RealClearPolitics has a Center bias.
RealClearPolitics' AllSides Media Bias Rating is weighted; its homepage content affects this rating by about 60%. Content in RealClearPolitics' "Articles" section may display more of a Lean Right bias.
Note: This Media Bias Rating reflects the bias of RealClearPolitics, not other RealClear sections such as RealClearInvestigations, RealClearEnergy, RealClearHealth, etc.
RealClearPolitics also runs Fact Check Review, a site that fact checks popular fact checker sites.
- Sept. 2020 Editorial Review
- April 2020 Independent Review
- AllSides Community Feedback
- Third-Party Claims of Bias
- Philosophy and Bias of RealClear Founders
- About RealClearPolitics
Sept. 2020 Editorial Review
On Sept. 25, 2020, the AllSides team, which contains people across the political spectrum, conducted an Editorial Review of RealClearPolitics.
During the Editorial Review, there was a general consensus among the AllSides team that RealClearPolitics' homepage is very balanced, featuring an equal number of stories (typically, opinion pieces) from left-wing media outlets/writers and right-wing media outlets/writers. RealClearPolitics does not hide or obscure the left-wing or right-wing view, and displays content from both sides very equally.
Overall, readers will get a mixture of left-wing and right-wing views when visiting RealClearPolitics.com, so the site gets a Center bias rating; however, the team agreed that content on RealClearPolitics' "Articles" section has more of a Lean Right bias.
RealClearPolitics frequently showcases opposing views side-by-side. At the time of review, content from Elle Magazine (Lean Left) appeared right next to content from The Federalist (Right); commentary from someone criticizing the Black Lives Matter organization appeared right next to a video of Bernie Sanders criticizing President Trump; an article about critical race theory activists "destroying STEM high school" (Asra Nomani, Quillette) appeared right next to an article declaring "Telling the Truth About Slavery Is Not 'Indoctrination' (Clint Smith, The Atlantic); an article about "How Louisville Can Still Get Justice for Breonna Taylor (Travis Waldron, HuffPost) appeared right next to a piece declaring "Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Simply Followed the Facts" (James Gagliano, DC Examiner).
AllSides rates the bias of as many individual writers that appear on RealClearPolitics as possible so that readers can more easily assess the bias of individual articles.
April 2020 Independent Review
An AllSides independent review in April 2020 found that RealClearPolitics prominently includes commentary from all sides of the political spectrum, linking to a variety of commentators on sites from the left and right, including The New Yorker, CNN Opinion, The Federalist, The Nation, and the Washington Times.
AllSides Community Feedback
From June 2013 to Oct. 2020, 8,137 AllSides users voted on our bias rating of Center for RealClearPolitics. 5,474 agreed with our rating, while 2,663 disagreed. Of those who disagreed, the average of their votes for RCP was Lean Left. The average of all votes was Center.
Third-Party Claims of Bias
During the 2008 United States presidential election, The Wall Street Journal referred to RealClearPolitics as "nonpartisan" multiple times. The New York Times referred to its polling as a "nonpartisan tally."
An October 2019 article in The Daily Beast claimed Real Clear Media managed a Facebook page of "far-right memes and Islamophobic smears" called "Conservative Country." Anand Ramanujan, RealClear CTO, said the company created a website, ConservativeCountry.net, that was affiliated with the Facebook page "as part of an effort to understand the flow of traffic from social media—particularly Facebook—to political websites."
Philosophy and Bias of RealClear Founders
Site founder John McIntyre has 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."
In a 2008 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".
In a 2003 interview with the conservative magazine Human Events, McIntyre reportedly described the philosophy behind the website as being based on "freedom" and "common-sense values." Founder Tom Bevan also said: "We think debate on the issues is a very important thing. We post a variety of opinions ... we have a frustration all conservatives have ... the bias in media against conservatives, religious conservatives, [and] Christian conservatives".
RealClearPolitics was founded in 2000 in Chicago by former options trader John McIntyre and former advertising agency account executive Tom Bevan. The site includes political news, op-eds, and commentary. It also publishes aggregation of polling data during election seasons.
According to its About page,
"At RealClearPolitics (RCP) we’re dedicated to providing our readers with better, more insightful analysis of the most important news and policy issues of the day. RCP’s daily editorial curation and original reporting present balanced, non-partisan analysis that empowers our readers to stay informed."