These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.
- Overall, we rate FiveThirtyEight (538) Left-Center Biased based on story selection that slightly favors the left, but does not favor the progressive left. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information, a solid record with poll analysis and a clean fact check record.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
FiveThirtyEight, sometimes referred to as 538, is a website that focuses on opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging. The website, which takes its name from the number of electors in the United States electoral college, was founded on March 7, 2008, as a polling aggregation website with a blog created by analyst Nate Silver.
In 2013, ESPN became owner of FiveThirtyEight and in April 2018 the site was acquired by ABC News.
Funded by / Ownership
FiveThirtyEight is owned by ABC News, which in turn is owned by the Walt Disney Company. The website is funded through online advertising.
Analysis / Bias
In review, FiveThirtyEight is different from other polling sources in that they do not conduct the polls, but rather deeply analyze other polls and apply a strict methodology to determine accuracy. For example, Real Clear Politics simply takes the averages of all polls to come up with a score, whereas 538 uses weights on each individual poll based on demographics and much more. One can argue this is more accurate and 538’s early track record proved it was. However, in 2016 they gave President Trump a 29% chance of winning. This does not mean they were wrong, because they still had a 29% chance of being correct, but they clearly were not very close on this one with their methods.
538 also reports news on their website that tends to lean left, however, they have been criticized as being opposed to the progressive left. News articles typically utilize moderate to minimal loaded language such as this: How Amy Klobuchar Could Win The 2020 Democratic Nomination. This article relies on proper sourcing from the likes of ABC News, Monmouth University and Senate.gov. A review of news stories reveals a more positive tone toward the left such as this: Trump Is Wrong. When The Opposition Party Runs The House, The President Gets Investigated.
In general, 538 tends to stick to poll related news, but when discussing politics, they usually slightly favor the left through story selection and wording.
A factual search reveals that FiveThirtyEight has never failed a fact check.
Overall, we rate FiveThirtyEight (538) Left-Center Biased based on story selection that slightly favors the left, but does not favor the progressive left. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information, a solid record with poll analysis and a clean fact check record. (D. Van Zandt 5/16/2016) Updated (2/12/2019)