Elliott Morris is a data-driven journalist and author living in Washington, DC.
Elliott is the Editorial Director of Data Analytics at ABC News, where he develops polling aggregation and election-forecasting models and manages the research and data visualization teams for ABC’s 538. He is a regular guest on the network’s broadcast and streaming news programs providing political analysis on notable events and upcoming elections.
Elliott is also the author of STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: How Polls Work and Why We Need Them, a book about public opinion polling and democracy which was published in 2022 by W. W. Norton. Read more about the book or buy it now!
From 2018 to 2023 Elliot was a Senior Data Journalist and US Correspondent for The Economist, where he covered American politics, public opinion polling, demographics, and elections — among other topics. Elliott was the lead developer of the paper’s election forecasting models, including for US presidential elections and several European countries. From 2020 to 2023 Elliott also wrote a weekly data column for the paper’s “Checks and Balance” newsletter on US politics.
Elliott has given guest lectures on polling and election forecasting at universities including MIT, Harvard, George Washington University and the University of Texas at Austin (his alma mater). He is also a frequent roundtable guest and keynote speaker and has delivered addresses to clients ranging from academic institutions and data journalism organizations to major firms and Fortune 500 companies, both foreign and domestic.
Strength In Numbers: How Polls Work and Why We Need Them (W.W. Norton, July 2022)
“Polls are the ultimate democratic process; they are used by leaders, activists and special interest groups to advocate for certain policies and the attitudes of the populace. But polls can also go wrong. They are vulnerable to methodological flukes and outright fabrication, and they can be used by despots and demagogues to damage government and discourage citizens – or worse.
In Strength in Numbers, readers will learn how polls work — the political philosophy behind their emergence, the ways in which they first measured the public’s pulse, how those methods have changed over time, and how they might change in the future. Along the way, Morris illuminates how public opinion polls provide a voice for citizens and influence such crucial matters as a party’s selection of presidential candidates, he guides readers through a vibrant history of polling to provide insider context, and he demonstrates how we have underestimated their potential impact. He also candidly acknowledges where polls have fallen short and charts a path for the industry’s future where it can truly work for the people.” Read more…
Elliott often speaks at events in his capacity as a data journalist, expert in public opinion polling, election forecaster, and data scientist. His experience includes giving lectures to academic audiences, delivering keynote addresses to participants at corporate retreats, appearing as a panelist at academic conferences, and appearing as a guest on television, radio, and podcasts.
Elliott is represented by Chartwell Speakers. If you would like to book him for a speaking engagement, please contact Karen O’Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Elliott is available to work with other speaking agencies through his representatives at Chartwell.
For media or podcast appearances related to Elliott’s work at ABC News/538, please contact email@example.com. For appearances related to Elliott’s book or other writing, fill out the contact form.
For inquiries not related to speaking engagements or media, please fill out the following form.
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How 538’s polling averages work • How Our Polling Averages Work
What Do Swing Voters Think? Meet @American__Voter • New York Times Opinion
Forecasting the (2020) US elections • The Economist
We sorted American voters into 380,000 distinct groups • The Economist
Who is winning the race for Westminster? • The Economist
When to pay attention to 2020 forecasts • The Economist
If everyone had voted, Hillary Clinton would probably be president • The Economist
Should political parties really let anyone run for president? • The Economist
The failure of gerrymandering • The Economist
Two Ways of Thinking about Election Predictions and What They Tell Us About 2018 • The University of Virginia Center for Politics
How Much Can the Youth Vote Actually Help Democrats? • The New York Times Upshot
I am an experienced programmer in R, Python, and Stan, a program for Bayesian statistics. I specialize in traditional statistical data analysis, survey research, several plotting libraries and automatic report generating as well as predictive analytics, machine learning models, production data science pipelines and forecasting.