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The Run-Up

English, National/National politics/National assembly, 1 season, 68 episodes, 1 day, 23 hours, 35 minutes
Elections are about more than who wins and who loses. The New York Times reporter Astead Herndon takes us beyond the horse race to explore how we got to this fraught moment in American politics.
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Project 2025, Suddenly Everywhere, Explained

President Biden is telling people to Google it. Former president Donald J. Trump is distancing himself from it. Even the actress Taraji P. Henson talked about it onstage at the B.E.T. Awards.Project 2025. It’s a blueprint for an incoming conservative president — presumably Donald Trump — spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.And now it is everywhere in this tumultuous moment of the 2024 presidential race.But what is it? Is it a guide to a possible second Trump administration? And why are Democrats seizing on it now, as Mr. Biden struggles to quiet doubts about his ability to defeat Mr. Trump? This week, we’re working through those questions. On today’s episodeJonathan Swan, who covers politics and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for The New York Times.Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California.
7/11/202441 minutes, 2 seconds
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A Divided America Agrees: We Deserve Better Than This

The latest national poll from The New York Times and Siena College shows former President Donald J. Trump leading President Biden by nine percentage points among registered voters — a pretty big shift in his direction in the week since the presidential debate.It has become clear in the past week that there is no obvious path to replacing Mr. Biden as the Democratic Party’s nominee. But there is a strong desire among Americans for something different.We heard that directly from voters we met last week in Kenosha, Wis., at a gathering of a group called Braver Angels. It’s a nonpartisan organization that finds common ground across political divisions, and it proved a perfect focus group after the debate.We asked these deeply engaged citizens, who had chosen to spend their free time debating policy and politics, how they were feeling about their options for president in November.Their perspective reinforced the gap that this unique political moment has exposed between voters and party leaders.The questions are: Has Mr. Biden’s debate performance made the continuation of his campaign untenable? And what, if anything, should happen next?Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us at [email protected]
7/4/202435 minutes, 30 seconds
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Democrats Are Panicking About Biden. How Did They Get Here?

As you may have heard, Thursday night was the first debate between President Biden and former president Donald J. Trump. In short, it was not a great night for Mr. Biden.The president’s debate performance triggered significant panic among top Democrats, who for months have been dismissing concerns about Mr. Biden’s age.So, how is this happening? Despite all the concerns polls showed about age, how has the Democratic Party arrived at this moment?That’s a line of inquiry The Run-Up has been putting to senior Democratic leaders for the past 18 months. And we wanted to revisit some of those conversations now in a special episode.They include selections of our interviews with Vice President Harris, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison and Ron Klain, Mr. Biden’s former White House chief of staff.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us at [email protected]
6/29/202429 minutes, 31 seconds
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Your Guide to a Trump vs. Biden Debate

We don’t know exactly what will happen when President Biden and former president Donald J. Trump take the debate stage in Atlanta tonight.We do know, however, that the first debate between the major party candidates is happening earlier in the election season than usual. And we also know that we’ve seen a version of this show before.Their past matchups have featured bitter insults, constant interruptions and were political spectacles judged more on optics than on substance.This year, considering that the candidates are offering radically different visions for the country, it’s hard to imagine an election in which the substance would matter more.So, today, at least on “The Run-Up,” there’s no buzzer, no microphone muting and no debate-stage theatrics.Instead, we call four Times colleagues to talk about what the candidates are actually promising for a second term on four key issues: the economy, immigration, abortion and foreign policy.On today’s episodeJim Tankersley, a reporter covering economic and tax policy.Zolan Kanno-Youngs, a White House correspondent.Lisa Lerer, a national political correspondent.David E. Sanger, a White House and national security correspondent.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us at [email protected]
6/27/202453 minutes, 1 second
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What Republicans Lost When They Won on Roe

For decades, the mainstream Republican position on abortion rights was clear: Overturn Roe v. Wade and send the issue back to the states.But since June 2022, when the Supreme Court’s conservative majority did exactly that, Republicans have faced a question that few seemed to consider beforehand: What comes next?In Arizona, that question is especially important. In that battleground state, Democratic groups have already mobilized to put a citizen initiative on the November ballot that would enshrine abortion rights in the state’s Constitution and help increase President Biden’s chances at re-election.So this week, after spending time with organizers who support the ballot measure on the last episode, we are meeting its opponents and exploring the anti-abortion movement in Arizona, which finds itself fractured along new fault lines. On today’s episode:Matt Gress, a Republican state representative in ArizonaJeff Durbin, pastor of Apologia Church, in the greater Phoenix areaElizabeth Dias, national religion correspondent for The New York Times
6/20/202448 minutes, 29 seconds
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Maybe It All Comes Down to Abortion

