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Type of site
Available in English
Owner RealClearInvestors and Crest Media
Created by John McIntyre, Tom Bevan
Revenue Unknown
Slogan(s) Opinion, News, Analysis, Videos and Polls
Alexa rank 1,103 (April 2016)[1]
Registration Optional
Launched February 3, 2000; 16 years ago (2000-02-03)[2]
Current status Online

RealClearPolitics (RCP) is a Chicago-based political news and polling data aggregator formed in 2000[3] by former options trader John McIntyre and former advertising agency account executive Tom Bevan.[4][5][6] Though their own political views are conservative,[7][8][4][9] the site's founders say their goal is to give readers "ideological diversity".[10]

RCP has expanded to include a number of sister sites. Politico executive editor Jim VandeHei has called the site "an essential stop for anyone interested in politics".[11]

Origin and philosophy[edit]


The web site was founded in 2000 by McIntyre, a former trader at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and Bevan, a former advertising agency account executive.[5] McIntyre explained "it really wasn't any more complicated than there should be a place online that pulled together all this quality information".[12] They call what they do "intelligent aggregation."[13] The site has grown in election-season spurts since it first went online. It has expanded from a two-man operation to a full-time staff of more than two-dozen employees overseeing the company's mainstay, RealClearPolitics, as well as ten smaller sites.


In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, McIntyre said, "We're trying to pull together the best political stories, op-eds, news analyses, editorials out there. The proliferation of content is enormous. Part of what we're trying to do is distill it in a clear, simple way for people who don't have hours to spend searching the Net".[14] He told the Chicago Sun-Times that RealClearPolitics strives to feature "serious intellectual pieces" and that they're "not looking for the over-the-top, vitriolic, red-meat craziness on either side".[15]

Patrick Stack of Time magazine has described the site's commentary section as "right-leaning".[7] The site has been described as being run by conservatives, and containing "opinion pieces from multiple media sources".[16] In 2009 RealClearPolitics was described as a weblog "in the conservative pantheon" by Richard Davis.[8][17]

In an interview with the conservative magazine Human Events, McIntyre described the philosophy behind the Web site as based on "freedom" and "common-sense values". Said Bevan, "We think debate on the issues is a very important thing. We post a variety of opinions". He further stated, "we have a frustration all conservatives have", which is "the bias in media against conservatives, religious conservatives, [and] Christian conservatives".[4]

In a 2001 article for Princeton Alumni Weekly, which noted that "The articles selected invariably demonstrate McIntyre and Bevan's political bent, about which they are unabashedly forthcoming." McIntyre said, "I'm not really a die-hard Republican because my interests are less on social issues, more on taxing and spending...But I definitely don't want the government telling me what to do with my property...Nevertheless, any political junkie—even a liberal—would enjoy our site because the topics we choose are current."[9]


Updated continuously, RealClearPolitics' websites aggregate content from a wide range of sources, sources that run the gamut of locations and political persuasions. Stories from the Washington Post and other large-circulation media frequently run alongside articles from such lesser-known papers as the Ottawa Citizen, while analyses from the liberal New Republic may be paired with conservative publications such as the Weekly Standard. McIntyre's purported objective is "to give readers ideological diversity. We're trying to stay immersed in the nation's political bloodstream at all times. That way, we can show you every small, little twist and turn, and give multiple sides to every story".[10]


Forbes Media LLC bought a 51% equity interest in the site in 2007.[18] On May 19, 2015, it was announced that RealClearInvestors and Crest Media bought out Forbes's stake for an undisclosed amount.[19]

RealClearInvestors and Crest Media own RealClearPolitics.[19]

RealClearPolitics also owns RealClearMarkets, RealClearWorld, and RealClearSports.[20] RealClearMarkets and RealClearSports were launched in November 2007. RealClearWorld, the international news and politics site, was launched in August 2008. RealClearScience and RealClearReligion launched in October 2010.[21] RealClearHistory launched in 2012; in 2013 RealClearDefense was launched to cover military, intelligence, and veterans issues.[22]

Original content[edit]

In addition to linking to external content, RealClearPolitics also provides original commentary and reporting, with a staff that includes of Carl Cannon, Scott Conroy, Erin McPike, Caitlin Huey-Burns, Alexis Simendinger, James Arkin, and Sean Trende.

