Sep 3, 2019

Andrew Yang gets media cold shoulder

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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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
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Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.