July 7, 2016
Donald Trump may not be airing any paid political ads, but he’s having no problem keeping up — and even staying ahead — of Hillary Clinton when it comes to earned media, according to the candidate name tracker that is fueled by TV News Archive data.
This week analysis by the Center for Public Integrity revealed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has aired 20,000 paid TV ads since she became the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for president on June 8, while Donald Trump has aired exactly zero. The analysis is based on Kantar Media/CMAG tracking of TV political ad airings.
However, Trump has had no trouble keeping up with Clinton when it comes to getting coverage on TV news. A tool to track presidential candidate name mentions on TV news shows, built by data scientist Kalev Leetaru using TV News Archive clips of news coverage, shows that over the past month, Trump’s name has been mentioned by national TV networks more often than Clinton’s on all but two dates.
Not all of that is positive attention, of course: over this time period, the liberal leaning MSNBC cable channel has mentioned Trump’s name 19,930 times, compared to 11,050 mentions of Clinton’s name. Meanwhile, Fox News has talked about Trump 16,660 times, versus 11,530 for Clinton. And Clinton’s name leaped higher than Trump’s on July 5, the day that news broke that the FBI would not be seeking a prosecution in her use of a private server to access official email.
The candidate name tracker counts airings of candidates’ names based on closed captioning of TV news shows archived by the Internet Archive’s free TV News Archive, which tracks national cable news networks, as well as news broadcast on local stations in select regions. These shows are searchable via closed captions. Short quotations can be referenced and embedded online and shared on social media.