Top Nonpartisan Blogs for Centrists

This section is first because I believe that it is important to first be informed, begin to process what you learn and start forming an opinion of your own before you delve into the commentary of even those you generally agree with. You can find a list of recommended news sources in the sidebar menu to the right, but here we share the best active blogs of some of the most highly regarded nonpartisan political organizations:

The Sunlight Foundation – The premier nonpartisan organization advocating for open government / transparency issues, The Sunlight Foundation blog’s most noteworthy feature is a series called ‘Today in OpenGov’. Several times a week, this series publishes a post formatted somewhat similarly to this page, but instead of a list of websites, it contains links to articles related to government transparency.

Maplight – Another fantastic nonpartisan anti-corruption organization, Maplight’s work is aptly summed up in their tag line of ‘revealing money’s influence on politics’. They have a separate Dark Money Watch blog that focuses on hidden money, but the content from there is also published on Maplight’s main website, so you need only to follow it to get all of the content from both.

Ballot Access News – The online version of a newsletter written by election reform expert Richard Winger (you can also pay to get the newsletter in the mail). It’s one of the best sources for keeping track of election reform efforts, as well as third party and independent campaigns, that centrists would do well to be aware of.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) – The CRFB is the premier nonpartisan fiscal organization in the country. They have been particularly invaluable during recent debates over the GOP tax legislation, debunking deceptive talking points, calling out voodoo math and unmasking the budgetary gimmicks Republicans have been using to promote their fiscally irresponsible bill.

  • They blog less, but another fiscal org blog we recommend is Fix the Debt

FactCheck.org – I’m sure this site needs little introduction, or explanation as to why it is included. The oldest of the major fact check sites, FactCheck.org was launched by a veteran reporter in 2003, under the umbrella of Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and has virtually spearheaded a subgenre of news organization since.

Politifact – While not the oldest, Politifact is the most highly trafficked of the fact checking websites. Perhaps most well known for their ‘Truth-o-Meter’, and/or its lowest ‘Pants on Fire’ rating, Politifact is worth following in general, as well as a place to check when looking for a reasoned analysis of the veracity of claims politicians make.

Bipartisan Policy Center – The Bipartisan Policy Center is a nonpartisan think tank whose views often align with centrists (as you’d expect, with that name), but they also have a blog worth following. Along with the deeper content you can find in other areas of the site, their blog has a lot of substance.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) – The nonpartisan CREW blog is a great source for news on governmental ethics and corruption. Since President Trump took office, they’ve focused primarily on his administration, but have a track record of targeting corruption across the spectrum, regardless of party.

Project on Government Oversight (POGO) – Another nonpartisan organization that centrists (anyone, really) would do well to follow, the POGO blog reports on investigations and stories related to their work fighting for transparency and against political corruption, government waste, ethical misconduct and related issues.

Open Secrets – The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website is the go to source for donor and spending information of campaigns and political organizations (the ones that can’t hide their donor information anyway), but they also have a blog. They don’t post often, but it’s worth adding your RSS feeds, subscribing by email and/or social media for essentially the same reasons as Maplight.

 

More Popular Political Commentary and Analysis Blogs

Michael Smerconish – One of the bigger overtly moderate voices with a show on cable news (albeit only once a week), Smerconish also has a sort of blog where he shares links to a mix of content including his column at the Philadelphia Inquirer, videos from his show on CNN and a range of things from around the web.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball – Political scientist and Rhodes Scholar Dr. Larry J. Sabato’s ‘Crystal Ball’ is the first place you want to go if you want the latest on what the best available data says about upcoming elections. A project of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics (which Sabato is the founder and director of), their track record of success predicting major races is so high that the name of the blog might be an understatement (he also follows us on Twitter, so clearly he knows what he’s doing).

Floor Action, Congress Blog & Ballot Box – Three of the blogs at The Hill (a DC-only print newspaper and one of the best nonpartisan political news sources), Floor Action revolves around legislative debate, Congress Blog featured op-eds from members of Congress and a wide range of contributors and Ballot Box focuses on campaigns.

The Cook Political Report – Aptly called ‘the bible of the political community’ by CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, political analyst Charlie Cook’s newsletter began as a print newsletter all the way back in 1984, and has evolved into one of the go-to sources for election forecasting, with a mix of blog posts, a podcast and reports like the Cook Partisan Voting Index – a measurement of the partisan lean of every congressional district and state.

SCOTUSblog – By far the most popular blog focused on the Supreme Court, and deservedly so. It’s not just some blog that’s focused on the Supreme Court – the bullpen of writers there consists of lawyers, law professors or law students. If you want the 4-1-1 on what is going on with a case, SCOTUSblog is the first place to go.

Mediaite – The tent pole of Dan Abrams’ network of niche blogs (the only other I’d recommend checking occasionally is Law & Crime, as it is far more concerned with celebrities in trouble with the law than matters of legal significance), Mediaite does have a tangible leftward lean in much of the commentary you’ll find there, linkbait-style and hyperbolic headlines are the norm and a lot of content is fluff and ‘he said, she said’ garbage, but it’s worth following for their coverage of things like the worst examples of dishonest politicians playing rhetorical gymnastics during interviews, highlighting the occasional example of hosts actually doing their job and other things happening in the media. If it’s not already clear… I struggled with whether I should include them here, but there just isn’t an even-handed, non-hyperbolic alternative.

