Accuracy in Media

Much of the mainstream media coverage has focused on the attention-grabbing 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidates, such as author Marianne Williamson, former investor Andrew Yang, and the plethora of senators running for higher office (Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren). But the majority of this election cycle’s crop of candidates are not moderate but are liberal or progressive.

Outside of Joe Biden, the front-runner candidate in the polls so far, who are the other relevant moderate Democratic presidential candidates?

The answer is: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, former Maryland congressman John Delaney, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Media coverage has been sparse in covering these candidates, outside of their debate performances and some of their public remarks. Bullock’s most publicized remark in the last couple of months is when he told the media that Trump’s re-election is “more likely with each passing minute” due to the current rhetoric from the majority of presidential candidates. Rep. Ryan used an obscenity to describe gun violence when he said that the GOP “needs to get their sh** together” on gun control, which garnered multiple articles in the mainstream media.

Delaney made headlines when he went toe-to-toe with Elizabeth Warren over promising many government programs without recognizing how the government will pay for it, but since that first debate, media coverage is far and few between for Delaney’s campaign. Also, much of the buzz surrounding Hickenlooper is whether he will drop out of the race and run for the U.S. Senate seat in Colorado, which is not a positive development for Hickenlooper’s presidential campaign prospects.

The mainstream media is covering Biden and the multiple liberal or progressive candidates who are close to Biden in the polls, while moderate candidates such as Bullock, Ryan, Delaney, and Hickenlooper are left out. If Biden does not win the primary, it is unclear whether moderate voters would find the liberal or progressive candidates more appealing than President Donald Trump.

Photo by Phil Roeder

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