Arizona is a battleground state that both parties are desperate to win in November.And right now, supporters of abortion rights in the state are in the midst of gathering signatures to ensure that, along with the presidential race and a competitive Senate contest, enshrining the right to abortion in the state’s Constitution will be on the ballot this fall.The measure has broad support in the state, and Democrats are banking on that to drive a wide range of people to the polls to vote on the ballot measure — and, they hope, for Mr. Biden. But there’s no guarantee that will happen.For the next two weeks, we’re going to focus on how abortion rights could shape the 2024 election in Arizona.This week: We’re with volunteers around the state — at a trailhead outside Phoenix and at Bunco night in Bullhead City — who are working to get the measure on the ballot, and we spoke with the people who were supporting their efforts.
6/13/202448 minutes, 39 seconds
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Trump’s Guilty. Does Anyone Care?

In the days since a Manhattan jury found Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony counts, people have mostly been asking one big question.Will this matter in November?Over the past few days, our colleagues at The New York Times and at the Siena College Research Institute have been trying to answer that question. They spoke with 1,900 people they had previously polled to find out how they are currently thinking. Most people have not changed their mind. But some have — and they are moving away from Mr. Trump.This week, Astead speaks with voters about how they are thinking about the presidential race after Mr. Trump’s conviction, including with people in one significant group: Trump supporters who said in October that if he were convicted and sentenced, they would back President Biden.He also talks with Ruth Igielnik, who helps oversee polling at The Times, to understand the latest data and who is still on the fence in the race.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
6/6/202437 minutes, 46 seconds
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What Women Voters Really Want

While the political world waits for a verdict in Donald Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan, we wanted to take a moment to remember how we got here — especially the broader political context of the fall of 2016.Mr. Trump is charged with falsifying business records related to a hush-money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels as part of a scheme to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.Back in 2016, Mr. Trump was down in the polls and worried about losing support from women voters, who would, the thinking went, punish him at the ballot box for the lewd “Access Hollywood” tape and anything Ms. Daniels might make public.That of course is not what happened. And in the years since, assumptions about how women vote have come to feel more complicated.To discuss this, we turn to two women who have spent many years thinking about what women want when it comes to politics and everything else.Kellyanne Conway was Mr. Trump’s campaign manager in 2016 and senior counselor to him from 2017 to 2020. Celinda Lake was one of the lead pollsters for the Biden campaign in 2020.In 2005, they wrote a book together called “What Women Really Want,” which argued that politicians needed to take seriously the particular desires of women, who make up more than 50 percent of the electorate.So this week we ask: What’s changed since 2005? And do Ms. Conway and Ms. Lake still agree on what women really want?
5/30/202447 minutes, 36 seconds
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Why Joe Biden Isn’t Getting Credit for the Economy

As he runs for re-election, President Biden is talking about one specific issue a lot: the economy. He emphasizes the nation’s low unemployment and slowing inflation, and even rolled out a catchy nickname for the good numbers: Bidenomics.The problem for Biden is that few Americans seem to agree that the economy is strong. They think the opposite.This week, we explore the gap between the good economy, as described by the president, and the not-so-great economy, as felt by so many Americans. And we do it in Dayton, Ohio, where activists are working to get increasing the minimum wage on the ballot in November. It’s a view of Biden’s economy from the bottom up.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
5/23/202441 minutes, 42 seconds
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Everyone Not Named Trump or Biden Who Might Make a Difference in Trump vs. Biden

If the 2024 presidential election were a road trip, we would now be at the part where you start to wonder: Are we there yet? The matchup is set, but there’s still such a long way to go until November.And one of the things we’ve noticed about the questions that you’ve been sending in is that you’re starting to mix it up. You want to know what Donald Trump’s possible vice-presidential picks are, how down-ballot races are shaping up, and what difference celebrity endorsements could make.This week, we’re answering your questions by setting the main characters of 2024 aside and talking about the people who aren’t named Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Some are candidates and public officials. Others are a little farther from politics. But they all could have an impact on the election come November.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
5/16/202446 minutes, 56 seconds
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Inside the College Democrats’ Rebuke of Biden

