The addition of Kamala Harris to the Democratic ticket provided Joe Biden with the biggest surge of online enthusiasm he's seen in the entire campaign, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.
Why it matters: While Biden has been getting much of his momentum from voters who are opposed to President Trump, rather than excited about him, Harris could stir other voters looking for reasons to turn out, Axios' Neal Rothschild and I write.
- Biden stories received 64 million interactions on social media last week — 35% higher than the next biggest week of his campaign, according to the NewsWhip data.
- The 55 million interactions on stories about Harris were higher than Biden had in any other week.
- Biden's 2nd-most engaged tweet of the campaign was his announcement of Harris last Tuesday (1.02 million engagements), according to data from KeyHole.
- The #1 engager: "I can't believe I have to say this, but please don't drink bleach."
Be smart: For the 36% of voters who say, according to a recent poll, that they are "more for Joe Biden" than "against Donald Trump," Harris on the ticket could make a difference in whether they actually show up to vote.
Harris' online following is loyal and hyperactive online. In 2018, supporters started posting about Harris using the hashtag #KHive.
- Few other politicians have loyal followings online, with the exceptions of Trump's #MAGA followers, Bernie Sanders devotees and the #YangGang.
She could also help inspire social change-makers on social media if she builds enthusiasm for the ticket among Black voters. Black social media users tend to be far more civically engaged online than white social media users, per Pew Research Center.
The bottom line: Biden's attention deficit to Trump may not be such a disadvantage. He's grown his national polling average lead to 8 points, per FiveThirtyEight, while generating 6x less online buzz than Trump over the past few months, according to NewsWhip data.
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