How we predict elections

Scott Bland is POLITICO’s national politics editor and leading all of POLITICO’s 2022 midterm coverage. To do it, he has a team of about 15 reporters around the country following campaigns.

Despite the cooling temperatures, this is when people like Bland start to sweat.

His job is to ensure readers and listeners aren’t surprised on election night — that POLITICO has considered and reported on all possible outcomes, including the outliers — those black swan scenarios with seemingly low probabilities. Not just the most likely ones, according to conventional wisdom.

The specter of 2016 still haunts newsrooms.

Bland and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza dissect how 2016 midterm misses can be applied lessons for reporters covering the 2022 elections. Bland also weighs in on pressing questions like; what are the chances of Democrats winning the House while the Republicans take the Senate? Could all of those allegedly flawed Trump-backed candidates sweep their races? And could Biden be the first President since 2002 to avoid a party defeat in the first-midterm election?

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