Economy and top candidates garner most attention

During the Democratic debate, one of the most frequently asked topics pertained to the economy. Further, most of the economic questions were asked to top candidates. A reason for this can be attributed to viewership and the publicity that debates and presidential elections receive.

The goal of a debate is for the audience to be able to learn more about the candidates who are running and how they stand on certain issues comparatively to other candidates. This in-turn can cause debates to focus on what viewers want to see.

People are more likely to watch the debate if they recognize the candidates or the issues are relevant in their daily life. The economy is a domestic issue that is always relevant to constituencies regardless of its state.

In order to retain viewers, CNN needs to make a substantial amount of the content appealing to the people watching. No matter how well the economy is doing, people still have concerns, mostly personal. The more candidates relate to them on topics, the easier it can be for candidates to be appealing to vote for.

The name recognition of the leading candidates is also important to viewers. Lesser known candidates are generally less interesting to the average viewer, since viewers likely do not believe that they have a legitimate chance at the presidency or they do not know enough about them to want to spend their time listening to them.

Yang is the only exception to this.

But Yang’s economic background and his unique plans in this field, make him a very interesting and unusual to watch. The other candidates who received the most questions were the three frontrunners: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The level of name recognition that these candidates have also leads to the hope that voter participation will increase from the 2016 election. In 2016, 61.4 percent of citizens who are of voting age voted, similar to the 61.8 percent that voted in the last election.

With the electorate becoming more engaged and knowledgeable about the election, starting with name recognition, the likelihood is that these percentages will increase in the upcoming election.

— Julia Schneider

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