Here’s what we know when it comes to the antiwar protests on college campuses and electoral politics: President Biden does seem to have a problem with young activists on the left. The disapproval only intensified in the days after the president spoke critically about the protests.But whether or not he has a larger problem with young voters in general remains to be seen. Which is why one statement from a more mainstream group, saying the administration is on a “mistaken route,” is worth considering.That group? The College Democrats of America.That’s an organization that is closely aligned with national party leadership, and the leaders of the group are delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Which means, they’re the young people who would seem most likely to support Mr. Biden.So over the past few days, we reached out to a bunch of leaders within the College Democrats to get the inside story of how that statement came to be — and to understand what it might mean for November.
5/9/202447 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Democrats' New Chance in Wisconsin

For years, Wisconsin has been one of the most heavily gerrymandered states in the country, with legislative districts that overwhelmingly favored Republicans. In fact, the maps were so one-sided that, even though the state has a roughly equal share of Democrats and Republicans, Republicans were able to lock in large majorities in the State Assembly and Senate.But earlier this year, the state adopted new maps, which have significantly changed the political landscape in the state for Democrats. They are newly optimistic.So after months of hearing about President Biden’s problems motivating the Democratic base, we traveled to the critical battleground state of Wisconsin to ask: Have new maps led to new energy for Democrats, up and down the ballot?
5/2/202455 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Comedian Roy Wood Jr. on Biden, Trump and What’s Funny About 2024

The stakes of the 2024 presidential election could not be more serious. But in this matchup of two old, largely unpopular candidates, there is no shortage of material for comedians.This may be bad news for voters. However, it’s good news for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner — essentially the Super Bowl of political comedy — which takes place this Saturday in Washington.The president typically attends the dinner and gives a speech, while also trying his hand at some jokes. But the main event is a set from a comedian. Last year, Roy Wood Jr., a veteran performer who was then a “Daily Show” correspondent, did the honors.Today, we talk with Roy Wood Jr. about that gig and political comedy in 2024.What’s it like to roast the president to his face? And what is there to laugh about in an election that doesn’t seem funny at all?
4/25/202443 minutes, 27 seconds
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The Youngest Voters and the Oldest President

In a close election, every vote matters. But in the 2020 presidential race, there’s a good argument that young voters mattered a lot — and helped tip the scales for President Biden.This year, though, things seem much less straightforward. Polling data shows that Mr. Biden’s approval rating has tanked among young Americans. Polls also show that he continues to be hounded by the perception that he is too old for the job. And young activists are creating a public-relations nightmare for the campaign as they protest for more direct action on climate change and demand a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.In this episode, we speak to young voters. We also talk with two leaders of Democratic groups that are focused on young people: Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, the executive director of NextGen America, which just conducted a poll of young voters, and Santiago Mayer, the founder and executive director of Voters of Tomorrow.
4/18/202447 minutes, 58 seconds
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Nebraska Was Minding Its Business Until Charlie Kirk Came Along

Right now, President Biden’s clearest path to re-election in November seems to run through the middle of the country.Here’s what that would look like: Biden wins the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — plus the other states that usually go blue — and it brings him to 269 electoral votes, just one vote shy of securing the presidency.And that’s where Nebraska comes in.Nebraska is one of just two states that distributes electoral college votes proportionally rather than with a winner-take-all approach. That means that, even though it’s a largely conservative state, Nebraskans sometimes still give one of their five electoral votes to a Democrat, as they did for Biden in 2020.This year, Nebraska and the up-for-grabs nature of that one electoral vote have caught the attention of the right-wing commentator Charlie Kirk, former President Donald Trump and his supporters. In recent weeks, they’ve mobilized and are throwing Nebraska’s unique electoral system into flux.On “The Run-Up” this week: A story about the electoral college, the power of right-wing media and the ongoing fight over who gets a voice in U.S. elections.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
4/11/202435 minutes, 58 seconds
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Biden Is Winning the Money Race. Does It Matter?

Last week President Biden, flanked by former Presidents Obama and Clinton, came to Radio City Music Hall for what Biden’s campaign called “the most successful political fund-raiser in American history.” The former Presidents, alongside celebrities like Stephen Colbert, Mindy Kaling, Lizzo, and Queen Latifah, spoke to an audience of 5,000 donors. And according to the Biden campaign, the event brought in more than $25 million.That fund-raising haul further tips the scales in the money race between Trump and Biden — a race that, so far, the Democrats have been winning. But Biden’s big cash advantage hasn’t helped solve his political problems. And when two candidates are as well known as Biden and Trump, there might be a limit to what money can buy.This week, we speak with longtime Democratic donor Robert Wolf about the Radio City fund-raiser and why he’s donated to Biden. And National Political Correspondent Shane Goldmacher explains the vast financial gap between the candidates.
4/4/202448 minutes, 22 seconds
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What About the People Who Don’t Vote?

