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FiveThirtyEight Politics

ABC News (US)

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


United States


ABC News (US)


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




How Washington Avoided A Shutdown

The government did not shut down over the weekend, contrary to the expectations of many. In this installment of the podcast, the crew discusses the congressional machinations that led to a 45-day extension of current funding and why it could create problems for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. They also consider whether California's senator-designate, Laphonza Butler, will run for election in 2024. Then they look at the data behind a viral TikTok trend suggesting that men think about the Roman Empire significantly more than women and give tips for thinking about outlier polls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


It's Now Or Never For The GOP Candidates

The crew reacts to the second Republican presidential primary debate in this late night podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Why Our Politics Are Stuck In 2016

We are at an awkward moment in electoral politics. When it comes to the Republican primary, while there are plenty of alternatives to former President Donald Trump, none of them have gained serious traction. When it comes to Democrats, despite consternation about President Biden’s age and electability, he has no serious primary challengers. More than a year out from the presidential election, it seems like the writing is on the wall, that electoral politics are frozen in place, and few people are happy about it. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke speaks with American politics professor Lynn Vavreck to help make sense of how we got here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Workers Are Striking And Americans Are Into It

Welcome aboard the Acela, listeners. Today on the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, we are taking a break from the campaign trail and heading to Washington, D.C., where there’s quite a lot going on. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced last week that Republicans are opening an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. There are also just 12 days until a possible government shutdown. And some Republicans are threatening McCarthy's speakership. Politics reporter Leah Askarinam and POLITICO Playbook co-author and ABC News contributor Rachael Bade join Galen Druke to discuss. They also play a round of "Quiz of the Union," where they try to put this year's higher-than-usual number of strikes in the context of public opinion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Why Biden Is Losing Support Among Voters Of Color

Among the most politically tuned-in, last week saw the kind of hand-wringing and accusations of bias surrounding the polls that you’d usually expect from the final two months of a campaign, not the final year and two months of a campaign. The focus was largely on general election polls: Whether a Wall Street Journal poll showing former President Donald Trump and President Biden tied is to be trusted. What to make of a CNN poll showing Nikki Haley as the only Republican candidate with a lead over Biden that falls outside the margin of error. How to understand data from the New York Times suggesting that Biden is losing support among voters of color. In this installment of the podcast, Galen speaks with Carlos Odio of Equis Research and Terrance Woodbury of HIT Strategies to parse through which recent data is actually worth paying attention to and which is sound and fury. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Is Donald Trump The Inevitable GOP Nominee?

Now that we are on the other side of Labor Day and summer is subsiding, this is — as tradition goes — when focus on political campaigns really begins to heat up. The off-year elections this November will get some attention, but the main attraction is still the 2024 Republican presidential primary. In this installment of the podcast, we ask a question we will undoubtedly return to in the four months until the Iowa caucuses: Is Donald Trump’s nomination inevitable? And if not inevitable, how can we place the likelihood he wins the GOP primary in historical context? We also have partial results from two special primary elections and we debate “good or bad use of polling” for a classic and controversial topic: internal polls. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Good Or Bad Use Of Polling: Extended Cut

This is a special end-of-meteorological-summer installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast. Galen Druke speaks with pollsters Kristen Soltis Anderson and David Byler in an episode made entirely of "good or bad use of polling" examples. They consider why GOP primary candidate Vivek Ramaswamy polls differently depending on survey methodology, what we can learn from post-debate polling, whether Nikki Haley used polling well in her debate performance and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Lessons From A Trump-Less Debate

The crew discusses their takeaways from the first Republican presidential primary debate in this late-night edition of the podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What The GOP Primary Looks Like In The Early States

Game time for the Republican presidential primary begins in earnest this week. The first debate is being held in Milwaukee on Wednesday, and it marks the beginning of a five-month countdown to the Iowa caucuses, during which there will be monthly debates, nonstop campaigning and a likely winnowing of the field. While this may be when the nation begins to tune in, folks in the early states have been tuning in -- either by choice or because of multimillion-dollar ad spending -- for months. And so, in preparation for the months ahead, in this installment of the podcast, we take in the view from the early states. To do that, Galen speaks with Katie Akin, politics reporter at the Des Moines Register; Josh Rogers, senior political reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio; and Joseph Bustos, politics reporter at The State in Columbia, South Carolina. They also play the second-ever installment of “Guess Which Candidate Said This!" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Three Georgia Law Professors Weigh In On Trump's Indictment

