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Mitt Romney’s Happy Hour: Media Coverage Improves After Charm Offensive

After Super Tuesday and a traveling press happy hour, the Republican front-runner enjoys his best week of coverage

Mitt Romney may not have the mainstream media to kick around anymore.

Coming out of the Super Tuesday contests, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination enjoyed his best period of press coverage all year, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. 

Despite losing four of ten contests to Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, fifty eight percent of coverage last week about Romney was positive, the study reports.

Just sixteen percent of articles about Romney were negative. 

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It is true that the presidential candidate has not flogged the "liberal" press as relentlessly as has his competitor Gingrich, who in debates has often treated the media as analogous to the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Still, the relationship between Romney and the press corps has been frosty, with reporters bristling at the candidate's preference for keeping them at arm's length. 

The détente may have something to do with what Politico described last week as a "media charm offensive" undertaken by the Romney team. That has involved making senior staff more accessible, hosting a happy hour at a Boston pub for traveling press, and getting Romney to shoot the breeze with reporters on the back of the campaign's charter airplane. 

Whatever the reason, the coverage of Romney has improved markedly. Three weeks ago, Romney's negative coverage trumped his positive coverage by 28 percentage points after the candidate lost to Santorum in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado.

Last week it was Romney who received the lion's share of the plaudits. In contrast, 31 percent of stories about Gingrich were positive, 32 percent of stories about Santorum were positive, and 33 percent of stories about Paul were positive, according to Pew. 

As for President Barack Obama, the current Pennsylvania Avenue resident saw his negative coverage outweigh his positive coverage by three percentage points (28 percent to 25 percent), according to Pew. 

Looks like it's time for a White House happy hour.