The people who don’t vote are often left out of the political conversation. Campaigns don’t spend much money on them, and the media doesn’t devote much coverage to them. But to understand a presidential contest like the 2024 race — one that threatens to be extremely close — we have to understand not just the people who show up to vote, but also those who sit out elections.This week, we talk to several people who skipped the last Trump-Biden matchup in 2020 and ask how they’re thinking about 2024. We also speak to Anthony Williams, who directed a project at the Knight Foundation that surveyed 12,000 nonvoters ahead of the 2020 election. We ask: How do you define this group of people? And what, if anything, will change their minds when it comes to voting?Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
3/28/202447 minutes, 23 seconds
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Don’t Ask RFK Jr. About Being a Spoiler

This week, the Democratic National Committee formed a unit to push back against third-party candidates and independents. At the same time, a number of Biden allies have formed a super PAC called Clear Choice, which plans to do the same, signaling the seriousness of the potential impact of an outsider candidate.One such candidate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is polling above 10 percent in national surveys and is well known for his family lineage.Today, the candidate shares why he decided to jump in, the issues that matter most to him personally and his thoughts on positioning himself as a potential spoiler.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
3/21/202442 minutes, 15 seconds
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Why It Had to Be Trump

On Tuesday night, Donald J. Trump won another four nominating contests and officially became the presumptive Republican nominee. That’s despite the criminal charges, the judgments made against him in defamation and sexual abuse cases, the hundreds of millions of dollars in legal penalties and the continued fallout from the events of Jan. 6, 2021.Considering all of that, we want to ask Republicans the same questions we posed to Democrats last week — and to answer them more directly than we have before:How exactly did we end up with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee again? And why?To answer these questions, we turn to two different branches of the Republican Party today.First, we speak with Henry Barbour, who has been a member of the Republican National Committee since 2005, a consummate party insider. He supported Nikki Haley in the primary but now supports Mr. Trump. Then we speak with Vivek Ramaswamy, who ran against Mr. Trump for the nomination, but was most similar to the former president among the other candidates in terms of ideology and style. He now fully backs his one-time rival and embraces the MAGA philosophy he represents.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
3/14/202443 minutes, 48 seconds
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Why It Had to Be Biden

With Super Tuesday behind us, this week is the end of one chapter of this campaign.On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump’s only remaining challenger, Nikki Haley, is out of the race. And on the Democratic side, President Biden has so far secured more than 70 percent of the delegates he needs to secure the nomination.The general election is here. And so too is the rematch we’ve been expecting, despite the fact that the majority of Americans continue to say they wish they had other options.So for the next two episodes, we’re going to focus on a question we hear more than anything else: How exactly did we wind up with these two candidates? And why?First up: We map Mr. Biden’s path to the 2024 election through conversations with Elaine Kamarck, a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee and the author of “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates,” and Ron Klain, the president’s former White House chief of staff.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
3/7/202449 minutes, 46 seconds
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Everything You Need to Know About Super Tuesday

It’s Super Tuesday. That means that people in 15 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia) and one territory (American Samoa) are going to the polls.Usually, Super Tuesday is one of the biggest dates on the primary calendar — a day when a lot of people across the country make their voices heard.This year is different. There’s no reason to believe that today’s results will alter the seemingly inevitable rematch between President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump. But there are noteworthy primaries in contests that could matter for control of the House and Senate and in important governor races.Today: Amy Walter, the publisher and editor in chief of The Cook Political Report, previews the Super Tuesday races worth watching.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
3/5/202429 minutes, 22 seconds
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MAGA Thinks the Game Is Rigged. Will They Play?

For a lot of his most loyal supporters, Donald Trump isn’t just the former president or even the potential next president. He is, in their view, the true president — because many of them believe the 2020 election was stolen.So with Mr. Trump marching toward the Republican nomination and a likely rematch with President Biden in November, we went to this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference for a temperature check on election denial.Can the MAGA movement move on? Or is the only result they’ll trust a result where Mr. Trump wins?Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
2/29/202441 minutes, 39 seconds
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‘What If Someone Dies?’ And Other 2024 Questions, Answered

