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PEJ: Romney Coverage Turns More Negative

Mitt Romney appeared to be subject to the old
adage about the highest head above the trench drawing the most fire. While he
was going into Florida's Tuesday primary with
a double-digit lead in some polls and predictions of his victory over
formerly-surging New Gingrich, coverage of Romney by the national news media
has gotten tougher. That is according to a news analysis by the Project for
Excellence in Journalism.

According
to the latest installment in its recently launched election 2012 reports,
coverage of Romney was 38% negative to 25% positive for the week of Jan. 23-29
(a 13 percentage point differential), compared to Gingrich's 29% positive/27%
negative (2 percentage points).

The
week before, 35% of the Romney coverage was negative, but 33% positive for only
a 2 point spread, while Gingrich's was an even 28%/28%, statistically the same
as last week's coverage.