Postdate May 8, 2017: France rejects far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen. Emmanuel Macron wins with 66.1% of the vote vs. Le Pen’s 33.9%. Clearly media prominence is not the lynch pin of success at the polls. At least in France, where the historical and cultural backdrop is less receptive to right-wing extremism. Vive la différence!
————–Posted May 6, 2017—————-
The last time we saw a candidate with Marine Le Pen’s earned media trajectory was late October 2016 when every poll predicted Donald Trump’s defeat at the hands of Hillary Clinton in the November presidential election. In contrast, our media analytics showed Trump with a commanding — and expanding — lead throughout the election period. His unrelenting post-primary media surge assured his dominance in the minds of readers and viewers across traditional and social news channels, and, some might suggest — his eventual win on November 9th.
November 2016: Trump had a 1.5x media value lead over Clinton
Let’s look at media value, the monetized value of media coverage in print, broadcast, and online news channels, as a measure of media prominence. In the final month of the U.S. election, October 2016, Donald Trump generated 1.5x the media prominence of Hillary Clinton, with Trump earning $537M to Clinton’s $358M. Cumulative media value over the 12 months preceding the election showed a similar multiple, with Trump out-earning Clinton by 2 to 1: Trump, $5.4B vs. Clinton, $2.5B. On November 1, 2016, Trump had handily won the media race, while every poll had Clinton sitting in the Oval Office.
May 2017: Le Pen has a 5x media value lead over Macron
The same Trump-Clinton media dynamic seems to be unfolding in France. As of this writing, the French election is tomorrow, Sunday May 7th, and Marine Le Pen has an exponential media prominence lead over Emmanuel Macron. For the April news cycle, National Front candidate Le Pen generated $153M in media value vs. Socialist Party candidate Macron’s $29M — a whopping 5x advantage.
Le Pen’s media values are strong across all segments, including North America and Asia Pacific regions. Social media ratings are running within 6 points of traditional media channels, suggesting traction for Marine Le Pen extends beyond classic election news sources (broadcast and metro print dailies).
Can media prominence predict an election?
Clearly many complex and interrelated factors drive victory at the voting booths, and winning in the media court of public opinion remains an enabling factor. Time will soon tell if the impact of media prominence, or in this case, dominance, in the French election mirrors that of its cross-Atlantic counterpart.
Detailed media metrics on U.S. and global political leaders is available through mediaQuant’s media intelligence dashboards.