For the past few months, we’ve been asking our listeners to write in with questions, and we’ve gotten some great ones. Things like: How does polling work? Does Joe Biden’s stance on Gaza present a campaign challenge? And who might Donald Trump select as his running mate?But as we were sorting through them, an underlying theme started to emerge: People can’t seem to fathom that we’re careening toward a Biden-Trump rematch — and they want to know if anything could alter this seemingly inevitable reality.So today, with some of our most trusted colleagues on the Times Politics team, we talk through all of the hypotheticals: What happens in the case of a health emergency? How about a criminal conviction? Could this be the year that a third-party candidate breaks through? Or is it too late?Do you have a question you want us to answer? Nothing is out of bounds. We’re game for everything from the existential (Will democracy survive?) to the more trivial (Do celebrity endorsements make a difference?). Fill out this form or email us a voice memo with your question at [email protected]
2/22/202451 minutes, 46 seconds
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Do Not Invite Donald Trump or Joe Biden on This Date

If you had just a few minutes to win someone’s affection, how political would you get? Would you dive right in, or avoid politics altogether? The Run-Up went speed dating in suburban Philadelphia to find out. Usually when we’re out in the field, we’re at rallies or campaign events – places where people are vocal about their political beliefs. But for many participants at the dating event, talking politics was a complete turn off. This got us thinking: How do political divisions — the things that seem so present on the campaign trail and in polling — actually play out in people’s personal lives? We turned to two of our colleagues -- Anna Martin, host of the Modern Love Podcast, and Jessica Grose, a writer for the Times Opinion section -- for perspective and additional reporting from the intersection of love and politics. Want more from our guests? You can subscribe to the Modern Love podcast here, and sign up for Jessica’s newsletter here.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
2/15/202444 minutes, 25 seconds
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How Political Polls Really Work

Our listeners have lots of questions about polling.Questions such as: Is it still relevant? How does it work? How do you get a reliable sample when people don’t answer the phone?At this point in a usual primary season, still weeks away from Super Tuesday, most of the attention of polling would be on who might capture the nomination.But this year, with the race all but set, we’re anticipating nine months of polling on two men we already know very well.Today, to prepare for that future and to answer the many questions on the subject, we go behind the scenes with the New York Times polling team. And Nate Cohn, our chief political analyst, introduces us to “double haters” and other swingy voters he thinks will decide 2024.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
2/8/202444 minutes, 5 seconds
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Why Donald Trump Won Nevada Before Any Votes Were Cast

Nevada is doing things differently this year. Or at least, it tried to.The first presidential nominating contest in the west takes place on Tuesday — and on Thursday.But that’s not what state officials were hoping would happen when they decided to move from a caucus to a primary in 2021.Democrats got on board — and President Biden is expected to win that contest handily on Tuesday. On the Republican side, however, things did not go according to plan.A caucus was seen as being beneficial to former President Donald J. Trump, so state party officials — who were aggressively lobbied by the Trump campaign — decided to hold a caucus anyway. The caucus, not the primary, is what will determine which Republican candidate wins Nevada’s delegates.Nikki Haley, the last remaining significant challenger to Mr. Trump, opted to run in the primary, not the caucus.So Mr. Trump is effectively in a caucus without a real opponent. And his win is a foregone conclusion.Confused? You’re not alone.Today, with our colleague Jennifer Medina, we travel to East Las Vegas to talk to voters about what makes their state so critical — and so confounding — to Republicans and Democrats alike.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
2/6/202423 minutes, 24 seconds
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Will ‘Cease-Fire Now’ Drown Out ‘Biden 2024’?

President Biden has started to switch gears into campaign mode.On the trail, he’s particularly focused on South Carolina, which holds the first official Democratic primary contest on Saturday. And one of his first campaign events of the year took him to Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, for a speech that addressed the dangers of white supremacy.But a few minutes into the speech, he was interrupted by protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.Since that day in early January, it seems as if wherever Biden goes, protesters are ready to voice their dissatisfaction with the way the administration is handling the war between Israel and Hamas.Today: The activists drowning out the president at campaign events. And the Arab American swing state mayor, Abdullah Hammoud of Dearborn, Mich., on why he declined a recent invitation from Biden’s team.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
2/1/202443 minutes, 2 seconds
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The ‘People’s President’ vs. the Donor Class

Donald Trump’s victory over Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire primary made two things clear: The MAGA wing of the G.O.P. is ready for his coronation, while anti-Trump Republicans believe the race is far from over.From inside Trump’s victory party on Tuesday night, we hear from supporters of the former president and from the stars of his orbit, who see themselves as being on the verge of “obliterating the establishment.” And from Tim Draper, a billionaire venture capitalist who is backing Haley.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
1/25/202443 minutes, 15 seconds
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Everything You Need to Know About New Hampshire

Warning: this episode contains strong language.On Sunday, after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses and with just two days to go before the New Hampshire primary, Ron DeSantis ended his campaign for president.His decision made it official: The race for the Republican nomination is now a head-to-head contest between two wildly different candidates, Nikki Haley and Donald Trump.And now, the famously independent New Hampshire voters are going to determine how serious a contest it is.We’re looking for three big things.First, how Haley’s recent change in tone and sharpening attacks on Trump will play with independents. Second, whether Trump is as dominant here as he was in Iowa. And third, what the Democrats are up to — since there’s a contest here on that side too.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
1/23/202438 minutes, 35 seconds
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It Was Only One State, Right? So Why Does This Primary Feel Over?

