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Undecided 36%
Elizabeth Warren21%
Joe Biden13%
Kamala Harris9%
Bernie Sanders8%

Response to corbettkroehler (Reply #16)

Wed Aug 14, 2019, 03:18 PM

39. Opinion: Bernie Sanders's real media problem

 




So let me offer an explanation of what Sandersís real media problem is: Right now Sanders 2020 is suffering from the comparison with Sanders 2016, when his candidacy was a captivating new phenomenon that turned what could have been a dull coronation for Hillary Clinton into a real contest. That made him compelling to reporters ó again, always drawn to whatís new and what creates conflict ó who wrote story after story about this fascinating campaign, particularly the unlikely fact that a rumpled 74-year-old had become the hero of college students everywhere. They covered his policy proposals, but they also covered all the attendant human-interest sidelights such as people getting Bernie tattoos.

Sandersís current candidacy doesnít provide that same narrative interest. Heís just one candidate among many, running somewhere between second and fourth in every poll ó a part of the big story, to be sure, but not the primary protagonist/antagonist, depending on the framing. If during the 2016 primaries he was getting something like half the coverage, most of it positive, now he can expect only to get a much smaller portion of a pie that has been sliced into many more pieces. Is that fair? Perhaps not, but youíd have to define what ďfairĒ coverage would look like for all the candidates to say for sure.

Itís not as though Sanders is being ignored. I did a search on The Postís website and found 28 articles and videos mentioning him that appeared just this Monday and Tuesday. FiveThirtyEight monitors the volume of cable news coverage of the candidates, and what you see is that coverage pretty well tracks poll standing: Joe Biden gets the most, followed by Sanders, Warren and Kamala D. Harris clustered together. You might be able to make a case for why thatís wrong, but you canít say itís particularly unfair to Sanders.

And hereís the thing: Iím sure Sanders knows how this all works. Heís a smart guy, and he has been around for a long time. In most of the comments he and his aides make on this topic, you can tell they understand the incentives and proclivities of the media perfectly well.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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