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The 2024 presidential primary tracker

Elaine Kamarck and Jordan Muchnick
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Jordan Muchnick Senior Research Assistant, Managing Editor of the FixGov blog

April 12, 2024


  • Trump maintains the most media mentions of presidential candidates, averaging 119.52 mentions per day. Biden follows with an average of 92.15 mentions per day.
  • In Q4, Biden reported having the most cash on hand with $46 million. Trump reported $33 million.
  • Trump maintains the highest number of followers on social media platforms, with Biden following.
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The shadow of Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is projected onto an American flag during a townhall event in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Maddie McGarvey

Welcome to the Brookings Presidential Primary Tracker. In an effort to track the public’s interest in the 2024 presidential primary candidates, we track three measures:

  1. How the candidates are doing on social media
  2. How they are doing in the mainstream press
  3. How they are doing when it comes to raising money

The list of presidential candidates included in this tracker is based on those listed in AP NewsThe Washington PostThe New York Times, and Politico’s descriptions of the 2024 field.

To read more about our findings throughout the presidential primary season, check out our series: “Tracking the 2024 presidential primaries”

To read more about our findings throughout the campaign period known as the “invisible primary,” check out our series: “Tracking the invisible primary”

Media mentions

The media mentions data represents the approximate number of times a candidate is mentioned in Google News across 114 different news sources in the past 24 hours. The list of news sources encompasses a variety of national and higher-circulation local news sources, including newspapers, magazines, TV networks’ websites, and web-based outlets. The list also includes major newspapers in Republican early primary states — New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina. The data is collected from Google News headlines at the same time every day.

Finances

Finance data is collected following the release of FEC quarterly reports. Data represents each candidate’s current campaign finance from the start of their campaign – or from 2021 for candidates who also ran in 2020 – through the end of the given quarter. It is divided up into quarterly data and cumulative data, both consisting of funds raised, spent, and cash on hand for their respective periods. Data points are also further divided into funds gained from authorized committees and joint fundraising committees, the former of which is the primary source for gathering intel on current campaign finance data.

Social media

Social media data is collected by tracking followers or subscribers for each candidate on a weekly basis. Data is collected at the start of the workweek at approximately 4 pm EST. This tracker includes data from three major platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Authors

  • Acknowledgements and disclosures

    Thanks to Cambron Wade, Anna Heetderks, Jordan Muchnick, Owen Averill, Annabel Hazrati, Valerie Wirtschafter, and Adelle Patten for their work on data collection and data visualization.

    Google and Meta are general, unrestricted donors to the Brookings Institution. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions posted in this piece are solely those of the author and are not influenced by any donation.