Accuracy in Media

In a twist of irony, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has received more media attention recently than her entire campaign had since she announced her bid to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2020.

Gillibrand announced that she will end her presidential campaign, will focus on electing female lawmakers, and continue her work as a New York senator.

Heading into the televised fall debates, Gillibrand struggled to meet the Democratic National Committee’s requirements to have at least 2 percent in multiple polls among Democratic primary voters, which spurred her withdrawal from the presidential race. But before her announcement, Gillibrand’s media mentions were almost nonexistent.

A quick search about Gillibrand’s campaign turned up multiple articles on her quitting the presidential race, then a smattering of articles from January (when she announced her candidacy) to July. For example, Politico, CNN, ABC News and other mainstream media outlets covered her withdrawal from the 2020 presidential race.

But compared to recent coverage, the same online search found NPR’s article on Gillibrand declaring her entry into the race in January, one FiveThirtyEight blog from June, The Atlantic’s article on her struggling campaign also published in June, and an Axios blog on Gillibrand’s candidacy from July.

Much of the media’s attention was on frontrunner and former vice president Joe Biden, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke. As multiple media reports noted, Gillibrand’s more noteworthy moments were at a debate when she confronted Biden over his support for past legislation and that she would use bleach to clean the White House.

Gillibrand could not stand out in a large primary field, and as a result, her campaign only received publicity and coverage when she ended her campaign.

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