About this newsletter

Welcome

Hi, I’m G. Elliott Morris, a data journalist at The Economist and blogger of all things data in politics. (This email concerns mostly the latter.)

Perhaps you have seen my after-hours writing—mainly applying techniques of “data science” and predictive analytics to election results and polling data—on my blog, The Crosstab, which I’ve written for roughly four years now. Before joining The Economist, it was a good home for my writing. Now, I focus my full efforts (including on topics other than American politics) on my day job, so the blog has 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 wide audience.

That’s where this newsletter comes in: it’s a middle ground between wonky shop-talk and a publishable article. And, in the interest of transparency, it is also a good place for my 🔥hot🔥 takes. In essence, the newsletter is my stream of consciousness (why you would want to take a dip in that stream I leave to you).

You can read once a week for free or subscribe to a paid version with shorter, more frequent articles, which costs $5 per month.

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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 an 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 in my PJs on Sunday morning than when I fire off 10 tweets on the metro. In the immortal words of The Office’s Michael Gary Scott, this has been a classic “win-win-win, we all win” scenario.

In what format?

Each Sunday, I send out a newsletter that contains one thorough post—”This Week's Big Question”—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 at The Economist’s offices in DC) unless you want to offer up some money for my time. If you do, you can sign up to receive subscribers-only posts 1-3x 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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