According to the Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, Mitt Romney is receiving more negative press coverage than at any other point in the GOP race. Romney, who won the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, will compete against remaining GOP candidates in South Carolina's primary on Saturday.
According to Pew's analysis, this increase in negative coverage for Romney may reflect opponents' efforts to attack the current frontrunner through negative advertisements. In particular, negative discourse regarding Romney revolved around his career at Bain Capital. According to an article on the Politics and Government Blog of the New York Times, GOP candidate opponent Newt Gingrich described Romney's work at Bain as "rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company."
According to the same report, Ron Paul is currently receiving more positive coverage than any other candidate. Almost half of the coverage of Ron Paul over the past week has been positive; according to the report, Paul has been described in many press accounts as "having little chance of winning the nomination."
Of all GOP candidates, Rick Perry currently is criticized the most, with his negative coverage nearly double his positive coverage. Coverage of President Obama from January 9, 2012 to January, 15, 2012 included fewer positive mentions than any of the GOP candidates. Only 10% of coverage regarding Obama was positive. These data come from an analysis of more than 11,000 news websites and mentions on Twitter.