Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Biden bombarded with bad headlines
Of the 100 stories about Joe Biden that have received the most social media attention over the last three weeks, 77 were negative, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios.
- Of the 25 biggest, 24 were negative.
The big picture: While stories about Biden may be generating more interactions on social media than his 2020 rivals, it's largely because he's getting ripped apart in those pieces.
Social media has never been kind to moderation, and Biden is getting a lot of incoming from both sides of the political spectrum.
Why it matters: As Biden maintains his perch atop the 2020 field in the polls, both the right and the left have incentives to chip away at his position with intense scrutiny and attacks.
Yes, but: Biden is not helping his cause with his recurring erroneous statements.
- We reported in August that Biden was getting pummeled online for his gaffes. The gaffes have continued, as has the negative coverage around him.
The latest: In the last three weeks, the biggest Biden storylines (measured by interactions on articles on Facebook and Twitter) have been:
- Plunging in a Monmouth poll to land in a virtual tie with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. (It was a small sample, and later polls with larger samples showed Biden was still in the lead.)
- The Washington Post report that 'almost every detail' of a war story Biden tells was false.
- Vice, citing a campaign video: Joe Biden: It Would Be an Insult to My Dead Son for Everyone to Have Healthcare.
- Saying in New Hampshire: "I love this place. Look, what's not to like about Vermont..."
- His wife Jill saying that voters might "have to swallow a little bit" by voting Biden.
- Saying in New Hampshire: "I want to be clear, I'm not going nuts."
- Saying in Iowa that MLK and RFK were assassinated in the 1970s.
Between the lines: Among the 23 stories in the top 100 that were neutral or leaned positive about Biden, no storyline appeared twice, indicating that there haven't been clear threads of Biden's candidacy that are sparking significant enthusiasm among supporters.
Our 2020 attention tracker is based on data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios as part of a project that will regularly update throughout the 2020 campaign.