Throughout the 2024 election cycle, All In Together will be conducting both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the media coverage of women political candidates in select races by examining the coverage from the top U.S. news sources.
Research shows that candidate coverage has a meaningful impact on public support for and perceptions of those candidates. This research is the first part of a series we will be releasing throughout the 2024 election cycle looking at women candidates for President, Senate and Governor. The research is conducted through a media cloud research interface and using natural language processing.
Part 1 of our study: Republican Presidential candidate Ambassador Nikki Haley
While she was widely seen as having won all three of the Republican primary debates and has been climbing to second place in many recent polling, Nikki Haley’s media coverage trails far behind her top two rivals Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis (NOTE: For the purposes of this analysis articles relating to Donald Trump’s ongoing court cases were removed from the mentions).
In fact, her level of coverage in the race is closer to former rivals such as Mike Pence, Tim Scott, (both have dropped out) and matches closest to Vivek Ramaswamy. In the last three months of the primary Nikki Haley’s coverage was almost half of that of Ron DeSantis.
Top Word Associations
When we look at the top words used in all the articles in which Nikki Haley is mentioned, she is most often mentioned in contrast to her male rivals in the Republican primary vs stand alone stories.
|Top Words Across All Mentions
Curious if there were any deeper insights to be found, we also examined the headlines alone, starting with all the headlines of the articles in which Nikki Haley is mentioned, and then a second analysis examining only the headlines in which Nikki Haley’s name was in the headline itself. Of note is the appearance of the word opinion in the headlines specifically mentioning Nikki Haley, suggesting that much of her specifically featured coverage is in opinion pieces rather than straight news. Also while debate is mentioned across all three sets of top words, the word poll only appears in the list of headlines specifically mentioning Haley.
|Top Words Across All Headlines
|Top Words Across Headlines Mentioning Nikki Haley
We will continue to refine the NLP models and compare coverage across databases other than national news. As we continue to look at more statewide races we will be able to examine the differences between national coverage and state coverage. We will also examine the role that ethnic media plays in the coverage of underrepresented candidates. As the Media Cloud tool continues to develop and add further features we will utilize those as well where relevant. You can review other AIT research projects here.
The URLs used for the analysis were pulled from Media Cloud, an open-source media research project, enabling the study of news and information flow globally. The project is administered as a consortium collaboration between the Media Ecosystems Analysis Group, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Northeastern University. The attention over time and total mentions graphs were also generated directly by the Media Cloud tool. The NLP analysis was done using a combination of open source python packages, with the code written by All In Together’s Director of Research. The code and list of URLs can be provided on request.
 The top news sources is a database of the top newspapers and digital native sources compiled from Pew Research in 2018 and accessed through media cloud. The list can be found here: https://search.mediacloud.org/collections/186572516
 Not all article mentions were included in this analysis due to constraints on web scraping, dynamic web layouts, and html encoding of the text
 Due to constraints on webscraping by certain news outlets, top word analysis only included 1904 of the 2017 articles mentioning Nikki Haley