How we determined this rating:
Editorial Review: Jun 2022, Feb 2018
- Community Feedback: ratings
- AllSides has medium confidence in this bias rating.
Unless otherwise noted, this bias rating refers only to online news coverage, not TV, print, or radio content.Learn about our bias rating methods
Politico is featured on the AllSides Media Bias Chart™.
Politico is a news media source with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Lean Left.
Politico displays a Lean Left bias primarily through an overall tilt in coverage that focuses more on issues of importance to people on the political left, and sometimes describes issues in ways that match the left perspective. However, sometimes Politico also has Center bias indicators, either by balancing left and right perspectives in a story, focusing on angles that other Lean Left-rated outlets are not, or by highlighting some stories more of interest to the right.
What a "Lean Left" Rating Means
Sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Lean Left display media bias in ways that moderately align with liberal, progressive, or left-wing thought and/or policy agendas. A Lean Left bias is a moderately liberal rating on the political spectrum.Learn more about Lean Left ratings
Bias ReviewsWe use multiple methods to analyze sources. Learn how we rate media bias.
- Politico Rated Lean Left in June 2022 Editorial Review
- Politico Rated Center in May 2022 Blind Bias Survey
- Politico Rated Lean Left in Nov. 2020 Blind Bias Survey
- Feb. 2018: AllSides Moves Politico's Bias Rating from Center to Lean Left
- March 2013 Blind Bias Survey
Politico Rated Lean Left in June 2022 Editorial Review
Politico's bias was rated Lean Left in a June 2022 Editorial Review conducted by a panel of people on the left, center and right.
While there were indicators of Lean Left bias overall, many Politico articles and coverage were found to be Center. On average, panelists on the left saw Politico's bias as more Center, while people in the Center and on the Right saw the bias as more to the left. The general consensus was that Politico was on the Center side of Lean Left.
Examples of Word Choice Bias
- Politico used Lean Left language to describe Jan. 6: “damning findings,” “deadly riot,” “violent siege,” “threat to democracy,” “insurrection,” “Trump’s crusade.”
- A category on the website was labeled “Insurrection Fallout," which is Lean Left framing of Jan. 6; a reviewer in the center noted a "heavy anti-Trump focus."
- Politico used the left characterization of Florida's Parental Rights in Education Bill, calling it "Don't Say Gay".
The panel noted story choice bias, with stories more of interest to, appealing to, or reflecting the perspective of the left often being chosen. The panel noted the Politico opinion section featured more pieces from a left point of view at the time of review— such as a piece warning of dangers of ending access to abortion and commentary calling criticism of critical race theory “national panic about anti-racist education” and “the new boogeyman.” However, one panelist noted that "Politico has featured right-rated opinion writers consistently over time, such as Ben Shapiro and Rich Lowry from National Review."
A “Women Rule” series was seen as Lean Left, due to the focus on an identity group. A panelist who leans right said pieces on the Jan. 6 hearings issued opinion presented as fact and anti-GOP bias, while a panelist on the left did not see anti-GOP bias. During the review, the team noticed an outsized focus on the Jan. 6 hearings, which differed from Lean Right outlets that were not as focused on this story. Coverage largely did not mention why the right doesn't care about the hearings (they think the committee is partisan; were more worried about crime/inflation, etc.) or why the right thought the Jan. 6 riot was unfairly a subject of more focus than the George Floyd riots in summer 2020.
A panelist in the Center noted, "While Politico is one of the only left-rated outlets to consistently cover the Hunter Biden laptop story and criticize other media’s coverage of it, Politico framed it as potential Russian disinformation in 2020, and the New York Post has remained critical of Politico’s coverage of it."
Many articles were seen as Center, with some quoting both Democrats and Republicans equally, and some story choices appealing to the right, such as a piece about RINOs ("Republican in Name Only"), one about lawmakers wanting to probe GoFundMe after it shut down a trucker convoy fundraiser, and another about drug overdose deaths.
Politico Rated Center in May 2022 Blind Bias Survey
On average, people across the political spectrum rated Politico as Center in a May 2022 AllSides Blind Bias Survey. The rating, which differed from AllSides' rating of Lean Left at the time, triggered an Editorial Review, in which we opted to keep Politico's rating as Lean Left. (Compared to Blind Bias Surveys, Editorial Reviews allow an expert panel to see more content from the outlet taken over a longer period of time.)
On average, all respondents to the survey – regardless of self-reported bias or political party affiliation – perceived Politico as Center.
