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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

5 hours ago - World

Taiwan's military scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes

J-20 stealth fighter jets in Zhuhai in the Guangdong Province of China last year. Photo: Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Taiwan's defense force said 39 Chinese warplanes flew into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Why it matters: The largest Chinese air force incursion into the zone since October came a day after the U.S. and Japanese navies conducted a joint exercise in the Philippine Sea.

6 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.