Political poll averaging[edit]

RealClearPolitics aggregates polls for presidential and congressional races into averages, known as the RealClearPolitics average, which are widely cited by media outlets. New York Times contributor Neil Degrasse Tyson, wrote in an op-ed that "in swing states, the median result of all the polls conducted in the weeks prior to an election is an especially effective predictor of which candidate will win that election—even in states where the polls consistently fall within the margin of error".[23] However, some statisticians say that it is sometimes misleading to average results from multiple polls.[24] When Nate Silver of rival site claimed was rigging its averages to favor Senator John McCain and other Republicans, McIntyre denied having a conservative bent, stating, "We're running a business, We have no interest in screwing around with that for partisan purposes".[25] Silver later backed away from the claim and said the two sites had a friendly rivalry and grudging respect for each other.[25]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016-04-09. 
  2. ^ " WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-10-21. 
  3. ^ "Polling Averages". RealClearPolitics. April 21, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  4. ^ a b c D'Agostino, Joseph A. (31 March 2003). "Conservative Spotlight: Real Clear Politics". Human Events. 59 (11): 16. 
  5. ^ a b Zorn, Eric (October 26, 2004). "Political site polls well with election junkies". Chicago Tribune: Metro, p. 1. 
  6. ^ Wolinsky, Howard (September 18, 2006). "Politicking pays off: Web site a must-read for political fanatics". Chicago Sun-Times: 55. 
  7. ^ a b Stack, Patrick (October 14, 2004). "Cheat Sheet: Election Websites". Time. Archived from the original on October 16, 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-15. scores points for its in-depth, right-leaning commentary section 
  8. ^ a b Richard Davis, Typing Politics: The Role of Blogs in American Politics p.54 2009 Oxford University
  9. ^ a b Rob MacKay, "Political junkies create Web site for opinion and analysis" June 6, 2001 Princeton Alumni Weekly
  10. ^ a b "On Web, Political Junkies Make a Real Clear Choice". The New York Sun. March 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  11. ^ Johnson, Steve (February 7, 2008). "Real Clear Politics real clear on its growth, mission". Chicago Tribune. 
  12. ^ Wolgemuth, Liz (December 12, 2007). "Political Junkies Spawn a Real, Clear Success". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  13. ^ "Real Clear Politics Real Clear on its Growth, Mission". The Chicago Tribune. February 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  14. ^ Johnson, Steve (February 7, 2008). "Real Clear Politics real clear on its growth, mission". Chicago Tribune. 
  15. ^ Pallasch, Abdon (May 29, 2012). "Popular, Chicago-based political news website run by two family guys". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  16. ^ Steffen Schmidt, Mack Shelley, Barbara Bardes, Cengage Advantage Books: American Government and Politics Today p.140 Cengage Learning, 2012
  17. ^ Richard Davis, Politics Online: Blogs, Chatrooms, and Discussion Groups in American Democracy p.43 2013 Routledge
  18. ^ "Forbes Media Acquires Fifty-One Percent Stake in". Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  19. ^ a b "Crest Media And Real Clear Investors Buy Remaining Stake In RealClearPolitics". Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  20. ^ Gustafson, Colin (March 10, 2008). "On Web, Political Junkies Make a Real Clear Choice". New York Sun. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  21. ^ New RealClear Sites Launching Today - Real Clear Politics –
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Vote by Numbers". The New York Times. June 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  24. ^ Bialik, Carl (February 15, 2008). "Election Handicappers Are Using Risky Tool: Mixed Poll Averages". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  25. ^ a b Becker, Bernie (2008-10-28). "Political Polling Sites Are in a Race of Their Own". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 

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