Obama and Romney's strikingly different strategies to health care law debate

By on July 8, 2012

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare last Thursday, the Romney and Obama campaigns had different strategies. While Romney went on the attack with anti-Obama criticism of the health care law, Obama and his team went with a neutral strategic approach, delivering explicative statements regarding the value of the law.

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that Obama’s Healthcare law was constitutional, Romney reacted with a stream of negative statements that were amplified in the election media space. 65% of statements from the Romney campaign on healthcare in June and early July have been negative to Obama, with only 2% of the statements being positive toward Romney himself. The data reveals a largely negative strategy from the Romney campaign.

On the other hand, the Obama campaign has amplified very few negative statements on the Healthcare ruling. Just 4% of statements from Obama and his campaign staff that discuss healthcare in election coverage have been negative toward Romney in this time period. Instead, Obama and his staff have made many statements that got picked up in major media channels that support and endorse the healthcare law as a necessary improvement for the American people. 22% of the Obama campaign’s statements have had this line of positive sentiment. Any negativity toward Romney (for example, referring to Romney as hypocritical due to the close resemblance of Obamacare and Romney’s healthcare legislation in Massachusetts) has come mostly from third party validators in the coverage.

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