Sen. Kamala Harris got a lot of media attention in the days immediately after the first Democratic debate and in the week that followed, putting her just behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who has dominated media coverage of the Democratic race for months. But the latest numbers show Harris falling behind Biden again. Last week, she was mentioned in significantly fewer cable news clips1 and online news stories2 than the week before, according to data from the TV News Archive, which chops up cable news from the three stations we monitor — CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — into 15-second clips, and Media Cloud, a database of online news stories.
|Cable TV clips the week of …||online stories the week of …|
|Candidate||June 30||July 7||diff.||June 30||July 7||diff.|
|Bill de Blasio||0.4||2.2||+1.8||6.7||11.6||+5.0|
While the share of cable news clips mentioning Harris declined by about 14 percentage points, the share that mentioned Biden increased by almost 7 percentage points. Last week, Biden was mentioned in about half of all cable news clips that mentioned at least one 2020 Democratic candidate, but Harris was mentioned in only about 23 percent. And much of Harris’s cable news coverage also mentioned Biden — his last name came up in 42 percent of her cable news clips, but only 16 percent of the clips mentioning Biden also mentioned “Harris.”
And Harris’ double-digit decline in the share of online stories mentioning her made room for other candidates to pull ahead of her, as she dropped from the second-most-mentioned candidate in online news stories to the fourth-most-mentioned.
Harris is still getting more media attention on both cable and online news than she was in the weeks prior to the first Democratic debate, but it seems that candidates’ performances in the first Democatic debate were not enough to unseat Joe Biden as the most mentioned candidate in cable and online news.