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted for a fourth time, now in Fulton County, Georgia, for efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in that state. While the alleged crimes in this case are similar in some ways to his previous federal indictments in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation, there are important differences. First, these are state crimes, based in part on Georgia’s racketeering laws, which have historically been applied much more broadly than federal racketeering laws. Second, and relatedly, the core of this case involves an alleged criminal enterprise, which has led to the indictments of 18 other people also involved — in various ways — in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Third, these being state crimes, the president has no power to pardon or commute a sentence in this case — important when thinking about the possibility of a second term for Trump. And unlike the former president’s prior indictments in New York, Florida and Washington, D.C., Georgia allows its court proceedings to be televised. That could be a significant factor in how the public might process the indictment. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke speaks with a group of Georgia legal experts about what to expect from this case and what makes it distinct from Trump's other legal woes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Who Is The Likeliest GOP VP Candidate?

Abortion rights advocates notched another win in a red state. Last Tuesday, Ohioans voted by a 14-point margin not to raise the threshold to amend the constitution to a 60 percent supermajority. Instead, such amendments will continue to require a simple majority, making it likelier that Ohioans will pass an amendment to codify abortion rights in the state constitution this November. Most of the post-election analysis concluded that abortion is a major driver of turnout in elections now, and it’s hard to deny in otherwise low-turnout environments, but should we apply these lessons to high-turnout environments -- like the 2024 presidential election -- as well? The crew discusses in this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast. They also do a 2024 GOP vice presidential draft, in a world where former President Donald Trump wins the presidential primary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ohio Voters Weigh In On Abortion (Indirectly)

Tuesday is Election Day in Ohio and it’s a bit of an unusual one. Ohioans are voting on whether to increase the threshold to pass constitutional amendments from a simple majority to a 60 percent supermajority. In this installment of the podcast, Galen Druke speaks with senior elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich about where the race stands and the broader trend of similar ballot measures. Galen also digs into the New York Times’s first polls of the 2024 primary and general elections with Ruth Igielnik, the Times's editor of news surveys. Their surveys with Siena College during the 2022 midterms earned them the distinction of the best pollster in the country, according to FiveThirtyEight's ratings. At this point, their early data suggests that former President Donald Trump is far outpacing his rivals in the Republican primary and is tied with President Biden in general election polling. So, what should we make of that? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Emergency Podcast: Trump Charged In Jan. 6 Investigation

Did former President Donald Trump conspire to defraud the United States, conspire to obstruct an official proceeding, actually obstruct that preceding and conspire to willfully deprive American citizens of their right to vote? Those will now be questions for a federal jury after a grand jury indicted the former president on four felony charges on Tuesday. In this emergency installment of the podcast, the crew discusses what was in the Department of Justice's 45 page charging document, what comes next and how Americans are thinking about it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


July Was Hot As Hell. Do Voters Care?

Calculations from the World Meteorological Organization suggest that July was the hottest month on record. Throughout the month, heat records were broken across the globe. Phoenix, Arizona, recorded 31 days in a row of temperatures over 110 degrees Fahrenheit and Sanbao, China, provisionally recorded the country’s all-time hottest temperature of 126 degrees. In this installment of the podcast, Galen speaks with Anthony Leiserowitz, the director and founder of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, about public perceptions of climate change, how extreme weather shapes those views and whether it's shaping our politics. Galen also speaks with Kaleigh Rogers and Nathaniel Rakich about some of the latest GOP primary polling and how changes to election law in both red and blue states will reshape how Americans vote in 2024. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Who'd Win A Trump-less GOP Primary?

