Covid Coverage Trumps News About Election Fraud

Pandemic coverage stays center stage as interest in the presidential election wanes.

In a normal election year, a presidential candidate refusing to concede an election would be an all-consuming news event. But 2020 has been anything but conventional, and that’s reflected in consumers’ news habits. After a brief spike in interest in election-related news, Covid is once again the dominant news story in the country, with readers eager to learn about the worsening pandemic.

Even in the run-up to the election, news consumers were more interested in articles about Covid, clicking on them at a slightly higher rate than articles pertaining to the presidential election.

Of course the subjects aren’t totally disconnected. One of the primary issues — if not the primary issue — heading into the election was the Covid pandemic, and its impact on voters’ choices.

Still, interest in the election steadily dropped after election day, and has been declining ever since.

Interest in news about election fraud (a subset of all election news) has seen periodic spikes, but has not changed the overall election news trajectory. Interest in this type of content rises with news about lawsuits and recounts, but those stories tend to be more localized.

The states most interested in news stories about election fraud? On a per-capita basis, that would be Delaware, Joe Biden’s home state. Reliably blue states Rhode Island and Massachusetts are numbers two and three, followed closely by Michigan, the hotly-contested battleground state that Biden managed to flip blue after it went for Trump in 2016. Of note, Georgia has become a hotly-contested state, both in terms of a vote recount and two upcoming Senate runoff elections. But so far at least, Georgia residents are in the bottom half of states on per-capita interest in election fraud topics.

Consumer attention will ebb and flow as the news cycle continues. One thing is clear, though: Covid is still with us, in person and in consumers’ consumption of news content.

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Jim Anderson

CEO at SocialFlow, Social Media & Technology expert. Father of three, including one very special needs child.