Political Polling Is Still In Good Shape

Are political polls getting worse over time? Nate Silver says no:

He cites an exhaustive new study by Will Jennings and Christopher Wlezien, who say this: “Our analysis draws on more than 30,000 national polls from 351 general elections in 45 countries between 1942 and 2017….We find that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the recent performance of polls has not been outside the ordinary.” Here’s an excerpt from the money chart:

This doesn’t show the 2016 presidential election, which was off by about two percentage points—well within the normal range. Too bad about that Electoral College nonsense, eh?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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