Going into the Iowa caucuses, there were a handful of key things we were watching for: Would the frigid weather hamper turnout? Would his overwhelming dominance in the polls translate to a decisive victory for Donald Trump? And finally, could the other candidates muster enough of a showing to keep the race alive?Today: Through conversations with Iowa caucus goers — especially those who preferred another candidate to Trump — we get answers to our questions. And we check in with our colleague Nick Corasaniti in New Hampshire about how the state’s independents are approaching the primary next week — and how confident Trump is of a second early state victory.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
1/18/202439 minutes, 55 seconds
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The 'Run-Up' Guide to Iowa

Finally. More than a year after Donald Trump first announced his 2024 presidential run, six months after Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida refocused his campaign strategy to be all-in on Iowa, and right in the midst of debilitating winter weather, the Iowa caucuses are upon us.And “The Run-Up” has everything you need to know to understand what might happen today — and what it will mean for the race going forward.What’s at stake is clear: Anyone who is going to slow Mr. Trump on his path to clinching the nomination has to get started in Iowa, with at least a close second-place finish. Going into the caucus, Mr. Trump has a dominant polling lead. But now it’s up to the voters.Iowa voters tend to care more about candidates who can speak more to small-town and religious values. The state’s evangelical leaders have largely backed Mr. DeSantis, but evangelical voters themselves — including people coming out to Trump events in freezing temperatures in the last week — have largely backed Mr. Trump.There are three big questions going into caucus day. One, will people come out and participate despite the weather? Two, are the campaigns organized enough to have made a successful last-minute push, to turn interest into actual votes? And three, will any of it matter, or will the freezing temperatures and snowdrifts mean that no matter the result, campaigns will excuse it away?We’ll know the answers later this week.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
1/15/202433 minutes, 10 seconds
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‘Right Where We Want Him, 30 Points Up’: Chasing Trump in Iowa

At the start of the 2024 Republican primary campaign, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida was considered by many in his party to be the biggest threat to Donald Trump. He was seen as someone who could win over the voters who were tired of Trump’s antics, and also bring along the MAGA movement. But it didn’t work out that way. And as Mr. DeSantis has struggled, one main opponent, former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, has seen her star — and her standing in the polls — rise.Still, as the Trump alternatives crisscross Iowa and New Hampshire trying to appeal to voters, polling averages put the former president ahead by an average of 35 points.Now, with just days to go until the Iowa caucuses, we ask: Did anti-Trump Republicans rally around the wrong candidates? And have they run out of time to fix it?Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
1/11/202443 minutes, 37 seconds
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Is the 2024 Election Already Heading to the Supreme Court?

It’s the start of the actual election year — and a new chapter in the campaign.Voting in early states is less than two weeks away. But, amid the crunchtime campaigning, another story line is unfolding.Two states are saying that Donald Trump can’t be on the ballot … at all.Officials in Colorado and Maine are basing this on a clause of the 14th Amendment, which bars candidates from holding office if they have engaged in insurrection.The Trump campaign is appealing. And other states, like California and Michigan, have ruled the opposite way on the same issue. But with more than a dozen similar cases pending, the question is almost certainly headed to the Supreme Court.We speak to Maine’s secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, about her decision to disqualify Trump from the 2024 primary ballot and to Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
1/4/202442 minutes, 20 seconds
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In a Song of the Summer, Clues for January in Iowa

