With the Democratic convention looming on the horizon, the Clinton team is vetting a number of possible running mates. With recent media attention around three possible Clinton VP nominees, I offer the following media prominence analytics on Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, and Julian Castro.
Not surprisingly, Elizabeth Warren is the ratings leader — by a far margin — at 80 points, showing a +9 point gain over May. By comparison, Tim Kaine and Julian Castro are both hovering at the 50 rating mark, 30 points behind Warren. Of course Elizabeth Warren has been a consistent, outspoken voice for the progressive side of the democratic party, relentlessly advocating for a multitude of issues in the media spotlight. From a media perspective, Kaine and Castro have operated within a more local and narrow media spectrum, and only recently have both VP potentials entered the national media dialog. Tim Kaine generated the best May rating increase, advancing +11 points or nearly +20 percent over his prior-month rating position. Julian Castro may be experiencing a delayed media reaction to his possible selection to the Clinton team as his May rating numbers declined -2 points to a 50 rating position (just +1 point ahead of his trailing 12-month average).
The 4-year rating trend for each candidate tells an interesting story. Warren is has recently returned to her 2015 rating high that followed a nearly 2-year, +20 point media build. In comparison, Tim Kaine has been struggling to stay above a 40 point rating threshold with no noticeable increase outside the media’s recent interest in his possible VP nomination. Julia Castro hasn’t fared much better, although his consideration as a possible Clinton running mate became headline news earlier in the primary election cycle (October 2015).
There’s no discernible difference in media sentiment among all three candidates, pulling very close positive media mentions over the most recent new cycle. Kaine does appear to be driving more negative coverage. But overall, the sentiment deltas are not significant.
Media value and rank position with the candidate sector underscores Warren’s dominant position. Elizabeth Warren generated $4.1 million in media value during May 2016 compared to $137K for Kaine and $135K for Castro. It’s important to put these values in perspective relative to the actual party candidates themselves: Hillary Clinton generated $273 million in earned media value during the May news cycle while Donald Trump drew $638 million for the same period.