Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has gone from a political unknown to a novelty candidate to sixth place in polling average ahead of Senator Cory Booker and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke. He received early attention on podcasts such as The Joe Rogan Experience and has a strong grassroots following — the Yang Gang — that have pushed his campaign heavily on social media. Although Yang received little speaking time during the first debates, his strong performance during the second debates helped him break into the top six candidates.
Despite the success of Yang’s outsider campaign, Axios reports that he is being treated like a bottom-tier candidate by the media. In particular, there is a large discrepancy between voter support and Yang’s media coverage, both on cable and online. Axios suggests that this discrepancy stems from the fact that mainstream outlets don’t know how to cover a candidate that isn’t from the realm of politics.
According to the report, Yang is 14th in terms of media articles and 13th in cable news mentions. Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke — who is polling just behind the serial entrepreneur — is ranked fifth in both media articles and cable mentions. Another notable comparison is Bill de Blasio, who is polling at 0.4 percent and is 14th in the polls. He has had 12,800 articles written about him thus far, compared to Yang’s 3,500.
“This isn’t the first time the media has struggled with how to cover an unconventional candidate,” Axios reports. “HuffPost famously made the decision to include news about Donald Trump’s candidacy as part of its ‘entertainment’ coverage.”
Others, including Tulsi Gabbard and Pete Buttigieg, also reportedly struggle to receive media coverage that reflects their performance in the polls.
Andrew Yang gets media cold shoulder https://t.co/pmPRxLFfys— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) September 3, 2019
Per The Inquisitr, CNN’s Chris Cillizza excluded Yang from his power rankings, and the 44-year-old has been excluded from MSNBC’s political charts on many occasions. Marianne Williamson and Mike Gravel — the latter who has dropped out of the race — have also been removed from mainstream media articles and charts, again supporting the notion the outlets don’t quite know what to do with fringe or outsider candidates.
“It would probably be better for @cnn to report on Hurricane Dorian and the actual effects of climate change rather than having us talk about climate change. We can always reschedule while Mother Nature is on her own timeline.”
The current climate event is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m. and will be attended by Yang, Joe Biden, Julián Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, O’Rourke, and Booker.