Last summer, politics, country music and cultural grievance collided with the growing popularity of a new song from recording artist Jason Aldean.Sucker punch somebody on a sidewalkCarjack an old lady at a red lightPull a gun on the owner of a liquor storeYa think it’s cool, well, act a fool if ya likeIn the lyrics, Aldean lists behaviors he associates with cities, like lawlessness and disrespect for the flag or the police. And then he warns listeners of the consequences if they “try that in a small town.”The song quickly hit the country music charts. Then, the music video was released.In it, images of Aldean singing alternate with newsreel footage of looting, violence and scenes from the racial justice protests that took place during the summer of 2020.The video was quietly edited to remove some of the more contested footage, but the battle lines had already been drawn. The song quickly gained popularity on the political right. And Republican primary candidates, including Donald Trump, began praising Aldean and playing the song at their events.And so as we were thinking about how to understand the G.O.P. presidential primary, we saw that Jason Aldean would be performing at the Iowa state fair. And we knew we had to go.Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
12/28/202342 minutes, 10 seconds
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How Iowa Learned to Love Trump

Iowa was supposed to be fertile ground for Donald Trump’s primary challengers. Its population is disproportionately evangelical, and voters were expected to coalesce around a more faith-driven alternative. But that’s not what’s happened.This past summer, Trump was polling at around 42 percent in the state, a lead that has only continued to grow. Increasingly, it looks like Iowa is on track to coronate the former president.So when we visited the state fair in August, it was less to follow around a bunch of the candidates while they were milking a cow or flipping a pork chop, but rather to ask Iowa’s voters: What’s different this time?Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at [email protected]
12/21/202335 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why Anti-Trump Republicans Can’t Get on the Same Page

Watching the Republican primary debates can feel like a study in self sabotage. In the latest one, which Donald Trump skipped, the candidates spent most of their time attacking one another — not the guy who is 50 points ahead in the polls.But there is a logic to it. Candidates are trying to position themselves as the party’s alternative to the former president. And to do that, they have to push one another aside and unite the roughly 40 percent of Republicans who are still up for grabs.This week, we ask anti-Trump Republicans: What’s stopping their coalition from getting on the same page? And with the early contests fast approaching, is it too late? We travel to a debate night watch party for Nikki Haley in New Hampshire and check in with Bob Vander Plaats, an influential Iowa evangelical and supporter of Ron DeSantis.
12/14/202341 minutes, 14 seconds
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Inside Donald Trump’s Dominance of the G.O.P. Primary

There was a moment in early 2023 when Donald Trump seemed like a politician in decline.And it wasn’t just his political opponents who thought so. National Republicans, who blamed Mr. Trump for the party’s run of bad results in the midterms, largely agreed.But now it’s starting to set in: It appears the former president’s staying power was underestimated … again. Mr. Trump is the overwhelming favorite to be the Republican presidential nominee — and his supporters remain the most influential force in the party’s politics.This week, through conversations at an event with South Carolina Republicans, we try to understand why the party continues to back an embattled Mr. Trump — and how it came to feel as though this primary ended before it even began. Then, Astead talks with Jonathan Swan, a New York Times political reporter, about how the Trump team has approached this campaign with discipline and strategy, and what it is planning should he win back the White House.
12/7/202352 minutes, 31 seconds
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Is Donald Trump Going to Prison?

The former president’s legal status is one of the biggest wild cards heading into 2024.Even as he dominates the Republican primary and his party, Trump has been indicted on 91 felony charges, across four criminal cases in state and federal courts.We spent a day talking to our colleagues in The Times’s newsroom, trying to get answers to questions it’s surreal to even be asking.Among them: Are Republicans coalescing around a man who may soon be a convicted felon? And how much will Trump’s legal troubles collide with an election cycle that is unlike any we’ve seen before?Guests:Jonah BromwichRichard FaussetAlan FeuerMaggie Haberman
11/30/202347 minutes, 29 seconds
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Are Black Voters Leaving Democrats Behind?

Polls suggest that they are – and that Black voters’ support for Donald Trump, especially among men, is rising. Astead W. Herndon convened a special "Run-Up" Thanksgiving focus group to explore what might be behind those numbers. He spoke with family, friends and, parishioners from his father’s church, community members and people he grew up with. It’s a lively conversation with real implications for what might happen if the 2024 presidential election is a Biden-Trump rematch.Because where better to talk politics than over turkey and an ample dessert spread?
11/23/202355 minutes, 29 seconds
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An Interview With Kamala Harris on What’s at Stake in 2024

Vice President Harris believes that democracy is once again on the line in November. She is key to the Biden campaign’s strategy for getting that message to its skeptical base — and winning over groups of voters that Democrats can't afford to lose.In a wide-ranging conversation recorded in Chicago in August, Astead Herndon sat down with the vice president to discuss her life and work before Washington, and the fight ahead for her party.This interview was conducted as part of the reporting process for a New York Times Magazine cover story on Ms. Harris, which you can read here.
11/16/202343 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Biden Campaign Wants Democrats to Calm Down

