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Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight team cover the latest in politics, tracking the issues and "game-changers" every week.

538 and Nate Silver


    • Nov 22, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 44m AVG DURATION
    • 370 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from FiveThirtyEight Politics

    What The Two Parties Should Be Thankful For

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 54:31

    The crew discusses what the future of the Build Back Better bill might look like in the Senate and why the provisions in the bill are more popular than the bill itself. They also check in on where the redistricting process stands around the country and ask what the two parties should be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

    What 44 Days In Las Vegas Taught Nate Silver

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 47:55


    Nate Silver is back from his book research/poker trip to Las Vegas, and in this installment, he sits down with Galen Druke to answer listener questions and talk about what he learned on the strip.


    The Pollster Who Wants To Quit Horse-Race Polling

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 60:43

    We speak with the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, who wrote an article titled “‘I blew it.' Maybe it's time to get rid of election polls.” We also look at the future of inflation with economist Kenneth Rogoff.

    This Is What Will Determine The Future Of Climate Change

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 46:13

    On the final day of COP26, we look at whether these types of international agreements actually shape countries' climate policies and whether there are other factors that are more important.

    Which Election Day Hot Takes Do You Buy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 65:32

    Commentators and politicos have given lots of hot takes on why Democrats did so poorly in Tuesday's election and what it portends for the 2022 midterms. The crew runs down a list of theories in a game of ‘Buy, Sell, or Hold' to discuss what evidence, if any, supports some of these arguments. They also debate how reliable exit polls are in determining what motivates voters and consider how Democrats were able to overcome intra-party disagreements to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

    A Good Election Night For Republicans

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 34:48

    In this late night edition of the podcast, the crew discusses the factors that went into Republican Glenn Youngkin winning the Virginia governor's race. They also break down the governor's race in New Jersey and other elections around the country.

    Election Day 2021: Virginia And Beyond

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 67:49

    The crew looks at the issues that have shaped the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races and rounds up some of the other local races and ballot measures around the country. They also debate whether a poll asking Americans to choose what they think is the best decade of their lives is a good or bad use of polling.

    Brad Raffensperger On The 2020 Election And Beyond

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 41:51

    We continue our conversation about challenges to democracy in America by talking with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. In early January of 2020, then-President Trump encouraged Raffensperger to help overturn the election results in Georgia. He rejected the president's requests and has consistently spoken out against conspiracy theories surrounding the election. He is now facing a primary from Congressman Jody Hice, whom Trump has endorsed, in his 2022 re-election bid. Raffensperger's new book is called “Integrity Counts."

    What Are The Most Popular Parts Of The Democrats' Spending Bill?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 55:32

    The crew discusses the Virginia and new Jersey gubernatorial races a week before election day, and guesses how Americans feel about the potential provisions in the Democrats' spending bill. 

    Adam Schiff Is Worried About American Democracy

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 36:28


    Democratic representative from California Adam Schiff discusses why he thinks American democracy is in trouble, which he lays out in his new book "Midnight In Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy And Still Could."


    What Makes A Party Or Politician Popular?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 63:28

    The crew talks about why President Biden's approval is underwater, what the consequences are for Democrats and what they can do about it. They also check in on the upcoming Virginia governor's race and discuss a FiveThirtyEight report about how Congress may have inadvertently legalized THC -- the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.

    What Happens When Local News Disappears

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 45:38

    Local news is disappearing across the country. From 2008 to 2019, the percentage of people who said they got their news from local papers fell by more than half. Staff writer at The Atlantic Elaine Godfrey and political science professor Danny Hayes discuss the role local news plays in society and what happens when it erodes.

    The Politics Of The Debt Ceiling

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 58:24

    The crew discusses the role of the debt ceiling in politics, why it exists in the first place, and the chances of it being abolished altogether. They also have a “good or bad use of polling” on the topic of death and consider whether a recent Facebook hearing will lead to new regulations for the monolithic technology company.

