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Data: Newswhip; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The attack on the Capitol was by far the most captivating story online in a consequential week, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.

Why it matters: With control of the Senate in the balance, a nationwide vaccination effort to end the pandemic underway and discussion of $2,000 checks in play, the country's attention was instead dominated by legislative — and then riotous — efforts to subvert democracy.

  • Stories about the siege generated 3.5x more interactions (likes, comments, shares) on social media than the Georgia runoffs, which led to Democrats taking control of the Senate.
  • Before Wednesday's violence, efforts from Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and other Senate Republicans to stop the certification of Joe Biden as president had become the top story.
  • Before that, it was Trump's call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes" that captured the most attention. The Washington Post's report ended up as the most-engaged story overall.

Between the lines: The deaths that resulted from the riots became the central narrative of the events, accounting for three of the week's 10-most engaged stories, per NewsWhip.

  • In the aftermath of the riot, top stories about the fallout included tech platforms' bans of Trump accounts, resignations in the Trump administration and calls for the president's removal.

Go deeper

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.

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