First Past the Poll is a blog focused on polling analysis, election forecasting, and political statistics more broadly. Created in August 2018, the site aims to present these data-driven stories in an easy to understand, unbiased manner.
First Past the Poll is run by Bradley Wascher (me). Think of this as a collection of my political science research during the second half of college and beyond — my undergraduate thesis was literally a summary of my experiences with this blog.
I’m currently a Contributing Analyst for Inside Elections, the nonpartisan newsletter and race rater based in Washington, D.C. There, I write and edit articles primarily about polling trends and campaign data, along with helping to manage and visualize our quantitative projects on party performance, candidate strength, and congressional redistricting. My company page can be found here.
I graduated from Western Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in politics and statistics, and from Georgetown University with a master’s degree in government. At Western Kentucky I appeared on the university’s political science podcast and analyzed survey data for the school, and at Georgetown my capstone project forecasted the 2020 presidential election using state-level approval ratings and down-ballot election results. While my first true love in political science will always be traditional polling methodology, I also embrace trying innovative new approaches for surveys and models alike.