 

Smaller / Individual Independent, Moderate & Centrist Blogs

While centrist activism is on the rise, the coinciding rise of social media and open blogging networks (like Medium) has led to a precipitous drop in smaller political blogs (across the spectrum – not merely in the center). The following are among those independent, moderate and centrist blogs that have kept at it or recently launched, and post new material with some regularity.

The New Moderate – One of my personal favorites, veteran blogger at The New Moderate Rick Bayan has been at it since 2007. I’ve had the pleasure of talking with him a bit over the years. He doesn’t post frequently, but when they do they’re in-depth and insightful.

Resurrecting Democracy – Named after the book – ‘Resurrecting Democracy: A Citizen’s Call for a Centrist Third Party‘ – he published in 2011, Robert Levine has been plugging away on his Typepad blog ever since.

The Independent View – Probably the most prolific blogger on this list, Michael Drucker posts frequently (often multiple times a day) and often in both great detail and length. Drucker was an officer in the Independence Party of New York, and usually writes about a mix of reform issues related to independent politics, as well as general public policy and current events.

Politically Speaking – The blog of retired centrist Journalist Chad Selweski, Politically Speaking is a mix of national and local Detroit or Michigan state political analysis and commentary. As you might expect from a former reporter, the content has a more professional style than most blogs, which sets it apart nicely.

Outside the Beltway – This mostly center-right to conservative-leaning libertarian (they call themselves classically liberal) blog has been around since way back in 2003. Recently, they’ve been a good and substantive source of ‘#NeverTrump’ style right-leaning opposition to the Trump administration. Even with hardly a social media presence, and the vast majority of content coming from just one (albeit quite prolific) blogger, they’ve built an audience that pulls in more traffic than any other in this section.

The Moderate Voice – The 2nd most popular blog in this section, Joe Gandelman’s blog also launched in 2003 and mostly represents moderate center-left to mainstream liberal views. There was a time when they were a bit more balanced (not criticising – to each their own), which I only mention because their shift left was part of why I decided to launch my old blog back in 2011.

Gruntled Center – Another veteran blogger, it’s author has been posting about politics and social commentary since 2005. Unlike some others here, his posts are often quite pithy and to the point, which I appreciate.

The Transpartisan Review – This blog is more nonpartisan than centrist or moderate – the product of two thinkers on the opposite ends of the political spectrum, coming together and producing some rather interesting content.

Free Wheel Media – A relative newcomer, this blog’s most noteworthy element is their weekly ‘Centrist Recap’ and ‘Independent Action’ columns, where they (respectively) choose a handful of stories related to centrist politics or independent candidates and summarizes them.

Political Orphans – I only recently came across this one, but while it doesn’t have a big social following, it does have one of the most active comments section on this list (even more than many posts on The Hill blogs, amazingly). This is most likely due to the fact that the founder and author of the vast majority of content used to run a blog called ‘GOP Lifer’, before quitting the Republican Party and starting this new blog, and also writes for Forbes.

 

More Blogs Centrists May Find Worth Following

There are a number of organizations we are fans of that did not make this list above because their blogs are primarily self-promotional in nature (not a critique – just means they don’t fit this list). You can find a list of recommended organizations, news sources and other lists profiling websites of interest to centrists and moderates under the ‘Centrist Index’ tab on the menu bar.

Think 3 Institute – Fairly prolific independent blogger veteran Samuel Wilson has published over three thousand posts since launching the site in 2007. The design makes it a bit hard to read (posts are just a big block of text), but the mix of national and New York state politics is interesting enough to make the effort.

Independent Political Report – This site runs the whole gamut of non-major party politics, from the far flung fringes to moderates and everything in between. There are more posts from libertarians and Green Party types than centrists and moderates, but it’s interesting to keep tabs on others opposing the two party system from other areas of the political spectrum.

Independent Voter Network (IVN) – This blog showcases content similar to Independent Political Report, with a range of voices, including some who are rather extreme. IVN is the content-focused branch of the Independent Voter Project, a dark money group that largely pushes the undemocratic Top Two choke point primary through state ballot initiatives, but it’s a source for news on issues related to independent and third party politics worth checking from time to time – The Centrist Project cross-posts their blog there as well.

Snopes – Snopes is a mythbusting site that deals more in debunking urban myths, false memes and fake general news, but they’ve been covering more political content lately (or so it seems to me). Perhaps the oldest website on this list, they launched all the way back in 1994 (I believe I’ve been reading, on and off, since ’95 or ’96, as I have vague recollections from early high school years).

 


If you come across any blogs sharing important nonpartisan information, or that represent big tent centrist views (center-left to center-right), and have high quality content, please tell me about it through the contact page. – SK

 

 

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