For the past six weeks the top five most-mentioned candidates in our weekly summaries of cable news coverage have been Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg. Last week, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker broke into that top group — his name appeared in 12 percent of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News clips that mentioned a Democratic contender. And Booker’s ascension wasn’t limited to cable news.
Since the beginning of April, FiveThirtyEight has been using the TV News Archive to track how often candidates’ names come up on the three cable news networks we’ve been tracking.1 This week, we have also started monitoring the number of articles mentioning each candidate in online news, which we do using Media Cloud, a database from MIT and Harvard University.2 Last week, about a quarter of the online news stories3 that mentioned any of the candidates included at least one mention of Booker, up from 16 percent the previous week.
|Cable TV clips the week of …||online stories the week of …|
|Candidate||June 9||June 16||diff.||June 9||June 16||diff.|
|Bill de Blasio||1.9||1.2||-0.8||10.5||8.8||-1.7|
But Booker’s coverage wasn’t exclusively about him: 44 percent of the 562 cable news clips mentioning Booker also mentioned Biden. Online, 68 percent of stories mentioning Booker also mentioned Biden. On Wednesday, Booker called on Biden to apologize for Biden’s remarks about segregationist senators’ use of the word “boy.” Biden then called on Booker to apologize, and Booker responded that he would not, maintaining that Biden should. Turns out that going toe-to-toe with the front-runner can get you media attention.
This week, we will have our eye on whether or not the first Democratic debates lead to a big shift in the amount of cable and online news coverage each candidate receives. Stay tuned!
From ABC News: