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Expand chart
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Articles about Joe Biden generated 3.8 million interactions on social media last week — more than that of any other candidate since June — but they were overwhelmingly on stories about his recent blunders. according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: While Biden's congressional record and moderate credentials are baked into his candidacy — and may be working to his benefit — his recurrent gaffes could invite questions about his mental acuity and fitness for office.

  • "Biden has clearly survived the first few waves of attacks on his candidacy," Democratic strategist Ian Russell tells Axios. "The next and biggest challenge for him is, do Democrats get nervous and do they shop around for someone else?"

Driving the news: Biden stumbled through the kickoff of the Iowa State Fair with a quartet of news-making mistakes:

Driving the news: Biden stumbled through the kickoff of the Iowa State Fair with a quintet of news-making mistakes:

By the numbers:

  • Among the 100 stories about Biden that generated the most interactions (retweets, likes, comments, shares) on Facebook and Twitter last week, 67% of those interactions (1.78 million) were on stories about his gaffes.
  • The 1.78M interactions over the gaffes alone were higher than the interactions on the coverage of all of Biden's 2020 rivals except Beto O'Rourke last week.

Between the lines: In a race where differences among candidates have largely been subjective and a matter of personal politics, these mistakes represent unmistakable blemishes that can be exploited by opponents and relayed to voters across the political spectrum.

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.

See all past editions of the tracker here.

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

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