Broadcasters mention GOP senators in general, McCain in particular


John McCainA review of news transcripts on a number of electronic news outlets reveal that Republican senators get twice as many mentions as their Democratic counterparts, and John McCain (R-AZ) gets more than twice as many as #2 Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Smart Politics studied content on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, and NPR for during the first half of 2012 and found that Republican senators were mentioned in 5,894 stories while Democrats were mentioned in only 2,672. This amounts to a 121% edge for the Republicans.

Additionally, eight of the top 10 slots went to Republicans, and they also held down 17 of the top 25 slots.

The Republican edge held across all of the surveyed media outlets. The most balance Democrats received was from NPR, but even there, the were 1.89 stories about Republicans for every one about a Democrat. MSNBC was close at 1.99:1 and Fox was at 2.01:1.

Other results favoring mentions of Republicans were CBS 2.07:1, NBC 2.33:1, CNN 2.53:1 and ABC 3.83:1.

McCain’s lead was attributed in part to stories that look back at his 2008 run. Democrat John Kerry was subject to a similar effect, though not nearly to the same degree. Smart Politics noted McCain’s love affair with the press that is over a decade old and noted that he is often questioned on matters of immigration and foreign policy.

Rubio has been the beneficiary of a great deal of vice presidential speculation as presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney looks to fill the #2 spot on his ticket.

The most powerful individual in the US Senate is Harry Reid (D-NV), who despite his prominence was a distant third to McCain and Rubio.

26 senators received less than 10 mentions, and five received but one mention. We will charitably give them a moment to back in the glow of the RBR-TVBR spotlight, such as it is. The five single-mention senators are John Boozman (R-AR), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Mike Enzi (R-WY).

The top 25 are:
1. John McCain (R-AZ), 1,958
2. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 830
3. Harry Reid (D-NV), 448
4. John Kerry (D-MA), 430
5. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 366
6. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 204
7. Rob Portman (R-OH), 202
8. Rand Paul (R-KY), 198
9. Jim DeMint (R-SC), 191
10. Scott Brown (R-MA), 180
11. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), 174
12. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), 162
13. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), 157
14. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), 155
15. Dick Lugar (R-IN), 151
16. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), 121
17t. Tom Coburn (R-OK), 118
17t. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 118
19. Susan Collins (R-ME), 117
20. Dick Durbin (D-IL), 99
21. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), 90
22..John Thune (R-SD), 87
23. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), 74
24. Bob Casey (D-PA), 71
25. Ron Johnson (R-WI), 67