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Expand chart
Data: Real Clear Politics for polling average through 8/30, Sprout Social for tweets, NewsWhip for article mentions through 8/25, and the Internet Archive's Television News Archive for cable news mentions through 8/28; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Despite polling in the top 6 of the Democratic primary and getting plenty of online attention, businessman Andrew Yang is being treated by the media like a bottom-tier candidate.

Why it matters: The discrepancy between demonstrated voter support and the level of media coverage — both on cable and in the online world — shows that the press is in unfamiliar territory in covering a candidate from outside the political world who keeps a low profile.

Driving the news: Last week, Yang supporters complained of a #YangMediaBlackout after CNN left their candidate off on-screen polling graphics of 2020 hopefuls.

The big picture: In the absence of coverage from major media outlets, candidates must rely on grassroots support and traction in online communities, as Yang has done.

  • He has found a lane doing long-form podcast interviews, and he credits his February Joe Rogan appearance with springing his candidacy to the next tier.
  • In contrast to the soundbite-driven drumbeat of D.C. politics, which caters to the pace of cable news, the lengthy podcasts provide a forum for nuance and give-and-take.
  • For Yang, this online support has been both a blessing and a curse. Some of the voices propelling his candidacy online in the beginning came from fringe communities.

By the numbers: Along with Yang, Tulsi Gabbard and Pete Buttigieg have also under-indexed in media coverage, relative to their polling positions.

  • Meanwhile Beto O'Rourke and Bill de Blasio have benefitted from outsized coverage.

Flashback: This isn't the first time the media has struggled with how to cover an unconventional candidate. HuffPost famously made the decision to include news about Donald Trump's candidacy as part of its "entertainment" coverage.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

More surprises await scientists at Antarctica's "Doomsday Glacier"

Cliffs along the edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Photo: James Yungel/NASA

Researchers like David Holland, an atmospheric scientist at New York University, are in a race to understand the fate of a massive glacier in West Antarctica that has earned a disquieting nickname: "The Doomsday Glacier."

Why it matters: Studies show the Thwaites Glacier (its official name) could already be on an irreversible course to melt during the next several decades to centuries, freeing up enough inland ice to raise global sea levels by at least several feet.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Omicron's blitz around the world has underscored the need for a new arsenal of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, experts say — and that may require an effort akin to Operation Warp Speed 2.0.

Why it matters: The virus will continue to evolve, potentially in a way that further escapes vaccine protection, and the best way to prevent more global disruptions to everyday life is to have tools ready to combat whatever comes next.