With less than 24 hours to go until the polls close and the 2012 presidential election is, for all intents and purposes, over, the time has finally come to tally up the stats and begin to try and make sense of the past couple years of madness. We'll leave the poll tracking and vote counting to Nate Silver -- or the state election boards or whatever -- as the end of the election cycle offers a deeply fascinating glimpse into the greatest he-said, she-said machine there is: the cable news.
To put it bluntly, the cable news has been pretty nasty this election cycle. Jeremy Peters at The New York Times just published his retrospective take on how the candidates fared during primetime and found that negative press was pretty standard for both candidates these past few months. For whatever reason, though, Barack Obama received not only more press during the race but also more positive press. According to a Pew Research Center survey released at the end of last week, a solid 74 percent of the election coverage at Fox News featured Obama, whereas only 46 percent featured Romney. The split between Obama and McCain was about even in 2008. Obama also received more positive coverage in general, when taking into account 49 separate outlets.