Coronavirus returns to campaign following Woodward’s revelations

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Coronavirus was the main word mentioned this week for Trump, down from fifth place last week and fourth the week before. More than one in five Americans mentioned ‘coronavirus’ when saying what they had seen, read or heard about the president this week, and it was named more than twice as often as their second most mentioned word, “lie”.

These results come from The Breakthrough, a project by CNN, SSRS, and researchers at Georgetown University and the University of Michigan asking Americans what they heard, read or saw about each of the presidential candidates. lately.

The survey has been tracking responses for 11 weeks. Coronavirus was the main word for Trump in each of the first eight weeks, but has dropped for two consecutive weeks around the Republican National Convention and Trump’s trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the shooting of a man black by police and the protests and unrest that followed. .

Beyond the ‘coronavirus’ itself, many of the most used words making their first appearance on Trump’s list this week were about the tapes and other reporting from Bob Woodward’s latest book,’ Rage, ‘including’ Woodward “,” Minimize “,” truth “,” “admit” and “panic”.

For Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the coronavirus also lands at the top of frequently mentioned words, but at a much lower level, with only about one in 14 Americans using the word to say what he has heard, read or seen. about Biden.

The virus’s return to the top of Trump’s list suggests that the issue could become the defining campaign topic for the president. But a look at the tone of responses that mention the coronavirus suggests that it cannot lead to negative views on Trump.

The results show that overall, the tone of words used in responses mentioning the coronavirus is roughly neutral in their impact on general sentiment expressed about Trump. Within that overall effect, however, the tone on the coronavirus is newly split by party, with Republicans who spoke about the virus this week expressing more positive feelings for the president than those who mentioned it in previous weeks. , while among Democrats, sentiment associated with the coronavirus shifted sharply negative this week. For independents, mentions of coronavirus gave a more modest negative slant.

Sentiment regarding the candidates has generally remained stable, with responses about Biden being strictly positive and responses about Trump slightly negative.

Overall, 79% of Americans said they heard, read, or saw anything about Trump this week, and 73% said the same about Biden. These numbers are roughly the same as last week.

Several other topics were raised in news mentions about Trump this week.

Words including “losers” and “military” are still in Trump’s top 20 words, more than a week after the publication of an article in The Atlantic that first reported Trump’s use of derogatory terms to designate members of the US military.

Some Americans have also mentioned hearing about the Nobel Peace Prize after Trump was nominated for the prize by someone who had previously nominated him.

Words relating to the 9/11 anniversary have surfaced for both candidates, with 9/11 itself being the new main word for Biden.

Unlike Trump, Biden’s words and topics generally weren’t focused on a specific event, with many respondents using the word “speaking” or “speaking.” Although ‘coronavirus’ is its main word, references to the virus as a whole did not appear in its three main topics, with more reporting heard on Biden’s campaign, his media appearances and general positive attributes.

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