How Did the Media Cover the Final 2020 Presidential Debate?
The latest data from Cision's State of the Election series reveals how global, national and local media covered the debate

CHICAGO, Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cision, an industry-leading earned media communications management and media advisory platform, published the latest data from its 2020 State of the Election blog series, a weekly nonpartisan media analysis of the U.S. presidential election. In week 7 of the series, Cision highlights how the presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was covered by the media.

Cision highlights how the media covered last week's presidential debate between President Trump and Former VP Biden.

View the full media analysis and subscribe to Cision's election blog series here.

Within minutes of the debate ending, Google searches for "who won the debate" were at their peak. When looking at all U.S. media coverage, Cision found there are approximately 300 more mentions that claim "Trump won." 

Other key findings include:

  • 23% of the debate media coverage talked about COVID-19
  • Unlike previous debates, climate change received sizable attention – 12% of the total debate coverage
  • Russia was the most talked about topic of the debate
  • From October 16October 23, the debate garnered nearly 100,000 media mentions in the United States. Worldwide, there was an additional 36,000 mentions published in English.
  • Through the eyes of the global media – Biden narrowly won the debate

Cision also analyzed how local media in nine swing states judged the debate based on earned media mentions. Findings include:

  • Arizona: Biden won 38 to 32
  • Florida: Trump won 86 to 72
  • Georgia: Trump won 71 to 67
  • Michigan: Trump won 68 to 65
  • North Carolina: Biden won 51 to 50
  • Ohio: Trump won 79 to 77
  • Pennsylvania: Biden won 94 to 88
  • Texas: Trump won 166 to 122
  • Wisconsin: Biden Won 72 to 59

Publications in swing states were nearly split – 52% to 48% in favor of Trump. Trump won big in Texas and Florida. Biden won respectably in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Meanwhile, there was a 10-point swing from the Vice-Presidential Debate where 62% of swing state publications said Pence was the winner.

"Cision's State of the Election series has continued to highlight the power of data, particularly the importance of analyzing information with a neutral point of view," said Lucie Vietti-Curtis, Director of Content & Comms at Cision. "As we inch closer to Election Day, we look forward to using our own earned media monitoring tools to reveal which voter issues get an increase in coverage and how publications communicate election results."

For more from Cision's State of the Election blog series, view the full media analysis here and subscribe to the series here.

Cision is politically unaffiliated and does not endorse any political parties, platforms, campaigns or candidates.

About Cision 
Cision is a leading global provider of earned media software and wire distribution services to public relations and marketing communications professionals. Cision's software allows users to identify key influencers, craft and distribute strategic content, and measure meaningful impact. Cision has over 4,800 employees with offices in 24 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. For more information about Cision's award-winning products and services, including the Cision Communications Cloud®, visit and follow Cision on Twitter @Cision.

Media Contact: 
Rebecca Dersh
PR Manager

SOURCE Cision Ltd.