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

In just three weeks, billionaire Michael Bloomberg has captured a level of media attention that's eluded most 2020 Democrats with months on the trail and in debates.

The big picture: Recent stories about Bloomberg generated more social media interactions than Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Julián Castro or Tom Steyer have ever gotten, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

  • On Nov. 8, the day after it was first reported that Bloomberg was preparing to enter the race, he was mentioned more on cable news than any Democratic candidate other than Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on a single day this year, according to the Internet Archive Television News Archive.
  • In November, Bloomberg has been mentioned more on cable news than every candidate except Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
  • Bloomberg's mentions this month on cable news (4,486) have more than doubled Yang's throughout his entire campaign (2,167). Yet, Yang is polling ahead of Bloomberg.
  • For each of the last three weeks, stories about Bloomberg have generated more interactions (comments, likes, shares) on social media than another billionaire candidate, Tom Steyer, has ever gotten in the race.

Be smart: Bloomberg is packaging this earned media with an unprecedented self-funded multi-million dollar television advertising blitz, giving the former New York mayor, businessman and philanthropist an unparalleled ability to reach voters.

Yes, but: For all the buzz, Bloomberg so far is at just 3 percent in a CNN poll released Wednesday — and 2.5 percent in the RealClear Politics average of six surveys conducted during the past two weeks.

By the numbers: The biggest wave of attention for Bloomberg came on the week of the New York Times report that he was preparing to jump in.

  • While some of the early coverage has touched on Bloomberg's vulnerabilities with women and minority voters, the sentiment of the 10 biggest stories about Bloomberg was neutral and straightforward
  1. New Poll Has Michael Bloomberg Beating Donald Trump By Six Points - Daily Caller (113k interactions)
  2. Michael Bloomberg prepares for a presidential bid - NBC News (109k interactions)
  3. Michael Bloomberg Is Expected to File for the Alabama 2020 Presidential Primary - NYT (88k)

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 here.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”