Skip to main content
Menu
Which 2020 Candidate Was Mentioned Most On Cable News Last Week?

Last week, for the fifth week in a row, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders were the two most-mentioned 2020 Democratic candidates on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News, according to data from the TV News Archive accessed via the GDELT’s Project Television API.1 While the candidates as a group were mentioned fewer times last week than the week before, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, was mentioned more often, likely because he held a town hall on Fox News last Sunday. He was the third-most-mentioned candidate last week, up from fifth the week before.

Buttigieg boosted his cable news coverage last week

How often each Democratic candidate was mentioned each week in news programming on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, counted by the number of 15-second clips that include each person’s full name

Number of Clips
Candidate Week of May 12 Week of May 19
Joe Biden 1,715
1,160
Bernie Sanders 530
465
Pete Buttigieg 277
310
Elizabeth Warren 358
258
Kamala Harris 343
238
Beto O’Rourke 217
187
Bill de Blasio 263
83
Kirsten Gillibrand 82
74
Amy Klobuchar 43
46
Cory Booker 107
45
Steve Bullock 162
42
Eric Swalwell 14
25
Julian Castro 13
24
Tim Ryan 11
19
Jay Inslee 21
17
Seth Moulton 29
14
John Delaney 2
13
Andrew Yang 11
13
Tulsi Gabbard 12
11
John Hickenlooper 13
9
Marianne Williamson 7
0
Michael Bennet 11
0
Total 4,241
3,053

Includes all candidates that qualify as “major” in FiveThirtyEight’s rubric. Each network’s daily news coverage is chopped up into 15-second clips, and each clip that includes a candidate’s first and last name (found by running a search seeking an exact match for the name) is counted as one mention.

Source: Internet Archive’s Television News Archive via the GDELT Project

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke held a CNN town hall on Tuesday night, but it doesn’t seem to have gotten him mentioned more often on cable news, which had been already been paying less attention to him in recent weeks. Sixteen major candidates were mentioned less than 100 times last week on cable news.



From ABC News:


Check out the data behind this series and check back each week for an update on which candidates are getting the most cable news mentions.

Footnotes

  1. The TV News Archive measures coverage by splitting CNN, Fox News and MSNBC’s daily news footage into 15-second clips and finding the clips that contain a mention of our search query. Our search queries are the full names of each candidate. The GDELT Television API, which processes the data from the TV News Archive, measures a week of coverage from Sunday through Saturday. The cutoff for measuring coverage for any given day is midnight Eastern Standard Time. (Clock changes for Daylight Saving Time are ignored.)

Dhrumil Mehta is a database journalist at FiveThirtyEight focusing on politics.

Comments