It is widely believed that former President Donald Trump will be indicted for a third time in the coming days or weeks, as he received a target letter from the Department of Justice last week. The potential federal charges involve the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election leading up to that day. In this installment of the podcast, the crew discusses what Americans think about Jan. 6, Trump's role in it and whether he ought to be charged. They also draft a 2024 Republican primary lineup, under a hypothetical scenario in which Trump's legal woes catch up to him and the field is thrown open. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Why A Third-Party Candidate Poses A Threat To Biden

Campaign finance figures from the second quarter of 2023 were released over the weekend. They offered a first glimpse at many of the presidential campaigns’ finances, since most candidates announced their bids during the second quarter. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew breaks down which of the 2024 candidates has been able to haul in the big bucks and who looks like they might have cash problems. Also, on Monday, the centrist group No Labels is hosting a town hall in New Hampshire featuring Sen. Joe Manchin and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. The group has said that they plan to run a moderate ticket in 2024 featuring one Republican and one Democrat (although not necessarily the two featured in Monday’s town hall). Early polling suggests that such a ticket would pull more support from President Biden than former President Donald Trump in a potential rematch. But is that a good or bad use of polling, 16 months out? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What's So Special About 'Bidenomics'?

Love it or hate it, this is President Biden’s economy and he’s taking credit for it. In recent weeks, Biden has been rolling out his economic pitch to Americans. It started with a high-profile speech in Chicago where he branded his policies as “Bidenomics” and positioned them in opposition to trickle-down “Reaganomics.” Since then, Biden and his campaign surrogates have fanned out across the country to make their pitch. This is coming at a time when Americans are quite pessimistic about the economy. In recent polls, less than a third of Americans say the economy is good. But still, economic data paints a relatively strong picture. The unemployment rate -- according to data out last Friday -- stands at 3.6 percent. That’s close to a 50-year low. And inflation, although it remains somewhat high, has fallen to 4 percent from a high of 9 percent last summer. In this installment of the podcast, Galen speaks with Jeanna Smialek, who covers the Federal Reserve and economy for the New York Times, and Neil Irwin, chief economic correspondent for Axios. They discuss how much of Biden’s approach to economic policy is actually new, what it looks like on the ground and why Americans are so pessimistic. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


How The Supreme Court Will Shape The 2024 Election

The Supreme Court wrapped up its business for the term last week, closing out a docket that touched on the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action in university admissions, student loan forgiveness, business services to LGBTQ people, religious liberty and the power of state legislatures. It was another term with high-profile cases, coursing through the heart of some of America’s cultural debates. In this installment of the podcast, the crew discusses whether this year’s decision could ricochet through the political environment, as last year's decisions did. They also take stock of what more we've learned about a still quite new 6-3 conservative majority. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What's With RFK Jr.'s Double-Digit Polling?

It's the final week of June and that means that we are anxiously awaiting the decisions in several high-profile Supreme Court cases. The remaining cases touch on issues including affirmative action, President Biden's student loan forgiveness program, business services to LGBTQ people and the power of state legislatures. In this installment of the podcast, we take a look at what various public opinion polls have found on affirmative action and ask whether it's a good or bad use of polling. We also explore what to make of RFK Jr.’s relatively strong Democratic primary polling. Plus, the Republican presidential primary field has grown again, with the addition of former Texas Rep. Will Hurd. He joins a crowded anti-Trump lane. So what’s up with all the anti-Trump candidates in a primary full of voters who like former President Donald Trump? And lastly, this weekend marked one year since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. We consider how that decision itself may have changed public opinion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Are Millennials Getting More Conservative?

There’s been a lot thrown at Republican voters over the past few weeks. The field of primary candidates has doubled; the leading contender in the primary was federally indicted on 37 counts related to his handling of classified documents and alleged obstruction of justice; and a contest that had remained largely deferential to Trump has gotten more testy. In this installment of the podcast, pollster Kristen Soltis-Anderson and Washington Post data columnist David Byler join Galen to look at how Republican primary voters are processing the news and what they want from a presidential nominee. They also ask the timeless question: What is up with the kids these days? Various analyses have come to conflicting conclusions about whether millennials and young voters in general are bucking a generations-long trend of growing more conservative with age. And they play a new game called “Which Candidate Said This?” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit