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Tracking the Biggest Stories: Understanding 2020 Political Campaigns & Issues through the Lens of Media Monitoring & Analytics

September 30, 2020

How do you keep up with 24/7 news cycles amidst what promises to be a pivotal political campaign season? Media monitoring and analytics help you follow the ebb and flow of topics at the core of American politics. Our U.S. Political Tracker, powered by Nexis Newsdesk™, features visualizations covering:

  • Hot Topics with Presidential Candidates
  • Democratic & Republican Candidate Locations
  • Top Poll News Article Feed
  • Sentiment on Key State Ballot Issues

Let’s take a closer look at how these visualizations help break through the cacophony of campaign messages to reveal interesting insights on the way to election day.

Sudden shifts in trending topics

Want to keep up with the issues being discussed on route to November 3? The first chart in the U.S. Political Tracker displays the volume of articles on 16 different topics being discussed by candidates on both sides of the aisle. The information is displayed in an interactive bar chart, which provides a clear view of which topics are receiving the most media coverage.

See for yourself. Click the image above to go to the Live Tracker and try the interactive features on this and the other visualizations available.

For example, you can see in the screen capture below that Racial Issues dominated in recent weeks. While the death of Former SCOTUS Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—and subsequent nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy—doubled article volume on the topic of Abortion, Racial Issues still dominated.

Then, The New York Times dropped a bombshell, in the form of its investigative reporting on the current President’s taxes. Oh, what a different a week (or a day) makes in the media cycle. Article volume related to taxes more than doubled overnight. Want to drill down to see what’s behind the raw numbers? Head to the U.S. Political Tracker to test out the dynamic features:

  • Click on topics in the color key above the bar chart to remove them. This allows you to home in on a single topic or make direct comparisons between two or more key issues.
  • Click on a topic section within the bar chart to see the articles behind the numbers. In addition to showing the article title, source, and date/time of publication, you can see a few lines of the article, enabling to quickly scan what’s being said.
  • When you spot an article of interest, simply click the title link to be taken to the full article.

Since Nexis Newsdesk monitors the media continuously, you get a true picture of how campaign issues fluctuate from week to week based on the latest happenings in the news.

Global coverage of presidential candidates

The next charts featured on our U.S. Political Tracker look at where candidates are being talked about—from the Americas to Asia and everywhere in between. As with the previous chart, these maps are interactive. Want to see the article volume for in a particular region? Simply hover over the map for details.

Keep pace with the polling

When it comes to taking the pulse of likely voters, polls play an important role. But with new polls being released with increasing frequency­ and from varying political perspectives, staying on top of results can be a challenge. Visualizations aren’t the only way that Nexis Newsdesk enables sharing of media intelligence. The next section on our U.S. Political Tracker offers a feed of some of the latest coverage on pre-election polls.

Media monitoring insights extend beyond national campaigns

Because Nexis Newsdesk monitors a broad spectrum of media, analysis of hot topics and competitive campaigns isn’t limited to a national perspective. The final charts on our U.S. Political Tracker focus in on state-level issues and races.

Whether you’re curious about the sentiment around proposed ballot issues ranging from marijuana to sports gambling or you’re looking for clues on which Senate races will be nail-biters versus landslides, the visualizations on our U.S. Political Tracker bring those stories to life.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out the U.S. Political Tracker to test the interactive features. You can even access embed codes to add one or more of the live charts to your own website or intranet. Visit often because the only constant in the current political scene is change!

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