Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Data: NewsWhip; Note: Values represent the sum of Facebook interactions and Twitter Influencer Shares; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Sen. Kamala Harris of California is leading the field of Democratic presidential candidates in capturing the public's attention during the opening wave of the 2020 campaign.

Why it matters: That puts Harris in a strong position to help set the Democratic primary agenda, much as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doing for the House Democratic agenda.

The numbers from the past three months (Nov. 12–Feb. 12) say it all:

On Google, Harris was searched twice as often as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who were next closest, according to Google Trends.

Instagram interactions, according to CrowdTangle:

  1. Harris: 8.3 million
  2. Sanders: 4.6 million
  3. Warren: 2 million

Twitter interactions, according to CrowdTangle (combining Senate and personal accounts):

  1. Harris: 14.4 million
  2. Sanders: 8 million
  3. Warren: 4.1 million

The exception is Facebook, where Sanders gets much of his clout, according to CrowdTangle (combining Senate and personal accounts):

  1. Sanders: 22.1 million
  2. Harris: 2.4 million
  3. Warren: 2.3 million

In the past three months, articles about Harris have generated 16.5 million interactions on Facebook and from shares on influential Twitter accounts, according to social media analytics company NewsWhip.

  • That compares with 14.2 million for Warren and 10.6 million for Sanders.

Harris' follower growth across those platforms during the past three months has been striking:

  • On Facebook, her main account has added 123,000 fans, per CrowdTangle. The next closest jump among 2020 competitors is Beto O'Rourke with 51,000.
  • On Instagram, Harris has added 613,000 followers. The next closest spikes came from O'Rourke and Warren with 200,000 followers added.
  • On Twitter, she has added 420,000 followers. Next closest is O'Rourke with 245,000.

The big picture: The size of the major social media platforms makes for a useful barometer of public opinion and interest. They also signal a level of enthusiasm that is difficult to capture with traditional polling.

Yes, but: Early polling indicates former Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders have the highest favorables among 2020 Democrats. But, this early in the cycle, those numbers are often just a sign of name recognition.

  • Having already announced — or formed exploratory committees — Harris, Warren, and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar have benefited from announcement-driven spikes of interest. The others can expect that when it's their time — but Harris has dominated the attention well beyond her initial announcement.

The bottom line: President Trump showed in the 2016 campaign that the ability to generate attention and make the public care about you is a precious commodity. Maintaining that edge, more than fundraising totals or a ground game, could be the key for Harris in 2020.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

10 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.