10 Excellent Online Resources for Researching Political Candidates, Issues, & Following Elections
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We’ve been challenged and encouraged by the Brethren to stand up for good, religious freedom, and morality. They also regularly encourage us to vote, and beyond supporting the doctrines and principles of the gospel, leave us to choose who we will vote for. Here’s 10 excellent online resources to help you learn about candidates, issues, and the latest news surrounding the upcoming elections. Note to readers outside the US:we have LDS life-hackers who follow this blog from all over the world. Many of these resources work only in the USA. Some already have plans to expand to other countries with time. Others, are open-source. So it would be a great if you contacted them and encouraged them to expand to include your country, or worked with groups within your country to mimic them within your homeland. Most of the resources below are free, open-source, and released under creative commons licensing. Many also have API’s (or is based on the API’s of other resources). So if you’re a developer, you can create your own tools or data visualization. If you’re a blogger, you can reuse the content as you like. I’m personally very pleased with these organizations for taking a very free, open, and transparent approach to making government more open, transparent, and hopefully making us all more free.
- Get the latest Presidential poll data from RealClearPolitics
- See the final election results on Google Elections Results.
- Support, oppose, & let yourself be heard by Congress and everyone using PopVox.
- See online news volume surrounding various candidates with Google Elections Trends
- See social media sentiment with Twitter’s Political Index (Note: it uses worldwide tweets, and uses an algorithm to determine if tweets are positive or negative. So it probably doesn’t represent US sentiment very well).
- See the Tweets that politicians have deleted with Politiwoops.
- Learn about Government corruption, misconduct, conflicts of interest, and help with investigations and creating common-sense solutions with POGO, the Project On Government Oversight.
- Research bills, senators, representatives, votes, issues, money, & much more on OpenCongress.
- Investigate members of congress, voting records, committees, bills, and even state legislation on GovTrack.
- Follow donations to campaigns and other money, with Influence Explorer.
The Deep Stuff
Here’s a few others you might be interested in, if you’re looking to really investigate a candidate, lobbyist, issue, donation(s), etc.
- Read the latest news and research all about power and politics on OpenSecrets.org.
- See who visits the Whitehouse with the Whitehouse Visitor Logs.
- Research non-campaign spending, by Super Pac’s on Follow the Unlimited Money.
- FollowTheMoney provides data on state-level finances, donations, and more.
- Poligraph.com allows you to paste in the text of an article, or URL and see graphical representations of people, issues, and companies mentioned in the article.
- The Sunlight Foundation’s Projects page lists lots of excellent tools and resources for deeper investigations.