Clinton has nearly caught up to Trump in media coverage

Hillary Clinton has almost caught up with Donald Trump in campaign coverage on television and online, reducing a clear advantage Trump had against his opponents during the Republican primaries.

In July, Clinton got $513 million worth of U.S. media, just $20 million less than Trump, according to mediaQuant, a Portland, Oregon, firm that analyzes television, print and online media and social media — but not Facebook — for the quantity and quality of mentions of candidates.

“He’s kind of topped out,” said Paul Senatori, chief analytics officer at mediaQuant, about Trump.

The exact magnitude of these numbers — which, very roughly speaking, approximate how much candidates would be willing to spend if they had to buy the media coverage and online discussion they get for free — is both heavily disputed (more on that later) and not particularly important. What matters is how the value of one candidate’s coverage compares to another’s, and those figures show clearly that Clinton has rapidly caught up to Trump.