About this newsletter 🗞
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.
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?
“I want to give a gift subscription”
“I’m looking for an unsubscribe button”
“I want to give you positive feedback”
“I want to give you negative feedback”
“Does anyone actually read this thing?”
Sometimes, I guess:
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