One of the most intriguing aspects to the Democratic Presidential Primary has been the candidate's fight for media coverage. With 20+ official candidates, many campaigns are struggling because they have been unable to capture the attention of the public in such a crowded field.
The ability to gain media attention (both traditional and online) over the past few months has created a clear separation of candidates into tiers. Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Harris and O'Rourke have succeeded in capturing national media attention and as a result have moved into one tier, with the remaining candidates a step below in both Eyesover's support scoring and traditional polls.
The path into the top tier has varied. Biden, Sanders, and Warren have been there from the start due to name recognition. Buttigieg required events and announcements to capture enough sustained attention to join. O'Rourke and Harris could be deemed hybrids as they had enough name recognition to be in the neighborhood, but their announcement bumps put them firmly in the top tier.
With all of these candidates, their announcements caused large spikes in attention online and led to increased support in post-announcement polls. Buttigieg was able to build on his spike and grow his presence, while others like Harris and Warren were able to sustain the attention they gained from their announcements. Many others, including all in the lower tier of candidates, could not capitalize on their announcement bumps and have struggled to build on their support base. Of this latter group, it has been O'Rourke who until recently had the largest decrease in attention and support from the peak that came with his candidacy announcement.
Which brings us to Biden. His announcement bump was similar to O'Rourke's in that is dominated the news cycle for 48 hours+ and caused a huge spike in mentions, but it was also similar in a negative manner since the bump was not sustained, and he is back to his previously attention levels. What does this mean for his support? If the patterns we have seen repeat, we would expect Biden's polling lead to start decreasing in upcoming polls. He will remain at the top of the list due to the name recognition factor and the indisputable fact he has significant lead provided by a legitimately strong support base. But the online patterns would indicate there is some weakness in his numbers and he is likely to start falling back to the rest of the field over the next few weeks as others reclaim the spotlight he was not able to maintain.