About this newsletter 🗞


Welcome

Hi, I’m G. Elliott Morris, a data-driven journalist for The Economist and writer about polls, politics, and democracy. This newsletter concerns mostly the latter.

When I was still in college in 2015, I started a blog where I applied “data science” and predictive analytics to election results and polling data. I called it The Crosstab, an example of only slightly above average wordplay about the polls. Before I got a full-time staff job at The Economist, it was a good home for all my writing. Now, I focus my full efforts (including on topics other than American politics) on my day job, so the blog transformed into a venue for more technical writing about how I come to the conclusions that I do, rather than what those conclusions are. It’s a bit on process, computer coding, political science and history, etc. The problem is that it’s not accessible or interesting for a wide audience, and I stopped updating.

But I really miss blogging. It’s freeing to be able to write about whatever you want, no matter the newsiness or structure of your thoughts. So I started this newsletter. It’s a middle ground between wonky shop-talk and a publishable article. It’s also a good place for my 🔥hot🔥 takes. In essence, it’s where I’m putting my thoughts when they’re too long for Twitter.

The benefit of the email-focused blog over a more traditional web blog is that it’s more personal. I hear back from many of my subscribers after each posts and the comments section is regularly a home to good, insightful discussion. In a world where our blog-worthy thoughts are increasingly tweeted and facebooked, only seen by our audiences for an instant, newsletters feel more like a step back when everyone had their own corner of the internet.

I send out a few posts on polling, electoral politics, and data journalism every week. You can read once, on Saturday, a week for free or subscribe to a paid version of this newsletter for more frequent articles, which costs $5 per month.

The nitty-gritty

Why?

I started a small weekly newsletter in the summer of 2018 to bring my work directly to the inboxes of a regular, engaged audience. The idea was appealing mainly as an alternative to Twitter threads, which are often a product of incautious, slipshod thinking, inserted between advertisements and bad takes from other users. In a newsletter, I can spend a lot more time (and at more than 280 characters per thought) discussing all sides of a point with an audience that cares about the details. My mission has been largely successful; now, my newsletter goes out to thousands of people—some of whom pay—and contains some of my deepest, but still accessible, data-driven first drafts about US politics. I’m trading more one-on-one emails with y’all than ever before. I feel a better sense of reader-writer connection when I’m writing with a cup of coffee on Sunday morning than when I fire off 10 tweets on the metro.

In what format?

Each Sunday, I send out a newsletter that contains one thorough post that brings together political science, data, and statistical analysis to help answer one big question from the last seven days. I also run through a list of excerpts of the best data-driven articles I read last week, divided into three categories: politics, social science and otherwise. I will write a short blurb about a book I’m currently reading and preview the week ahead. Of course, I end the newsletter by thanking you, my subscribers.

At what cost?

My weekly newsletter will always be free (after all, I do have a staff gig writing the day away) unless you want to offer up some money for my time. If you do, you can sign up to receive subscribers-only posts 1-2x a week, so long as you want to fork over $5 per month(or $50 per year).

Do you have an example?

Here’s one example of what you can expect, from my newsletter sent the day before the 2018 midterm elections. Other examples are found back at the newsletter homepage.


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