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

Stories about Joe Biden generated millions more interactions on social media than any other 2020 Democrat last week after the firestorm over President Trump’s alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate him, according to data from NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios.

Why it matters: At a time when Biden has been straining to stay ahead in the polls while showered with negative coverage, this storyline has helped galvanize Democrats to back the former vice president in opposition to Trump.

Between the lines: Biden has sought to make the election about himself as a bulwark against Trump, and this storyline has brought the optics of a Biden-Trump showdown to the forefront of the national conversation.

  • "Every candidate wants to be attacked by the president," says Democratic strategist Ian Russell. "You want this to be a 2-person race...If you're able to get a press cycle or two of you going mano-a-mano against Trump, that's absolutely a good thing for Biden."

By the numbers: Of the 100 biggest stories about Biden last week — amounting to 65% of his overall 4.3 million interactions — 62 were about the Ukraine story. Of those, only 10 frame Biden negatively. Interactions include comments, likes, shares on Facebook and Twitter.Most of those stories covered the revelations about Trump's reported call with the president of Ukraine and the ensuing maelstrom.

  1. If This Isn't Impeachable, Nothing Is (The Atlantic) — 333k interactions
  2. Rudy Giuliani denies asking Ukraine to investigate Biden — before admitting it (CNN) — 79k
  3. Hillary Clinton: 'The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again.' (The Hill) — 75k
  4. Giuliani admits to asking Ukraine about Joe Biden after denying it 30 seconds earlier (Washington Post) — 61k
  5. Biden goes on the attack over Ukraine controversy, pledges to beat Trump ‘like a drum’ (Fox News) — 47k

The big picture: In a splintered Democratic primary in which Biden is frequently warding off attacks, his party is promoting a de-facto defense of the former VP as they go after Trump and call for his impeachment.Yes, but: While Biden is at the center of the news cycle with this story, it doesn't mean he stands to benefit long-term.

  • Russell tells Axios: "It's going to end up blowing back on Trump probably more than it helps Biden because you can be an Elizabeth Warren supporter or a Kamala Harris supporter or a Pete Buttigieg supporter and still say, this crosses the line."

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

4 hours ago - World

Over 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An injured man is carried away as Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.

The big picture: The clashes come amid growing anger over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Tensions have also escalated in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Ohio GOP censures Rep. Anthony Gonzalez over Trump impeachment vote

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Ohio Republican Party on Friday censured Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and called for him to resign for voting to impeach former President Trump in January, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Gonzalez is the latest Republican lawmaker to be punished for voting to impeach the former president on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.