    Why The U.S. Was Unprepared For COVID-19

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2021 54:00


    Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb joins the podcast to discuss America's unpreparedness for COVID-19 and how the country should prepare for the next pandemic.


    Does One Party Win More Political Fights Than The Other?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 55:43

    The crew tries to unpack what's driving Democrats' legislative decisions and who will have to compromise to pass the party's agenda. They also address a listener question that suggests Republicans achieve their policy goals more often than Democrats.

    How To Make Sense Of The Latest Crime Data

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2021 39:17

    The FBI released nationwide crime numbers from 2020 this week that will likely contribute to the already tense political debate over crime and policing. Crime analyst Jeff Asher discussed what those numbers can -- and can't -- tell us, and explains the challenges in collecting crime data.

    Will Democrats Get Their Agenda Passed?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 56:07

    The crew talks about the threat of a government shutdown and debt default, as well as how likely it is that Democrats get their legislative priorities passed. Plus, they debate the best way to ask Americans about their political identity.

    What You Need To Know About Canada And Germany's Elections

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2021 55:33

    It's a big election week for liberal democracies. The podcast turns its focus abroad, to Canada and Germany, to see how other democracies' electoral systems work and what cleavages their politics are facing.

    Can An Anti-Trump Republican Win A Primary?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 59:30

    Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez announced he is retiring from Congress at the end of his term. He is one of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump after his supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. The crew discusses how the other nine Republicans are faring in their bids to win reelection and debate whether CNN's new polling methodology is a good or bad use of polling.

    The California Recall Election Wasn't Close

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2021 26:58

    In this late night edition of the podcast, the crew discusses the results of the California gubernatorial recall election. The recall effort ultimately failed by a sizable margin.

    Will Biden's Vaccine Mandates Work?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 59:39

    The crew checks in on the California recall election and other upcoming races, and talks about how a Trump endorsement is shaping a Wyoming primary. They also discuss Biden's sweeping vaccine mandate -- how Americans feel about vaccine mandates in general, how effective they are and if Biden's is legal.

    Why A 9/11-Era Political Consensus Seems Impossible These Days

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 54:41


    American politics has changed a lot in the twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In this installment, Jennifer Merolla, a Professor of Political Science at UC Riverside, and Hannah Hartig, a research associate at Pew Research Center reflect on the political climate in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and whether a similar American consensus is possible today. Also, CalMatters Politics reporter Laurel Rosenhall and political analyst Paul Mitchell join to discuss the status of the California gubernatorial recall election.


    Why Most Abortions Are Currently Banned In Texas

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2021 37:07

    Late Wednesday night in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court chose not to block a Texas law banning most abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy -- making it the most restrictive abortion law in the country. The crew discusses what legal debates are currently playing out, what the decision could mean for the future of Roe v. Wade, and where Americans stand on abortion restrictions in general.

    The War In Afghanistan Is Officially Ending. Now What?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 51:15

    As of Monday, all U.S. troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan following a chaotic evacuation from the country. In this installment, Robert Crews, a History professor from Stanford University, joins to reflect on the history of the Taliban and the current political landscape in Afghanistan. The crew also discusses how Americans are responding to the administration's handling of the end of the war.

    Model Talk: How Climate Models Work

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2021 44:13


    Earlier this month, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) released the first part of its Sixth Assessment Report on the state of climate change globally. The report relies on advanced climate modeling to illustrate where global warming is headed. In this installment of Model Talk on the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Nate Silver and Galen Druke are joined by two climate modelers and authors of the latest IPCC report, Friederike Otto and Baylor Fox-Kemper.


    What Americans Think About Ending The War In Afghanistan

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 49:57

    The crew looks at public opinion on the war in Afghanistan and the Biden administration's decision to withdraw U.S. troops as the country now faces a Taliban takeover. They also discuss how the country has changed demographically and geographically over the past decade, based on the newly released 2020 census data.

