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 the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

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!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

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: RealClearPolitics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Nobody noticed it at the time, but in one week in April, the tide of the Democratic primary flipped irreversibly, leading to the emergence of Elizabeth Warren — not Bernie Sanders — as the clear progressive favorite in the 2020 field.

Why it matters: That week coincides with the addition of Joe Biden to the field and the story that has generated more interactions on social media than any other piece about Warren this year, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios: the release of her student debt cancellation plan.

  • While Warren's other plans, such as the wealth tax and fighting corruption, may get cited more frequently, none pulled in more interactions on social media (likes, comments, shares) than Forbes' writeup of the student debt plan (493k interactions).
  • It wasn't just this version of a debt-cancellation story that has taken off: MarketWatch's story ahead of the formal proposal was the 13th biggest for Warren on the year.
  • The student debt plan and the polling shift is correlated, but causation can't be proven.

Between the last week of February and April 21, Warren's RealClearPolitics polling average dipped from 8.3% to 6%. Over that period, Sanders jumped from 18% to 22%.

  • But in late April, the tide turned as Warren's polling ticked upward for the first time and Sanders' began to plummet.
  • While Biden‘s entry into the race seemed to damage Sanders, Warren’s numbers started to climb from that point.
  • Both swings became long-term trends that have led Warren to neck-and-neck status at the top of the race against Biden, while Sanders is one category lower, squarely in third place.

Warren's move on student debt and subsequent rise in national polls coincide with a major polling surge among young voters more likely to be affected by the issue.

  • Between the March and May Quinnipiac polls, Warren's support among Democratic voters between 18–49 jumped from 4% to 18% — a much bigger spike than the 50+ cohort, which moved from 4% to 9%.
  • In that time, Sanders' support from the 18–49 group ticked down from 26% to 23%.

Notable: Sanders also got a massive wave of interest from his student loan cancellation plan, but he might have been late to the punch.

  • The Forbes writeup of his plan in June was the second biggest for Sanders on the year (793k interactions), behind only a CNN story of his campaign launch.

Between the lines: The other key turning point in the polling came in mid-September, when Warren broke away from a dead heat with Sanders. She opened a 12-point advantage by early October (though the gap closed a bit this week).

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the impact of Joe Biden’s entry to the race on the polling of Sanders.

Go deeper: The Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker library

Go deeper

Biden speaks with Macron for first time since diplomatic crisis

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have a conversation ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, on June 14, 2021. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time since a diplomatic row erupted over a scrapped submarine order, per the White House.

Driving the news: Macron said that the French ambassador will return to Washington next week and will resume working with senior U.S. officials.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel held secret talks on Iran "plan B"

Bennett and Biden. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney/Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel held secret talks on Iran last week to discuss a possible “plan B” if nuclear talks are not resumed, two senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time a top-secret U.S.-Israel strategic working group on Iran has convened since the new Israeli government took office in June.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan plans to visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE next week

Sullivan. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan is planning to travel to the Middle East next week, including a stop in Saudi Arabia. He would be the most senior Biden administration official to visit the kingdom.

Why it matters: Sullivan's first trip to the region since taking office is expected to include stops in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, sources briefed on the plans tell Axios. All three countries are longtime U.S. partners who have faced some early tensions with Biden.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!