After her breakout performance in the first Democratic primary debate, Sen. Kamala Harris got a big surge in both public support and media attention. But with the second debate now over, Harris has lost most of the support that she had gained in the polls and, according to last week’s data from the TV News Archive1 and Media Cloud,2 she has also started to slide out of the media spotlight. Harris was mentioned in about 9 percent of all cable news clips that mentioned any Democratic 2020 candidate last week across the three networks we monitor — CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — and she was mentioned in about 19 percent of online news stories that mentioned any candidate. That’s about half as big a share as she had in the previous week and similar to the amount she was being mentioned in the week before the first debate.
If you’ve read our Slack chats or heard our podcast, you’ll know that I get annoyed whenever the discussion of “lanes” — such as the left/liberal lane versus the establishment/moderate lane — comes up in the context of the Democratic primary. Without getting too far into the weeds,1 I basically have two beefs with most of the analyses I see.
This summer, while a lot of Americans are going on vacation, many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have been hitting the trail harder than ever — marching in Fourth of July parades in New Hampshire, pressing the flesh at a minor-league ballpark in Iowa and even frying 4,000 pounds of fish in South Carolina.
Sometimes I wonder what I would be thinking about all day if I weren’t thinking all day about politics.
Another passenger has boarded the S.S. Winnow: On Thursday, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced he was dropping out of the race for president.
The first and second Democratic debates have made one thing clear: A number of major policy reforms are on the table, including sweeping proposals on health care and climate change. And many of these ideas appear popular among the majority of Americans. A July Marist poll found that 63 percent of Americans said a plan like the “Green New Deal,” which would address climate change by investing heavily in environmentally friendly jobs and infrastructure, was a good idea; similarly, 70 percent said they supported “Medicare for all who want it,” which would give Americans a choice between government-sponsored health insurance and private insurance.
UPDATE (Aug. 13, 2019, 9:55 a.m.): Tom Steyer’s campaign announced Tuesday morning that it had hit the 130,000 donor mark. He now needs just one qualifying poll to make the third debate.
After a week’s worth of media focus on a series of gaffes and misstatements by former Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic voters are reacting by … apparently not giving much of a damn.
While President Trump didn’t totally upend the “the party decides” theory that endorsements from political leaders can help a candidate win his or her party’s presidential nomination (it remained useful, for instance, in understanding how Hillary Clinton became her party’s nominee), his success did prompt some rethinking about how our political and media environments have made the success of a political outsider more likely.
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