The first debate has come and gone, the next one isn’t far behind, and suddenly we find ourselves five short weeks away from Election Day. I would guess that for most of you, this is welcome news as we have been inundated with nonstop election coverage for the past 16 months. No matter what news outlet you tune into, be it radio, print, TV, or even Facebook, every day starts with a top story touching on one of the candidates for President of the United States of America. This gets tired real fast.
Every day, on nearly every major news outlet, you hear/see/read a talking head spout on about which candidate is best for America while also telling the listener that if the other candidate wins, the world as we know it will come to an end. If this leaves you fatigued, frustrated, and even upset, you, my politically-inclined friend, are not alone. I’m right there with you, which is why I decided to give you a few resources to follow the election without the 24-hour news cycle bullsh*t.
You don’t need to bury your head in the sand to avoid the never-ending barrage of lunacy. You just have to know where to look.
If you’re looking for a statistical breakdown of all the election happenings (or anything else, for that matter) this is your new Mecca. The site has an up-to-date tracker of each candidate’s chance of winning the general election, complete with state by state breakdowns.
If you’re looking for a way to quantify how much the debates help or hurt a certain candidate, or what effect a certain news story will have on the polls, FiveThirtyEight (named after the number of electoral college votes available in a presidential election) is your first stop.
To sooth your apprehension of a political blog started by a former baseball statistician, in the last two presidential election cycles, Nate Silver, the site’s founder, correctly predicted the winner of 99 of the 100 state outcomes. How? This is how
It’s politics. Lies and manipulative speak are ubiquitous. PolitiFact does the Lord’s work and wades through all the communication mumbo jumbo so you can know just how true a certain statement actually is.
PolitiFact leaves no stone left unturned, especially when it comes to this election. Curious about a candidate’s statement on murder rates? Or the claim that a certain candidate was wearing an earpiece during the debate? You’re covered with “Truth-O-Meter” ratings ranging from “True” all the way down to “Pants On Fire” with four levels in between.
It doesn’t matter who the candidate is, or what side of the aisle the person being fact-checked falls on. This site is out to find the truth, nothing more.
Curious about their process? Read it for yourself.
You may know them for their insanely popular podcasts, or their “Tiny Desk” concert series, but these folks really have a knack for not taking sides and presenting the facts from both sides, regardless of the topic.
Not only do they put out some very well written journalism, but they stick with their fastball and upload audio from their renowned radio shows on a daily basis, which means there is an extensive archive to swim in. If you want to hear what a contributor has been saying about one of the candidates throughout this seemingly-endless process, you can.
Bear with me. I know that Reddit may not have the best reputation, but this is a diamond in the rough – the rules for posting on this sub-reddit mandate that you have explicitly-sourced material, that you’re courteous to other posters (no trolls allowed), and that you frame your argument in a neutral way.
This resource may not offer the credibility of the others mentioned before, but here you will be able to engage in reasoned, well-informed discussions with other people. We’re all tired of hearing the recycled talking points spewed by both sides. Why not introduce a little civility into your political landscape? You may learn a thing or two. At the very least, you’ll be given an opportunity to see things from the other side.
If you want to have a well-thought-out discussion (not argument) with other politically informed people, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better resource than this Reddit page.
Until next time – don’t forget to vote.