Jul 16, 2019

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Readers tune out

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Interest in the 2020 Democratic primary plunged last week as articles about the candidates generated just 6.5 million combined social media interactions — the fewest since mid-January, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios. Articles about President Trump generated 23.2 million interactions.

Why it matters: It's a reminder of the president's stranglehold on the public interest. He's capable of single-handedly steering the news cycle, as he did with his attacks on Democratic congresswomen.

Between the lines: The numbers also indicate that 2020 Democrats lack a lightning rod media sensation who can drive the conversation like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (4.8 million interactions).

  • Democratic challengers will have to decide whether to mix it up to steal some of the limelight or stay above the fray.

What's going on: The Democratic field lacked storylines that found a foothold last week.

  • The biggest story about a candidate was on Kamala Harris' proposal to require rent, utilities and cellphone bill payments to be incorporated into credit scores as part of her policy for addressing the black homeownership gap. (MarketWatch, 208k interactions)

What people were reading with their attention off of the 2020 race:

  • Trump's tweets attacking progressive House Democrats of color.
  • The mounting case against Jeffrey Epstein.
  • The pressure against and subsequent resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta.
  • Megan Rapinoe's speech at the World Cup championship parade.
  • Nancy Pelosi vs. freshmen House Democrats.
  • U.S. budget deficit up 23%, Treasury requests increased debt ceiling.

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.

See all past editions of the tracker here.

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Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Dominant storyline for each candidate

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders' plans for student debt cancellation have by far generated the most online attention from among policies proposed by 2020 Democratic candidates, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: Each candidate is vying to separate themselves from a crowded field with bold, new ideas. This data shows which have captivated readers, as well the ideas being associated with top-tier candidates — a key insight into how the average voter might view the candidates.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Bloomberg finally upends the national conversation

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios — Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issues.

Stories about Michael Bloomberg last week generated 9.4 million interactions on social media — more than twice his previous high. Still, he's getting lapped by Bernie Sanders, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This was the point when Bloomberg converted massive spending into significant organic interest in his campaign, but it may be no match for the Sanders grassroots army.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Guns surge to top of national conversation

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

After the mass shootings last weekend, gun violence has displaced immigration as the most-talked about news topic on social media for the first time since May, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: The emotional intensity of gun violence makes it a topic that generates ferocious debate and calls for action on social media after a high-profile event. Yet the activism is cyclical, and the issue has yet to be a defining issue in elections.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019