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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.




Is Nikki Haley The New Ron DeSantis?

In the month since the last Republican debate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been inching up in the national polls, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been slipping. Today, DeSantis leads Haley by just 3 points nationally, 13 percent to 10 percent. They are similarly close in Iowa, and Haley leads DeSantis by a sizable margin in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Former President Donald Trump is at 60 percent nationally and 40-some percent in the early states. There were already rumblings about Haley supplanting DeSantis as the alternative to Trump, and then, last Tuesday, Americans for Prosperity — the political arm of the Koch network — endorsed Haley, throwing its financial and organizing weight behind her. In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, the crew considers whether Haley really has a shot of winning the Republican primary. They also dive into one of the intractable polling questions of our time: What’s the deal with issue polling? In other words, when pollsters ask voters about the issues motivating them or how they feel about a certain policy, what information are voters giving us? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


2024 Is The First ‘AI Election.’ What Does That Mean?

Exactly one year ago today, OpenAI launched ChatGPT. And quickly, the program changed the conversation around what is possible for artificial intelligence. In the past 12 months, we've seen campaign videos featuring AI-generated images, legislative proposals and a congressional hearing on AI regulation. By all accounts, the 2024 presidential election is going to be our first "AI election." However, often the specifics around AI’s impact remain vague. How exactly could it impact our electoral politics? In this episode of the 538 Politics podcast, Galen speaks with Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, the interim dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Bueno de Mesquita’s research focuses on game theory, political conflict and electoral accountability, and he recently co-authored the white paper "Preparing for Generative AI in the 2024 Election: Recommendations and Best Practices Based on Academic Research." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Why The GOP May Be Ready To Say Goodbye To Santos

The U.S. House gets back to work on Tuesday and one of its first orders of business is expected to be a vote on whether to expel Rep. George Santos of New York. A House ethics report concluded earlier this month that he “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.” In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, the crew discusses how likely Santos is to be added to the only five House expulsions in U.S. history. They also look at changing public opinion surrounding the Israel-Hamas war, after more than a month and a half of fighting. Plus, with new economic data in hand, they once again try to tackle the gap between positive developments and Americans' dismal perception of the economy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


What These Swing Voters Have To Say About The 2024 Election

What makes swing voters swing? In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast Galen heads to Simi Valley, California and speaks with voters whose preferences have crisscrossed parties in recent years. They explain how they’re thinking about politics today and why their views and identities may not fit neatly into one partisan bucket. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The Fight For Working-Class Voters

In 2016, as has been widely reported, white working-class voters shifted decisively to the right. In 2020, working-class voters of color followed suit to varying degrees, though still giving President Joe Biden a clear majority of their support. This has left both parties with the understanding that going forward a multiracial, working-class majority will play a pivotal role in their electoral fortunes. So why have we seen these recent shifts to the right and what will both parties do to either capitalize on or reverse these trends? In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, Galen speaks with two authors who have recently published books about precisely those questions, but from opposite sides of the political aisle. Democratic political scientist Ruy Teixeira recently co-wrote the book “Where Have All The Democrats Gone? The Soul Of The Party In The Age Of Extremes” along with John Judis. Republican pollster Patrick Ruffini wrote the book, “Party Of The People: Inside The Multiracial Populist Coalition Remaking the GOP.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


If The 2024 Election Were Held Today, Would Trump Win?

To mark one year out from the 2024 election, Galen tries to make sense of the political environment based on all the data we have with a crew of election data nerds: G. Elliott Morris, ABC News editorial director of data analytics; Ruth Igielnik, editor for news surveys at The New York Times; and Lakshya Jain, partner at the election modeling website In recent days, a spate of polls have come out, mostly showing a similar picture: Not only does former President Donald Trump outperform President Joe Biden in the swing states, he leads, on average, in national polls as well. The suggestion being that if the election were today — and Trump and Biden were the nominees — Trump might be favored to not just win the Electoral College, but the national popular vote too. But there’s a catch, or two. Perhaps most importantly, the election is not today. Also, we got other data last week, from actual elections, showing Democrats performing relatively well. So, one year out, where does that leave us? The crew tries to answer that and later on in the show they also play a game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Haley Takes On Ramaswamy And DeSantis

The crew reacts to the third Republican primary debate in this late-night edition of the 538 Politics podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


The 2023 Elections Were Good For Democrats

In this late-night edition of the 538 Politics podcast, the crew unpacks the results from election night 2023. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won reelection in Kentucky and Ohioans voted to enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution. The night was a decent performance for Democrats, despite a spate of recent polling suggesting Americans are pessimistic about Joe Biden's presidency. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Will Kentucky And Mississippi Elect Democrats?

In this installment of the 538 Politics podcast, the crew previews Election Day 2023, focusing on competitive statewide elections in two very Republican-leaning states — Kentucky and Mississippi. They also consider the value of a recent poll that asked whether we live in a "big, beautiful world, mostly full of good people" or if "our lives are threatened by terrorists, criminals, and illegal immigrants.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Adam Kinzinger muses: ‘I would love to run against Ted Cruz'

The former congressman and recent Texas transplant joins the podcast to discuss his new book, “Renegade: Defending Democracy and Liberty In Our Divided Country.” He reflects on the current state of the Republican Party, how things could change, and why he's not done with politics just yet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Pence Is Out, Phillips Is In

The pool of candidates running for president grew by one and shrank by one in the past week. President Biden got a little-known Democratic challenger in Dean Phillips, a congressman from Minnesota. And former Vice President Mike Pence suspended his campaign for president after struggling to get above the mid-single digits during his 5-month-long bid. In this installment of the podcast, the crew discusses those latest developments in the presidential race. They also look at what we know about new House Speaker Mike Johnson and what challenges lie ahead for him. And they preview Election Day 2023. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Our First-Ever House Speaker Draft

The House of Representatives has officially been without a permanent speaker for 20 days. After Rep. Steve Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan failed to get enough support, nine new Republican candidates have stepped forward to run for the speakership. In this installment of the podcast, the crew drafts teams of who they think is most likely to fill the position. Then, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer joins Galen Druke to talk about why it has been so hard to get good, clear information about the war between Israel and Hamas. Last week, false reports that Israel had struck a hospital in Gaza City and killed hundreds spread online and across the mainstream media, leading to a breakdown in negotiations between President Biden and Arab leaders. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


How Americans Feel About The War In Israel

In this installment of the podcast, the crew looks at the latest polling on how Americans are reacting to the Hamas attacks in Israel and ongoing war in Gaza. They also check in on the speaker’s race in Washington and look at a polling experiment conducted by a conservative PAC hoping to prevent former President Donald Trump from winning the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Check out the new podcast "Reclaimed: The Forgotten League" on Apple Podcasts (, Spotify (, Amazon Music (, or wherever you're listening now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


War And A Speakerless House

The Hamas attacks on Israel dominated American politics over the weekend, with candidates and politicians sharing their reactions to the violence and now ongoing war. In this installment of the podcast, the crew talks about how the conflict is shaping politics in Washington and on the campaign trail. They also discuss some recent notable developments in domestic politics: Last week, President Biden appeared to reluctantly pivot on his administration's approach to border security in south Texas, by clearing the way to build 20 miles of wall. On Monday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced that he is launching an independent bid for the presidency in 2024. And lastly, the crew takes a look at 538's newly published Republican primary polling averages in the early states. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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