FiveThirtyEight Politics

ABC News, 538, FiveThirtyEight, Galen Druke

The 538 team covers the latest in politics, tracking the issues and "game-changers" every week.

  • 36 minutes 38 seconds
    Elections Everywhere All At Once

    It’s been a newsy week for elections here at home and across the pond. On Wednesday, in her first public appearance since dropping out of the Republican primary, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that she is going to vote for former President Donald Trump this fall.

    In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, we ask whether her endorsement actually matters to voters. We also indulge in some British politics, with the announcement that the U.K. will hold general elections on July 4. The electoral picture for the Conservative Party is currently abysmal and they have six weeks to try to change it. And we check in on lessons from the downballot primaries that played out in Georgia and Oregon.

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    23 May 2024, 11:19 pm
  • 25 minutes 47 seconds
    Campaign Throwback: 'The Beer Question'

    This is the third installment of the 538 Politics podcast mini-series, “Campaign Throwback.” Across three episodes, we're taking a look back at campaign tropes from past elections such as, “it’s the economy, stupid,” or “soccer moms” or that question about which candidate you’d rather share a beer with. We’ll ask where those tropes came from, whether they were actually true at the time and if they still hold up today.

    In our third installment: "the beer question." After the 2000 and 2004 elections, political observers remarked that Republican George W. Bush defeated his Democratic opponents in part because he was the candidate who voters would rather "have a beer with." The phrase quickly became a cliche for evaluating a candidate's likability or relatability. But is it really how voters choose their presidents?

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    22 May 2024, 9:29 am
  • 38 minutes 52 seconds
    Are Americans Tuning Out The 2024 Election?

    It’s no secret that we are headed toward a presidential election that many Americans said they didn’t want. Somewhere in the range of 20 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, and if ratings are any indication, a lot of folks seem to be tuning campaign news out.

    So what does this portend for turnout? We’ve been in an era of high-turnout elections since 2016, but will fatigue or disdain keep people home this fall? In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, the crew debates what kind of turnout we should expect and why it matters. They also discuss why Biden and Trump decided to go forward with two earlier-than-usual debates.

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    20 May 2024, 8:58 pm
  • 39 minutes 5 seconds
    Why Voters Are Worried About Democracy, In Their Own Words

    Concerns about democracy are central to the 2024 election. Late last year, Gallup recorded a record low number of Americans who said they are satisfied with the way democracy is working. And in the latest polling from The New York Times/Siena College, 14 percent of voters said the economic and political system needs to be torn down entirely, while 55 percent said it needs major changes.

    To better understand how Americans are thinking about democracy heading into the election, 538 teamed up with PerryUndem, a nonpartisan research firm, to conduct focus groups with voters. In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, we hear from those voters. We also speak with Gretchen Helmke of Bright Line Watch, which conducts regular polling of experts and Americans on the potential threats to democracy.

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    16 May 2024, 9:17 pm
  • 29 minutes 31 seconds
    Campaign Throwback: 'Soccer Moms'

    This is the second installment of the 538 Politics podcast mini-series, “Campaign Throwback.” Across three episodes, we're taking a look back at campaign tropes from past elections such as, “it’s the economy, stupid,” or “soccer moms” or that question about which candidate you’d rather share a beer with. We’ll ask where those tropes came from, whether they were actually true at the time and if they still hold up today.

    In our second installment: "soccer moms." In 1992, Bill Clinton won the presidential election in what was called the "year of the woman" after a record number of women ran for office and won. As the 1996 election took shape, gender politics were still at the forefront of campaign coverage. As Clinton’s popularity was growing and Dole was lagging in the early polls, the idea took hold that “soccer moms” might either save Dole’s chances or ensure that Clinton made it over the edge. But when the election was all said and done, was that conventional wisdom correct?

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    15 May 2024, 9:30 am
  • 43 minutes 28 seconds
    The Sun Belt Shifts Away From Biden

    Three months ago, as the presidential primaries were getting underway, President Joe Biden was trailing former President Donald Trump in the polls nationally and in battleground states, and concerns about his age were coming to the fore. The optimistic view for Biden was that once the presidential primaries were over, and it became clear that the choice was a 2020 rematch, the polls would move in his direction. But the polls have changed little. In fact, a new set of battleground polls from The New York Times/Siena College shows Biden trailing in all but one of the battleground states, with a lead for Trump as high as 12 points in Nevada.

    In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, the crew asks why the end of the primaries, weeks of Biden campaigning and millions spent on advertising have changed the polls little. They also preview Tuesday's primaries in Maryland and West Virginia, in particular a very competitive Democratic Senate primary in Maryland.

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    13 May 2024, 10:11 pm
  • 30 minutes 5 seconds
    Are We Smarter Than The Betting Markets?

    Six months out, how does the conventional wisdom about the 2024 election compare with how we are thinking about the numbers here at 538? Are election watchers thinking in a clear-eyed way about an election that will undoubtedly produce a lot of emotion and narratives?

    Unfortunately we don’t have a conventional wisdom thermometer in the office, so in this installment of the 538 Politics podcast we put that wisdom to the test with a game of “Buy, Sell, Hold.” We look at where the betting markets place the likelihood of everything from former President Donald Trump picking South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem as his running mate to Democrats winning a Senate race in Ohio, and decide whether the odds are appropriately priced.

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    9 May 2024, 8:41 pm
  • 25 minutes 21 seconds
    Campaign Throwback: 'The Economy, Stupid'

    This is the first installment of the 538 Politics podcast mini-series, “Campaign Throwback.” Across three episodes, we're taking a look back at campaign tropes from past elections such as, “it’s the economy, stupid,” or “soccer moms” or that question about which candidate you’d rather share a beer with. We’ll ask where those tropes came from, whether they were actually true at the time and if they still hold up today.

    Our first installment: “It’s the economy, stupid.” It's a trope that dates back to Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. Clinton's chief strategist at the time, James Carville, had three main messages for his staff to remember: 1) Change vs. more of the same 2) The economy, stupid, and 3) Don't forget about healthcare. The second message was memorialized in a 1993 documentary about the Clinton campaign called "The War Room," and has taken on a life of its own in the field of election analysis. But is it accurate?

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    8 May 2024, 9:30 am
  • 35 minutes 58 seconds
    Will The Protests Over Gaza Affect The 2024 Election?

    College graduation season is getting underway, with a spotlight on campus protests over the war in Gaza. Some universities have canceled commencement events after local police were called in to numerous campuses to disband encampments and make arrests.

    All of this is focusing attention on the youth vote and how these scenes could shape Americans’ votes this fall. In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, we dig into it. We also ask whether a new poll from the Robert F. Kennedy Jr. campaign is a good or bad use of polling.

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    6 May 2024, 9:44 pm
  • 35 minutes 32 seconds
    Why Voters Are Down On The Economy, In Their Own Words

    For much of Joe Biden’s presidency, political observers have puzzled over a disconnect between economic indicators and consumer sentiment. Unemployment is low, growth has been persistent and inflation is receding. Yet, the vibes aren’t great.

    In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, we hear from undecided voters who participated in a focus group with PerryUndem and 538's Senior Politics Reporter Monica Potts, which focused on feelings about the economy.

    Later in the show, Galen speaks with 538 researcher and editor Cooper Burton about an algorithm 538 built to group House members into caucuses based on how they vote.

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    2 May 2024, 7:49 pm
  • 35 minutes 16 seconds
    A Tale Of Two Trump Trials

    Former president Donald Trump’s legal saga reached two major milestones last week. In Manhattan, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker testified about a “catch and kill” scheme that prosecutors say was meant to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election. Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether presidential immunity protected Trump from prosecution in the federal case related to Jan. 6. The court’s conservative majority appeared sympathetic to at least some of the Trump team’s claims, raising the likelihood that any trial will not begin until after the November election.

    In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, law professor Jessica Roth joins Galen to discuss the latest developments and preview what comes next.

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    29 April 2024, 8:00 pm
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