If there’s one thing you know about FiveThirtyEight, it’s that we love polls. But, contrary to popular belief, we don’t usually conduct polls ourselves — we just collect and analyze them.who performed best in a debate or why millions of Americans don’t vote, but we always do so in service of a story we’re reporting, not the horse-race toplines.
“>1 And all the polls we publish can be found in one place: our polling tracker, which we’ve just revamped in preparation for the 2022 midterm elections.
A few other websites aggregate polls, but in our opinion (completely unbiased, of course), the FiveThirtyEight polling tracker is the best.
First, it is comprehensive: It lists virtually every public general-election poll for president, Senate, House and governor, virtually every public presidential primary poll, and virtually every public poll of the president’s and vice president’s approval ratings, other important politicians’ favorability ratings,2 and finally the generic congressional ballot, or which party voters would support for Congress if the election were held today. (The only polls we exclude are those that fail to meet our criteria for transparency and methodology, which almost all reliable pollsters easily meet.)
Second, the polling tracker is powerful: You can filter all those polls by race, state, quality and more to see the ones you’re most interested in. You can also download our entire public database — thousands upon thousands of polls — to play around with the data yourself.
Here’s a quick primer to help you get the most out of the new iteration of our polling tracker. As you can see, there are six columns of data for each poll. First are the dates when the poll was conducted. By default, the polling tracker orders polls by the last date they were in the field, from newest to oldest. However, you can change this by clicking “Added” under “Sort by Date” in the gray area at the top of the page. This will sort the polls by the date we found and added them to the polling tracker (again, from newest to oldest), which can be useful if you check the page regularly and want to see all the polls that have been added since your last visit.
The second column lists the poll’s sample — how many and what kind of people were polled. This is important because polls with smaller sample sizes have bigger margins of error, and polls can also yield different results depending on whether they survey adults (“A”), registered voters (“RV”) or likely voters (“LV”).3 For more details on how different samples (and other methodological quirks) can affect a poll’s bottom line, check out our guide to being an intelligent consumer of polls.
The third column lists the pollster that conducted the poll, along with (in most cases) a letter grade. That letter grade represents its FiveThirtyEight pollster rating — our assessment of the pollster’s quality based on its historical accuracy and methodology. You can click on the pollster’s name to see its full track record over the years. (If you want to read the poll itself, click on the dates.) When a pollster doesn’t have a letter grade next to its name, it means it doesn’t have a pollster rating — probably because it’s new on the polling scene. And when the pollster’s rating contains a slash (e.g., “A/B”) inside a dotted circle, it means the rating is approximate; there just isn’t enough data to give the pollster a more precise rating.
In our forecasts and averages, we consider every scientific poll, no matter how low its pollster rating (though we do give higher-quality polls more weight). But you might be a bit pickier, so the polling tracker gives you the ability to hide lower-quality polls if you want. At the top of the page, you can click and drag the bar under “Filter by Pollster Grade” to filter out polls below a certain grade. (For the purposes of this filter, pollster grades with a slash are rounded up, and pollsters without grades are treated as the equivalent of C+ pollsters.)
The fourth column contains the poll’s sponsor, if any — in other words, who commissioned the poll if not the pollster itself. Sometimes, this is a nonpartisan organization like a media outlet or university. But other times, it’s a partisan actor like a PAC or even a campaign. We’ve marked partisan sponsors with a red, blue or black diamond (hollow for campaigns or official arms of the party, solid for party-affiliated outside groups) to indicate potential bias toward the GOP, Democratic Party or another party, respectively. Take these partisan polls with a grain of salt: They’re often several percentage points too rosy for their party.
Finally, the fifth column lists the result of the poll, and the sixth column lists its net result, or margin, for those of us too lazy to do the mental math (hey, no judgment). If you see a black dot next to a candidate’s name here, it means he or she is the incumbent in that race; if you see the word “More” with a little arrow, it means the poll asked about more than two candidates (just click the “More” to reveal the full results).
When you first land on the polling tracker, it shows a lot of poll questions — more than 30,000 if you click the “Show more polls” button at the bottom enough times. (This is not recommended.) But as mentioned, you can filter the polls down to a specific race (for example, only Senate polls), a specific state (for example, only polls of Nevada) or a specific election (for example, only polls of the 2022 Georgia governor’s race) using the drop-down menus at the top of the page. (Each filter has a specific URL, essentially creating mini polling trackers for each election that you can return to in a single click.) You can also use the search bar to narrow the list down to only polls meeting your own custom criteria, such as polls conducted by a given pollster, paid for by a given sponsor or asking about a given candidate.
The polling tracker lets you do a lot with our huge database of polls, but for some polling nerds, it isn’t enough. Therefore, we also make our data available for download so you can play with it on your own. At the bottom of the polling tracker, you’ll see another drop-down menu that lists all the polling data sets we have available for download, right next to a big ol’ “Download” button. You’ll also see a link to our polls policy and frequently asked questions, which should be able to answer every question you have about our polling tracker that I haven’t already addressed.
The cherry on top is that, in addition to listing every poll in our database, our polling tracker is also a hub for accessing some of our most popular averages that feed off those polls: our tracker of President Biden’s approval rating, our tracker of Vice President Kamala Harris’s approval rating, our tracker of former President Donald Trump’s favorability rating and our tracker of generic congressional ballot polls. There are links to these polling averages at the top of the page, of course, but you can also use the drop-down menus to filter down to those specific polls and our charted averages will magically appear. And if you filter down to a specific election and we have a polling average available for that race, it will appear right on this page too.
As you can see, we’ve designed the polling tracker to be a one-stop shop for all your polling needs. So, if you plan to follow the polls in 2022 and can bookmark only one website, make it this one.