    Emergency Podcast: Cuomo Resigns

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2021 32:27

    The crew talks about what led to Cuomo's resignation, how New Yorkers feel about his replacement, and what this means for New York's 2022 Democratic primary race for governor.

    Why Has Biden's Approval Rating Fallen?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 54:06

    The crew discusses why Biden's favorability is falling and how much Democrats should worry about it. They also check in on the results from two recent primary elections in Ohio and announce the launch of FiveThirtyEight's Redistricting Tracker.

    How Democrats Are Reacting To Cuomo's Harassment Scandal

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2021 35:28

    The team assesses New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's political future after a report from the New York Attorney General concluded that he sexually harassed 11 women. Cuomo denied the allegations, but has faced overwhelming pressure to resign from fellow Democrats, including President Joe Biden.

    Why The California Recall Has Grown More Competitive

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2021 56:57

    The crew discusses two elections in Ohio this week that will test the sway of the establishment in both parties. They also talk about how the California recall election is shaping up after a recent poll showed increased support for recalling current Governor Gavin Newsom.

    What Americans Think About Vaccines, Masks And Shutdowns As Covid Cases Spike

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2021 43:25

    The crew talks about where Americans stand on mitigation efforts, how politicians are responding, and what public health experts are saying about the current state of the pandemic.

    Does Running For President Always Help Your Career?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 62:35

    Almost a year after the 2020 Democratic National Convention, the crew looks back at the record number of Democrats who ran for president in 2020 and assesses where they are now. They also review a new report from the American Association of Public Opinion Research on why election polls had a historically large error in 2020.

    The Great Inflation Debate

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 22, 2021 37:29

    According to a recent Marist poll, inflation is now Americans' leading economic concern. Economics Professor at George Washington University, Tara Sinclair, joins to explain what is going on with the economy and the potential consequences of a spike in prices.

    Are There Really Five Political Parties In America?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 63:28

    Americans' political views oftentimes don't align neatly with a single party, but instead draw on both conservative and liberal positions. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson joins the crew to discuss a new survey that categorizes voters into at least four ideological quadrants and tries to imagine how voters would align if America were a multi-party democracy. They also discuss shifting American views on foreign policy and the status of the infrastructure and budget bills currently being considered in the Senate.

    Americans And Experts Agree That Democracy Is Struggling

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2021 41:23

    We assess the state of American democracy, based on a new survey from Bright Line Watch, a group of political scientists that monitors threats to our democratic systems.

    A Record Number Of Americans Are "Thriving." What Does That Mean?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2021 51:10

    The crew discusses which indicators are worth watching to get a sense for how the parties will perform in the 2022 elections. They also ask whether a recent Gallup poll reporting that a record number of Americans are “thriving” is a “good or bad use of polling.”

    Why The Conspiracy Theories Behind Jan 6 Haven't Gone Away

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2021 33:36

    Technology and politics reporter Kaleigh Rogers discusses the influence of conspiracy theories on the events that led to the Jan. 6th riot, why people believe in conspiracy theories in the first place, and what it means for the future of American politics.

    What The Electorate Looked Like In 2020

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2021 52:20

    Pew Research has released its verified voter survey, looking at how different groups within the electorate voted in 2020. It's generally considered to be one of the most comprehensive pictures of trends within the electorate. The crew talks about the most notable data points and what it means for Democratic and Republican strategies going forward. They also discuss ranked choice voting and the reasons for delays in New York City's final vote count in the mayoral election.

    What We Learned From This Supreme Court Term

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2021 45:02

    On Thursday, the Supreme Court wrapped up its first term with a 6-3 conservative majority on the bench. FiveThirtyEight contributor Laura Bronner shares what the data can tell us about the ideological direction of the court with the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Legal scholar Kate Shaw also digs into some of the specifics of the term's major cases, particularly on election law.

