The second round of the Democratic debates, held Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Detroit, revealed media bias on the part of CNN and its moderators. AllSides tracked how many direct questions and follow-up questions were asked of each candidate and found a clear bias.
Former Vice President Joe Biden led all 20 participants in percentage of total questions fielded — he was asked 23.6% of all questions on debate Night 2. He was followed by Senators Elizabeth Warren (she was asked 17.3% of all questions on Night 1), Bernie Sanders (15.7%, Night 1) and Kamala Harris (15.5%, Night 2).
The two non-politicians among the candidates, entrepreneur Andrew Yang and author Marianne Williamson, fielded 6.3% and 4.7% of questions, respectively.
The number of questions candidates are asked by moderators during debates tracks closely with polling numbers. However, the bias raises questions about media practices, media bias, and objectivity in election coverage. Should all candidates be asked equal numbers of questions, or is it fair that the media would favor the more popular candidates during debates?
Check out the data below:
Media Bias, Night 1 of the Detroit Democratic Debate:
Media Bias, Night 2 of the Detroit Democratic Debate:
AllSides provides nearly 600 media bias ratings; however, we don't rate media bias for broadcast news, just online content. We rate CNN Web News as having a Lean Left media bias.
Be sure to follow AllSides on Twitter as we continue to track 2020 election coverage and media bias.
Julie Mastrine is the Director of Marketing at AllSides. She has a Center bias.