A Media Research Center study conducted in the week following the Iowa Caucus found that the GOP winner, Sen. Ted Cruz, has seen a decrease in evening news coverage from ABC, CBS, and NBC networks.
In past elections, the winners of the Iowa Caucus have received a surge in media coverage that is often referred to as the “Iowa bump.” Candidates then use the “Iowa bump” to keep momentum from the caucus heading into other primaries.
While John Kerry and Barack Obama largely benefited from the “Iowa bump,” the MRC study indicates that Cruz’s overall news airtime has significantly decreased.
Of total TV news airtime since the Iowa Caucus, Cruz’s coverage has decreased from 21 minutes to 16 minutes in the past week. Of total GOP coverage since the week before the caucus, Cruz’s coverage has decreased even more, from 24.8 to 17.8 percent.
Cruz was the third most mentioned GOP candidate (behind Rubio and Trump), however the study notes that a large percentage of Cruz’s coverage was negative. Since the Iowa Caucus 49 percent of Cruz’s coverage has been about the “dirty tricks” he has been accused of playing on Ben Carson’s campaign. Cruz has been criticized for suggesting that Carson was dropping out of the presidential election right as polls were opening in Iowa.
The MRC study found that Florida Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] has the most TV coverage (26 minutes) and the largest percentage of GOP coverage (29.6 percent) since the Iowa Caucus. Second to Rubio is businessman Donald Trump who has had 25 minutes of TV coverage and 28.6 percent of overall GOP coverage in the past week.
Many are surprised that Rubio’s third place finish in Iowa could garner him so much media attention, however his finish has knocked Donald Trump from the number one media spot for the first time in seven months. In the week preceding the Iowa Caucus, Trump dominated the media and held 57.2 percent of total GOP news coverage, compared to Rubio who held just 9.4 percent of GOP news coverage.