Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.