We’ve been saying this all along.
With Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the media giveth and the media taketh away.
That’s the basic argument outlined in The Washington Post by political scientist John Sides, who attributed Trump’s recent decline in the polls to a sudden dropoff in media coverage.
After Trump announced his candidacy earlier this year, Sides noted that he rode a media blitz to a zenith of polling popularity near the end of the summer. But that wave of publicity has since crested, more or less correlating with waning poll numbers:
Sides dismisses the notion, raised earlier this month by Politico’s Jack Shafer, that Trump has been adversely affected by negative coverage. All in all, Sides says, coverage of Trump hasn’t been so unfavorable as to jeopardize his standing with potential voters. And the polls seem to reflect a disregard for the tenor of the coverage in general.
During this time period, the tone of coverage appears to matter much less than the volume. Statistical models that try to account for the potential inter-relationships between media coverage and polls show that the volume of Trump’s coverage is helping to drive his poll numbers, and vice versa.