This is a question for the site admins, rather than the mods. What currently prevents Politics.SE from being officially launched, given how well it performs in terms of popularity, number of users, number of questions, etc?
I remember reading somewhere on Meta (not sure which site), that the question rate should (I know there may be exceptions) be steadily above a certain threshold (Area51 lists 10+).
Basing myself on data from the site-analytics (5K+ rep), this year we had 34 days during which 10 or more questions were asked and 63 days with fewer than 10 questions asked.
In particular, my takeaway from this plot is that the question rate is all over the place. Of course, many question these days are related to Brexit, which may not be a sustainable source for questions.
We have previously seen this with the US elections, which also sparked many questions, but those peeks were short lived, after the election the question rate went down again.
My guess is that we need sustainable growth before graduation is a serious option. To that end, it may be more interesting to look at the weekly question rate considering not only how many but also what type of questions are asked. Indeed, the site analytics do not provide an easy way to categorise questions based on subject (e.g. US election, Brexit, Catalan independence which are event-related versus US constitution, political theory and parliamentary procedure which are more general). I think there needs to be at least a balance where we have a steady stream (maybe not as big as 10, but maybe more like 4/5) of general questions which are supplemented by a good amount of more thematic questions.
After all, this is Politics.SE, not CurrentAffairs.SE. ;)
At present, it seems that graduation is broken
There hasn't really been a comprehensive solution regarding how this would work juggling ~173 sites, much less deciding which sites would be eligible and when/how it actually gets done. So efforts to handle each request one site at a time have been caught up in indecision, confusion, and a growing back log… which is not a good experience for everyone involved. In my opinion, the time for perpetual "beta" labels and holding back much-need features awaiting "graduation" has long passed.
I'm not precluding any intermediate action by waiting for some sweeping, comprehensive fix — it's worth noting that many beta sites are now having elections if the moderation team needs more help — but I am seeing a renewed drive for fixing this process once and for all, so hopefully we can roll this out more agile-y (release early, release often) so we can get sites going again sooner rather than later .
So, basically, we're going to leave beta in 6 to 8 weeks...
Anecdotally, we're still not consistently above the magical 10 questions per day, and we struggle with the answer ratio being below 2.5. Part of that is the nature of the topic: politics is something that people don't always think of every day. We saw it spike to 11/day in 2016, but it fell off soon after. We've been hovering at 10 of late, but we're below it again.
In all honesty, we're just going to have to wait for SE to sort their process out. The metrics put forth don't really work, and they don't seem to be in a rush to change them.