Mar 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bernie Sanders miles ahead of Democratic field in online attention

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Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios — Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issues.

While Joe Biden has surpassed Michael Bloomberg as the Democrat getting the second-most online attention, he comes nowhere close to Bernie Sanders, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios. 

Why it matters: The numbers speak to an enthusiasm gap which will be a challenge for Biden to overcome — even if he's able to consolidate moderate support.

By the numbers: Stories about Sanders received more than 27 million interactions on social media (likes, comments, shares) last week — more than the rest of the Democratic field combined.

Yes, but: The level of enthusiasm doesn't always track with the level of media coverage. In the three days leading up to Super Tuesday, Biden has more cable news mentions than Sanders.

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.

Go deeper: See all past editions of the tracker

Go deeper

Biden overtakes Bernie with online attention surge

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios — Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issues.

In the span of a week, Joe Biden usurped Bernie Sanders as the 2020 Democratic frontrunner, but also as the candidate getting the most online attention, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios.

The big picture: The 41 million interactions (likes, comments, shares) on Biden stories on social media last week is by far the highest level of attention any one candidate has received in the primary in a week, a reflection how much the race now centers around Biden.

Super Tuesday suddenly looks different

Biden celebrates in South Carolina. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Joe Biden's huge win in South Carolina is resetting the parameters of the Democratic contest ahead of Super Tuesday.

Why it matters: The former vice president's first primary victory raises existential questions for billionaire Mike Bloomberg and could slow Bernie Sanders' runaway train. And it could give new life to Biden's own withering electability argument — and ramp up pressure on moderates in his lane to drop out.