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Some Of Our Best Work From 2019

For a newsroom like FiveThirtyEight’s, 2019 may as well been part of 2020. Such is the peril of covering electoral politics. But before 2020 actually arrives, we wanted to take a moment and remember some of our favorite features from the past year that the news cycle hasn’t rendered obsolete. There was a lot of good stuff! This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start.


  • “Just because Republicans aren’t winning in cities doesn’t mean that no Republicans live there,” Rachael Dottle wrote earlier this year. Using historical vote data, she showed where every city’s Republican enclaves were, and which cities were the most politically segregated.
  • We’re told over and over again that politicians need to appeal to centrist moderates if they hope to win nationally. But Lee Drutman’s analysis suggests that narrative isn’t true. The moderate middle is a myth.
  • Clare Malone spent weeks tailing former Vice President Joe Biden to understand a contradiction at the center of his presidential campaign: black voters provide a lot of his support, but one of his biggest vulnerabilities is his record on race.

Scott Olson / Getty Images


  • “Space Jam 2” is coming, and we’re hoping to be LeBron James’s casting director. We used our NBA metrics to cast the true successors to the cast of the original “Space Jam” movie.
  • It’s always tough to measure how good a defender is in the NFL. But Michael Chiang figured out a clever new way: look at where opposing offenses aren’t throwing.



Other gems