The only presidential candidate who did not have a week in 2012 with more positive than negative media coverage was President Obama, according to a new study by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Despite complaints from the Republican candidates that the press is biased against them, the study, which included analysis of thousands of articles about the campaign, concluded
“while a sitting president may have access to the ‘bully pulpit’ that does not mean he has control of the media narrative, particularly during the other party’s primary season.”

“This negative coverage was driven by several factors. One was the consistent criticism leveled at him by each of the Republican contenders during primary season. The other involved news coverage of issues — ranging from the tenuous economic recovery to the continuing challenges to his health care legislation — with which he was inextricably linked,” the authors write.

In contrast, “positive coverage outweighed negative for Romney in six of the fifteen weeks and was fairly evenly divided in four more.”