Media Election 2020

We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.

– Jean Baudrillard

In the 2020 US election, media attention may be a startling indicator of who will win the presidency.

Polls for the 2016 US presidential election indicated Hillary Clinton as the leader, yet the media focused overwhelmingly on Donald Trump. According to the New York Times, Trump earned close to $2 billion worth of free media attention, more than twice the amount Clinton received.

Were the polls wrong? Or has our vote become a reflection of the volume of information we consume, rather than its meaning? Using artificial intelligence to ingest and analyze thousands of published articles in real-time, we can see the magnitude of a candidates’ media attention as an indication of voting behavior.

The volume of articles published about each candidate reflect who owns the news cycle and possibly your vote.

Today, Sept. 29th, Donald Trump leads in media attention by 38 points.

Meaning matters.
Especially in politics.
Especially in 2020.

Dominating the news cycle is often less about policy or substance and more about distraction and diversion.

To win the 2020 election, Trump may be purposefully inciting the media to react, even if false. This strategy sets the frame of discussion and dominates the news cycle.

A candidate’s ability to ‘program’ the media is a grave concern. A free and independent press is a hallmark of any democracy. But an informed citizenry needs to distinguish between who has captured our attention and who shares our values.