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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If you've been watching the 2020 Democratic debates so far — which has a record number of women running in a primary — it's easy to forget that #MeToo ever happened.

Why it matters: It's the first presidential election since the rise of the movement, which the Democrats embraced. Yet the only presidential candidate who's making these issues a staple of her campaign is Kirsten Gillibrand, who's struggling to clear 1% in the polls — and the issues have barely registered in the debates so far.

The big picture: The 2018 midterms were a sign of the political power women harnessed after #MeToo. Women helped the Democratic Party take back the House in 2018 by running in red and purple districts and showing up in droves as voters.

Yet women's issues have so far taken a back seat to others, from health care to climate change and immigration, and to the candidates' fights with each other.

  • For the most part, the debate moderators haven't even been asking about these issues, from sexual harassment policies to paid family leave.

Gillibrand is the only 2020 Democrat who has made her campaign explicitly about women and women's place in this country. She just hosted a reproductive rights town hall, days before an 8-week abortion ban is set to take place in Missouri.

  • But it only got covered by local St. Louis media. Everyone else was focused on Elizabeth Warren's Minnesota rally because of the crowd size.
  • And Gillibrand is still struggling to qualify for the next debate in September. "If I'm on that stage ... I'll bring the necessary attention to the all-out assault we've seen on women's reproductive rights — even if the moderators continue to ignore it," she wrote in an email to supporters Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, Joe Biden, who faced allegations of inappropriate touching or invading women's personal space, is still polling at the top.

  • And none of the top-tier candidates have made women's issues a defining theme. They've saved that distinction for their plans for the wealth tax, Medicare for All and climate change — and, of course, for Trump.

The bottom line: Democrats made themselves the standard bearers on #MeToo issues — practically shoving Al Franken out of the Senate — but you wouldn't know it from the way their campaign to defeat Trump has played out so far.

Go deeper

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.