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This piece was originally published in the July 23, 2021 edition of CAP Action’s weekly newsletter, What’s Trending? Subscribe to What’s Trending? here.

Hey, y’all.

Happy Friday. I hope you’re looking forward to a great late-summer weekend. I plan to spend mine playing kickball and generally trying to avoid thinking way too much about the Delta variant.

If Facebook trends are any indication, I’m not alone. This week we saw a continued spike in conversation about COVID-19. Read on to learn more.

But first! Did you miss our latest edition of What’s Trending? Don’t worry — you can read it here.

WHAT’S TRENDING THIS WEEK

  • COVID-19: The Delta variant is driving a surge of cases across the country, but vaccinations are rising too. This week, President Biden announced a 55% increase in the average number of new people getting vaccinated daily and that the United States has officially reached 70% of adults receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

WHAT WE’RE HEARING ON SOCIAL

Progressives had a strong week on Facebook, mainly thanks to Michelle Obama. Her posts celebrating the birthdays of President Obama and her mom, Marian Robinson, both topped the list. Another post celebrating her love for her husband (???? ) was the fourth best-performing post of the week on political Facebook.

Posts from President Biden also performed well. The top post of the week was a text-only post celebrating the country’s economic progress.

Top posts from conservatives include a Candace Owens tweet screenshot, a new Tomi Lahren profile photo, and several posts celebrating Ron DeSantis.

Top 20 best-performing political Facebook posts by interactions, according to data from NewsWhip.
Top 10 best-performing political Facebook posts on the left and right for the weeks of July 22 and 29 by interactions, according to data from NewsWhip.
Top ten Facebook posts from progressive pages over the last week, according to data from NewsWhip.
Top ten Facebook posts from conservative pages over the last week, according to data from NewsWhip.

DEEP DIVE

COVID-19 remains the most engaged-with topic on political Facebook by far and continues to increase from last week’s highs. It’s clear that people are concerned about rising case numbers and the Delta variant.

Total daily interactions (U.S. only) with Facebook posts matching topic keywords, according to data from NewsWhip.

When we remove COVID, we get a better idea of how other topics are performing. The eviction moratorium went from almost no conversation at all to the second most-engaged-with topic of the week (thank you, Cori Bush!). It also generated a high number of shares.

Narratives about critical race theory and taxing the rich remained relatively low this week, but voting rights and the infrastructure deal performed well. Climate was smack in the middle. And student debt got almost no traction on Facebook, despite the current student loan payment and interest pause expiring on September 30.

Total daily interactions (U.S. only) with Facebook posts matching topic keywords, according to data from NewsWhip.

Thanks for reading,

Alex

P.S. Please do forward along to your friends who are interested or encourage them to sign up here.

This newsletter is written by me, Alex Witt (@alexandriajwitt), a progressive political staffer and Dolly Parton enthusiast (she/her), and CAP Action’s fantastic team of designers, data analysts, and email strategists.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Authors

Alex Witt

Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships

Explore The Series

Welcome to “What's Trending?”, a weekly newsletter to help progressives answer the age-old questions: What works, and what doesn't? “What's Trending?” cuts through the noise to bring you the best (and worst) of what's happening on social media in the policy space, and explains why it's important.

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