Prior to the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the online Slate magazine surveyed its staff to find out how they intended to vote. In each of these elections, more than three-fourths of the staff declared their intention to vote for the Democratic candidate, with 96 percent supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
More than three-fourths (29, or 76%) listed Democratic candidate Al Gore as their top choice in 2000, compared to just 10.5 percent (4) who planned on voting for Republican George W. Bush. Eight percent (3) said they were supporting Green candidate Ralph Nader; five percent (2) reported backing Libertarian candidate Harry Browne.
None of the top 13 editors was voting for Bush in 2000. Twelve of the thirteen said they were voting for Gore; the thirteenth backed the Libertarian, Harry Browne.
In 2004, 87 percent of the staff who participated said they planned to vote for Democrat John Kerry (46 votes), or nine times as many who planned to vote for Republican George W. Bush (5 votes, or 9%). One said they planned to vote for Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik, and one said they intended to cast a ballot for Green candidate David Cobb.
In 2008, 55 of the 57 staffers who responded to the survey (96%) said they were supporting Barack Obama, with just one supporting Republican John McCain and one backing Libertarian candidate Bob Barr.
In 2012, 31 of 37 staffers (84%) said they were backing Obama for a second term, vs. just two for Republican Mitt Romney (5%), two for Libertarian Gary Johnson, one for Green candidate Jill Stein and one contributor saying he was voting for no one because "I missed the registration deadline," but "I would have voted for President Obama."
Among those professing their support for Gore, Kerry and Obama were veteran print reporters Timothy Noah, formerly with The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report and one-time Newsweek reporter Jacob Weisberg.
After the 2008 poll, editor David Plotz argued that the heavy favoritism for Obama did not prejudice their election coverage: 'I don't think a candidate's Slate victory reflects a bias that has corrupted the magazine during the campaign. There are obvious reasons why Slate would lean heavily toward Obama: Most of our staff and contributors live in extremely Democratic cities on the East and West Coast....Slate's voters tend to skew young, and all polls show younger voters favoring the Democrat. Also, a significant number of former Slate contributors, among them Austan Goolsbee, Jason Furman, and Phil Carter, are now advising Obama.'