Which Democratic 2020 Hopeful is Best Capturing the National News Cycles?

March 13th 2019

It’s early, and Iowa press is not yet in full gear (or we’d be reporting just that!). But one can already discern three tiers of candidates with regards to news cycle capture. Looking at just the top 1000+ newspapers (is it fair to count all the mentions in smaller newspapers with equal weights?), there are a few candidates getting attention, a few not getting attention, and three getting more attention than the rest.

It may actually be the right strategy to be in the middle at this point, much the way a marathon runner tries not to get out too fast, then burn out. One certainly wants to be getting some attention, if not the most.

Comparing candidates to someone in the middle is instructive, and Amy Klobuchar is certainly in the middle.

First, the ones getting less attention: Gabbard, Delaney, Holder, Castro, Booker:

Then those with comparable press, at least recently, for Inslee and Hickenlooper, and O’Rourke, Gillibrand, and Biden. No doubt Hickenlooper and Inslee will be challenged to maintain this mid-tier level, but one never knows. Also, as Biden comes to a decision, his press attention should be first-tier immediately.

Finally the three soaking up the spotlight at the moment, because the press likes talking about them: Harris, Sanders, and Warren.

Some might be curious to see how Harris compares to Sanders, or Sanders to Warren. Sign up for PeakMetrics if you want to see those comparisons. But it’s early, and the bottom line is that the three are generally getting the same amount of early press. And it’s not the press that should decide who moves forward at this point.

Still if you are backing a candidate and want to see how your efforts pay dividends in press attention in the next few crucial months, especially in the important swing states and early primary/caucus states, we’re here to help.