump’s and Clinton’s coverage, broadcast now makes up a little under 9% of total mentions.

The other story is the resurgence of print coverage as a proportion of all press: from under 15% of total mediatwo weeks ago, print content now represents more than 18% of last’s week’s coverage. As the election draws closer, ‘traditional’ media is becoming more and more involved in reporting on the actions of the candidates on a daily basis.

Presidential candidates’ top 10 sources by volume (28.10 – 03.11)

Trump Sources
Trump Sources
Clinton Sources
Clinton Sources

For the first time, the Mail has been bumped off the top spot as the news source covering Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton the most, with Sky News registering more total mentions of both over the last week. Interestingly, Reuters and Yahoo Finance have paid far more attention to Clinton than usual this week; is this because the revelations concerning her emails have provoked jitters in the markets?

With the presidential election just days away, British press coverage continues to provide interesting insights into the race for the White House. The disparity in media attention between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has almost disappeared; indeed, Clinton has registered more total headlines than Trump for the first time in five weeks. Print and broadcast channels continue to claw back ground from online content; at the same time, the presence of financial sources high in Clinton’s top 10 might indicate that the markets are paying more attention to the race than previously.

We will be tracking these key metrics through Election Day, publishing our final weekly update on November 11th. We will compile the data from all six weeks of our tracking into a longer study, which will be released before Christmas. Until then, sign up to experience Signal for yourself here.

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