Jul 2, 2019

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

🐚 Good Tuesday morning! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,163 words ... < 5 minutes.

  • Was this email forwarded to you? Get your own! Sign up here.
1 big thing ... Axios/NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker: Bernie's power
Expand chart
Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Sen. Bernie Sanders captured more online conversation than any other Democratic candidate last week, following his proposal to wipe out $1.6 trillion in student debt, per NewsWhip data provided exclusively to Axios' Neal Rothschild.

Why it matters: This shows that topics that got outsized media attention weren't the ones that animated people most.

  • Articles about Sanders generated 5.7 million interactions (likes, comments and shares) on Facebook and Twitter over the last week — 64% more than those about Joe Biden, who came in second.
  • Reality check: Sen. Kamala Harris generated more interactions on debate day and the day after than any other candidate — but those numbers were still 16% shy of Bernie, who introduced college-debt legislation two days before the first debate.

Between the lines: These numbers illuminate the gulf between the coverage that is most visible with the coverage that generates the most intense interest.

  • Coverage that emerges from a high-profile television event can be high-volume, low-engagement, while policy proposals that can be invisible until surfacing in social feeds can have an extraordinary velocity.

5,031 stories were published about Bernie last week — 1,600 fewer than Harris and 3,800 fewer than Biden.

  • But the engagement for Bernie was much more intense: His stories got 1,129 interactions per article, compared to 393 for Biden and 514 for Harris.

Be smart: Sanders' support has been flat — an indication that while he has an animated and active base going back to 2016, his support may be saturated.

Share this story.

2. 🇺🇸 A nation thirsty for leaders
Graphic: Gallup

Out this morning ... U.S. pride has hit its lowest point since Gallup first asked the question in 2001: 70% of U.S. adults say they're proud to be Americans; fewer than half (45%) are "extremely" proud.

  • "Democrats continue to lag far behind Republicans in expressing extreme pride in the U.S.," Gallup reports.

I love this breakdown ... Strong majorities express pride in six of eight specific categories:

  • American scientific achievements (91%) ... U.S. military (89%) ... American culture and arts (85%) ... economic (75%) and sporting (73%) achievements ... diversity in race, ethnic background, and religion (72%).
  • But the American political system (32%) and health and welfare system (37%) aren't sources of pride to most Americans.
3. Sorkin: U.S. "disgracefully behind" in 5G race

"Huawei is the top threat to American dominance in wireless technology. And the U.S. is woefully, even disgracefully, behind," Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in one of his most important "DealBook" columns for the N.Y. Times:

  • Why it matters: "No matter what the United States does to hobble Huawei — and Mr. Trump’s latest stance will only hasten its rise — it will not alter a fundamental problem: ... The United States needs a meaningful strategy to lead the world in next-generation wireless technology — a kind of Manhattan Project for the future of connectivity."

Keep reading.

4. Madam President? 5 try to shatter stubborn ceiling
Photographer: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue

For the August issue of Vogue (on newsstands beginning July 16), Annie Leibovitz photographed five of the women presidential candidates together (Marianne Williamson was missing). Amy Chozick writes:

The six women running for the Democratic nomination ... range in age from 70 (Elizabeth Warren) to 38 (Representative Tulsi Gabbard).
They are lawyers and senators, professors and soldiers and even an author and spiritual adviser to Oprah Winfrey (Marianne Williamson). They disagree on campaign tactics and policies. I spoke to Senator Amy Klobuchar just after she came out against Warren’s plan to cancel most student debt and make tuition at public colleges free. ...
But they also form an unlikely sisterhood in the inspiring, baffling, often infuriating contest to defeat President Trump. ... Kirsten Gillibrand likes to point out that a woman DID technically beat Trump. ...
[Kamala] Harris is perhaps the most wary about being pigeonholed by gender. "If someone says, 'Talk to us about women’s issues,' I look at them and smile and say, 'I am SO glad you want to talk about the economy.'"
Photographer: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue
5. Sneak peek at D.C. Fourth
Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

Military police guard M1A1 Abrams tanks (above) and Bradley fighting vehicles on flat cars in a D.C. rail yard, ahead of a Fourth of July celebration that President Trump says will include military hardware, AP's Darlene Superville reports.

  • The tanks weigh more than 60 tons apiece and were shipped on railroad freight cars from Fort Stewart, Ga., the nearest Army base that has them.

Why it matters, from N.Y. Times: "The tanks will join an airborne display of the nation’s firepower, including a flight of Air Force One over Washington," as Trump rebrands D.C.'s traditional Fourth celebration as "A Salute to America."

  • Trump "has requested that the chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines stand next to him as aircraft from each of their services fly overhead and their respective hymns play on loudspeakers."
Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP
6. Hill finds border horrors
Photo: Christ Chavez/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke at the Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus led 21 lawmakers on a tour of three border detention facilities yesterday, per the El Paso Times.

  • AOC tweeted: "After I forced myself into a cell w/ women, ... one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as 'psychological warfare' - waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res."
Photo: Briana Sanchez/El Paso Times via AP
7. 2020 Good day / Bad day

Good day:

  • Sens. Kamala Harris (up 9 points) and Elizabeth Warren (up 8 points) made steep gains after the debate, a new CNN poll by SSRS shows, with Joe Biden's lead shrinking to 5 points. (CNN)
  • Pete Buttigieg: "Through the first two fund-raising quarters, no other Democratic presidential candidate has married traditional high-dollar fund-raising with online small donations as successfully." (N.Y. Times front page)

Bad day:

  • Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper: Campaign manager Brad Komar and national finance director Dan Sorenson have left the campaign. Spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said she, too, will exit in the coming weeks. (AP)
8. 📺 First look: Republicans watched debates, too
Graphic: Deep Root Analytics

In debate data provided first to Axios, Deep Root Analytics — a media analytics company in Arlington, Va., founded by Republicans — analyzed second-by-second set-top box data from 3 million TiVo households nationwide.

  • A surprise finding: Democratic and Republican primary voters (based on Deep Root's household database) tuned in at similar percentages nationally (25% D and 24% R). And 1 in 4 swing voters identified by Deep Root tuned in.
  • Why it matters, per Deep Root: "[T]he positions staked out by the Democratic candidates could have a shelf life ... past the primary calendar."

The audience reached its peak in the first 20 minutes and last 10 minutes of the debates. Tune-in stayed strong as long as 30 minutes afterward.

9. Millennial Mayberry: Exodus to Sunbelt speeds up

"After several years of surging urban growth, [suburbs now] account for 14 of the 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities with populations over 50,000, according to the census," writes The Wall Street Journal's Valerie Bauerlein (subscription):

  • "Millennials priced out of popular big cities are flocking to Frisco, Texas, Nolensville, Tenn., Lakewood Ranch, Fla., and Scottdale, Ga."
10. 1 ⚾ thing
Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich hits a two-run homer against the Cincinnati Reds on June 21. Photo: Morry Gash/AP

Big league batters set a home-run record for the second month in a row, and are on pace to shatter the season mark, AP reports:

  • Batters hit 1,142 home runs in June — seven more than in May, per Elias Sports Bureau.

Why it matters: Five of the top six home run months have been in the last three years.

Mike Allen

📱 Thanks for reading Axios AM. Invite your friends, relatives, co-workers to sign up here.