A total of 976 people from across the political spectrum – people who identified as Left, Lean Left, Center, Lean Right, or Right – rated the bias of Politico. The weighted average was 0.09. On a scale from -9 to 9, this is near the exact center. The middle 50% of responses lied between -2.09 (Lean Left) and 1.19 (Lean Right).
During a Blind Bias Survey, people from all sides of the political spectrum and a diverse array of ages and geographic locations rate the bias of content from a media outlet blindly, meaning all identifying branding information is removed. Sign up for a Blind Bias Survey here.
Politico Rated Lean Left in Nov. 2020 Blind Bias Survey
After analyzing the results of our November 2020 Blind Bias Survey, in which 2,285 people across the political spectrum blindly rated Politico’s content, AllSides found our Media Bias Rating™ of Lean Left for Politico was affirmed.
The results signified near universal agreement of Politico’s bias on average. The average rating for Politico across all respondents was a firm Lean Left. The average rating for Politico from each bias group — people who identified themselves as Left, Lean Left, Center, Lean Right, or Right — was also Lean Left.
A plurality of respondents across all bias groups rated Politico as Lean Left. The second most common response across all groups was Left — except for people who rated their own bias as Left. For this group, the second most common response for Politico was Center.
Feb. 2018: AllSides Moves Politico's Bias Rating from Center to Lean Left
On February 1, 2018, after analyzing results from an AllSides Blind Bias Survey and conducting an Editorial Review, Politico's Media Bias Rating™ moved from Center to Lean Left.
Previous AllSides blind bias surveys on Politico brought back a Center rating, though close to Lean Left. However, our 2017 Blind Bias Survey results came back as a solid Lean Left. The AllSides community provided feedback and the majority agreed that Politico had a Lean Left rating. Our team also conducted an Editorial Review and found Politico's articles demonstrated a consistent Lean Left bias.
March 2013 Blind Bias Survey
A March 2013 Blind Bias Survey of Politico's headlines produced results closer to Lean Right, though not far from Center.
Community FeedbackFeedback does not determine ratings, but may trigger deeper review.
As of December 2022, people have voted on the AllSides Media Bias Rating for Politico. On average, those who disagree with our rating think this source has a Lean Left bias.
As of July 2016, over half of the 6,000 AllSides users who voted disagreed with our rating of Center, and those who disagreed had an average rating of Center, though close to Lean Left.
Confidence LevelConfidence is determined by how many reviews have been applied and consistency of data.
As of December 2022, AllSides has medium confidence in our Lean Left rating for Politico. Two bias reviews have affirmed this rating or multiple reviews have returned differing results. If we perform more bias reviews and gather consistent data, this confidence level will increase.
Politico is a political journal that focuses on United States and international politics and policy. It was founded in January of 2007, and is based in Arlington, Virginia. John F. Harris and Jim VandHei both left their jobs at The Washington Post to work for Politico as editor-in-chief and executive editor.
According to its website, "POLITICO strives to be the dominant source for politics and policy in power centers across every continent where access to reliable information, non-partisan journalism and real-time tools creates, informs and engages a global citizenry."
"Mr. Döpfner said he expects Politico and Axel Springer’s other U.S. titles will embody his vision of unbiased, nonpartisan reporting, versus activist journalism, which, he said, is enhancing societal polarization in the U.S. and elsewhere."
Third-Party Claims of Bias
Politico Audience Makeup as of 2014
According to a 2014 Pew Research Center study, "Where News Audiences Fit on the Political Spectrum," "Just 16% of the Politico audience has mixed ideological views, compared with 36% of all Web users. Consistent conservatives are represented in Politico's audience on par with their proportion among all respondents, while consistent liberals are overrepresented."
Politico Ownership and FundingFunding and ownership do not influence bias ratings. We rate the bias of content only.
Owner: Capitol News Company
German conglomerate Axel Springer SE struck a $1 billion deal to acquire Politico in Aug. 2021. In Oct. 2021, Axel Springer Chief Executive Mathias Döpfner said in an interview with Wall Street Journal "he expects Politico staffers to adhere to Axel Springer-wide guiding principles that have raised controversy at times at its German properties—though they won’t be required to sign a written commitment to the principles like employees in Germany. The principles include support for a united Europe, Israel’s right to exist and a free-market economy, among others. ... Mr. Döpfner said he expects Politico and Axel Springer’s other U.S. titles will embody his vision of unbiased, nonpartisan reporting, versus activist journalism, which, he said, is enhancing societal polarization in the U.S. and elsewhere."
Financing and ownership information last updated February 22, 2021. If you think this information is out of date or needs to be updated, please contact us.