The Trail

DC State of Mind

Between impeachment, coronavirus, and Iran, there’s been no shortage of news in January. But who’s talking about what? Our analysis of tweets from 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and D.C. journalists and pundits is telling.

As the first caucuses and primaries of the 2020 presidential election approach, The Conversation looked at…the conversation on Twitter among presidential candidates and Washington, D.C. journalists and pundits. In comparing their top terms, we found that candidates are much more focused on the campaign trail than D.C. journalists and pundits—though both mention Trump most of all.

Between January 1-27, Democratic hopefuls were focused on campaign milestones, frequently using terms including “Iowa,” “DemDebate,” “New Hampshire,” and “2020.” The candidates often mention President Trump in discussing how they will beat him.

Meanwhile, D.C. journalists and pundits are clearly spending most of their time talking about impeachment, overwhelmingly mentioning terms such as “Senate,” “Ukraine,” “Bolton,” “House,” and of course, Trump himself—over 3,000 times. And if you compare that to the top topics of Trump’s campaign ads—the media, immigration, impeachment, and the economy—there is little overlap.

As voting starts, will media attention turn increasingly towards the Democratic campaign trail—or will Trump continue to dominate the headlines? We’ll be watching.