    Why Biden Wants A Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2021 56:14

    A bipartisan coalition of ten senators, with the support of President Biden, announced a $600 billion infrastructure plan last week. The crew discusses the value of a bipartisan strategy, the motivations behind it and the likelihood of Congress reaching a compromise. Science reporter Maggie Koerth also joins to talk about shifting attitudes on climate change among Republicans.

    Nate And Galen Answer Your Questions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2021 44:15

    Galen and Nate open the mailbag to answer listeners' questions about politics, polling and more. Listeners wanted to know what to make of the NYC mayoral race, whether primary races tell us anything about the midterm elections, what voting system is the best, the likelihood of filibuster reform and, of course, whether or not hot dogs can be considered sandwiches.

    What Comes Next For Democrats' Election Legislation

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2021 57:34

    The crew discusses what comes next in Democrats' attempt to pass election reforms, after their proposals hit roadblocks in the Senate. The team also looks at how debates about "Critical Race Theory" entered the culture wars, particularly in schools and state legislatures.

    Why Progressives Have Struggled In The NYC Mayoral Race

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2021 48:45

    Progressive Democrats have struggled to break through in one of the most high-profile elections of the year: the Democratic primary for New York City mayor. We hear from two people involved in the progressive movement in New York City about their thoughts on what's happening in the race and how progressivism is shaping politics more broadly.

    The Democratic Establishment Keeps Winning Elections

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2021 63:08

    The crew discusses the results of the primary elections in New Jersey and Virginian and looks at the debate playing out between the two parties over how much wealthy Americans and corporations should be paying in taxes. They also consider whether a new poll showing that America's reputation has rebounded abroad is a good or bad use of polling.

    How Same-Sex Marriage Broke Through Partisan Politics

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2021 47:54

    During the span of 25 years, same-sex marriage went from being an unimaginable idea to settled law. The data behind that evolution is striking. At the beginning of the millennium, about two-thirds of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, and a third supported it. Today those numbers have flipped. We speak with journalist Sasha Issenberg about how that happened. His new book is called "The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage."

    One Special Election Can't Forecast The Midterms

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2021 62:39

    Democrat Melanie Stansbury won a special election in New Mexico's first congressional district by a 25-point margin last Tuesday, performing better than Democrats did in the district in 2020. It's tempting to use the special election to gauge the national political environment, but the crew explains why one election alone isn't a reliable indicator. They also debate whether phone or online polling is a better tool for gauging Americans' views on sensitive topics like the death penalty, and they preview a forthcoming report on how FiveThirtyEight's forecast models did in 2020.

    How The Politics Of Cities Shape The Democratic Party

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2021 39:52

    In 2021, cities around the country are choosing mayors to try to lead them through a long list of challenges, both pre-existing and brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, we began to explore the most high-profile of those mayoral contests -- the New York City Democratic primary. In this installment, we put that primary in context by looking more broadly at the relationship between urban centers and the Democratic Party.

    The 2022 Primaries Are Heating Up

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2021 68:46

    The crew looks at how some of the most competitive primaries in 2022 are shaping up. They also ask whether a recent poll that suggested about 15 percent of Americans believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory is a "good or bad use of polling."

    What NYC’s Mayoral Race Can Tell The Rest Of Us

    Play Episode Listen Later May 28, 2021 43:27

    New York City-based political reporters Gloria Pazmino and Erin Durkin discuss the current lay of the land in the Democratic mayoral primary and the issues that are motivating voters with less than a month until the election.

    A Year Of Protest After George Floyd's Death

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2021 59:18

    History professor Yohuru Williams speaks with Galen Druke about how the protest movement sparked by George Floyd's murder compares with past social justice movements. Micah Cohen and Kaleigh Rogers also join to talk about why Republicans are not backing a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

    20 Questions With Nate And Galen

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2021 39:59

    Nate and Galen open the mailbag and answer listeners' questions about politics, polling and anything else on their minds.

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