As Shutdown Grinds On, Consideration Rises However ‘Trump’ Wanes


Firstly of this month, media protection about, and search curiosity in, the U.S. authorities shutdown had been each trending downward as the general public and press had grown weary of the bureaucratic stalemate. Because the deadlock reaches its one-month milestone, curiosity is rising, however the focus is much less about President Trump. 

The timeline beneath reveals worldwide English on-line information protection monitored by the GDELT Mission since Dec. 1 that mentions the shutdown, in addition to the shutdown protection that additionally mentions “Republican” or “Republicans,” “Democrat” or “Democrats” or “Trump.” 

Because the shutdown has worn into the brand new 12 months and its impacts have grown, protection has slowly elevated. Trump stays the determine mostly related to the shutdown, adopted by Democrats after which Republicans.  

Look intently on the timeline and also you’ll discover that as protection has grown, there’s an growing hole between complete shutdown protection and shutdown protection that mentions the president. The timeline beneath reveals this extra clearly, reporting the share of all shutdown protection above that talked about Trump.

Following a peak on Dec. 11 as a shutdown appeared more and more seemingly, between 80 and 90 p.c of shutdown protection talked about Trump via the top of 2018. Nonetheless, over the previous month that share has steadily decreased, hitting a low of 56 p.c final week.  

Protection has more and more centered on the impacts of the shutdown with out associating blame on any explicit celebration. 

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s State of the Union snub on Jan. 16 halted this downward slide and centered consideration again on Trump. The president’s Oval Workplace speech on Saturday accomplished this reversal, propelling him again above 80 p.c of shutdown protection and refocusing the controversy on himself. 

What about public curiosity? 

The timeline beneath reveals the overall U.S. search quantity on Google concerning the shutdown since Dec. 1 via Jan. 16 (Google imposes a rolling delay on every day knowledge). Google doesn’t report the precise variety of searches, as a substitute treating the day with the best variety of searches as 100 p.c and reporting the opposite days as percentages of that peak. 

Search curiosity concerning the shutdown leapt within the new 12 months however has remained comparatively steady over the previous month.  

Placing this all collectively, because the shutdown grinds on, media protection has been slowly growing whereas public curiosity stays regular. Protection associating the shutdown with Trump has been lowering as consideration focuses extra on the shutdown’s impacts. The media’s shift from assigning blame to lamenting the harm means that ultimately neither celebration will really “win” from this brinkmanship.

RealClear Media Fellow Kalev Leetaru is a senior fellow on the George Washington College Middle for Cyber & Homeland Safety. His previous roles embrace fellow in residence at Georgetown College’s Edmund A. Walsh College of International Service and member of the World Financial Discussion board’s International Agenda Council on the Way forward for Authorities.