Yes, President Biden’s team has seen the polls that show him struggling in a 2024 rematch with Donald Trump. But it says it’s focused on other things — like how well Democrats are doing at the ballot box.
11/9/202348 minutes, 27 seconds
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What the Last Bellwether in America Thinks Will Happen in 2024

Out of more than 3,000 counties in the United States, Clallam County, Wash. is the only one that has voted for the winner of the presidential race every year since 1980. It earned this distinction in 2020, the election that broke everyone else’s streak.We’re a year out from the 2024 presidential election and despite a robust Republican primary field, the race is looking like it could easily be a 2020 rematch. So we thought Clallam County could give us something resembling a prediction. Here’s how the people there are feeling — and how they think this is going to go.To see photographs from our reporting trip to Washington, click here. 
11/2/202344 minutes, 13 seconds
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‘The Run-Up’ Returns, Every Week Through Election Day

It could be 2020 all over again. That’s what makes 2024 so different. And why it demands a different kind of political reporting. That is The Run-Up’s specialty. We’ll be back Nov. 2.
10/30/20233 minutes, 26 seconds
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The Run-Up Goes to Iowa

For the past few months, The Run-Up has been reporting on political insiders and the work they’ve quietly been doing to shape the 2024 presidential election.What we’ve found is a group of people — Republicans and Democrats — all operating under the premise that this race will revolve around former President Donald Trump. That his nomination — and thus a rematch between Trump and President Biden — is almost inevitable.But if anything is going to blow up that assumption, it’s probably going to start in Iowa.As the first state in the Republican primary process, Iowa plays a key role in narrowing the field. If Trump wins there, it may effectively mean that he has secured the nomination.However, there’s a group of voters that holds disproportionate power in the state and in American culture more broadly. These voters were once part of Trump’s coalition — and they are now wavering.If they go another way, the whole race could open up.In our final episode of the season, The Run-Up goes to Iowa and inside the evangelical church. We speak with Bob Vander Plaats, an evangelical activist with a history of picking Iowa’s winners. And we go to Eternity Church, where Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida recently spoke, and talk to Jesse Newman, the pastor, and other members of the congregation.
6/23/202357 minutes, 8 seconds
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The Democrat Saying What Others Won’t

Back in 2020, Joe Biden stood out in a crowded Democratic primary field filled with younger, more historic candidates. Voters worried that Mr. Biden was too moderate, too uninspiring and too old.One of his challengers, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, got a lot of attention for his willingness to echo those concerns.But after going hard at Mr. Biden in a debate, his campaign fizzled and Mr. Castro, once a rising star in the Democratic Party, left Washington altogether. To some, it seemed like evidence of the consequences of stepping out of line with the party.Heading into the 2024 election, as voters grapple with the same questions about the incumbent president, Astead sits down with Mr. Castro to explore the party’s code of silence surrounding Mr. Biden’s primary alternatives and his advanced age.For more information on today's episode, visit 
6/15/202345 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Case for Democrats to Stop Playing Defense

Heading into the 2024 presidential election, a big part of the Democratic Party’s approach is to win through defense — to watch Republicans and promise voters that Democrats will be the solution to G.O.P. extremism.Some Democrats, however, argue that this is not a viable long-term strategy.This week, Representative Elissa Slotkin shares what happens when Democrats have a plan, and Megan Hunt, a Nebraska state senator, explains what happens when they don’t.
6/8/202354 minutes, 21 seconds
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The New Terms of Abortion Politics

The Dobbs decision upended political calculations on both sides of the abortion debate. Democrats used the issue as evidence of Republican extremism, and it cost the G.O.P. seats in the 2022 midterms.Now, with a presidential primary looming, abortion activists have an opportunity to reset their strategies for 2024 and roll out new litmus tests for their respective candidates.This week, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and Alexis McGill Johnson, head of Planned Parenthood, on how they’re trying to reshape the abortion debate in the U.S.
6/1/202353 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Fight to Define Extremism

Two things are true: Bothsidesism can flatten the realities of political extremism in this country. And many voters really do see the Democratic and Republican parties as equally extreme at this moment.The parties know this. And they’re fighting to convince voters that it’s the other side that’s gone too far. That Republicans are the party of Donald Trump, election denial, Jan. 6 and six-week abortion bans. That Democrats are the party of woke-ism and the Squad.Today, we talk to two congressmen who have publicly clashed on this question — Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat, and Byron Donalds, a Republican — and press them on the roles they play in the fight.
5/25/202354 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Backup Plan for Lost Voters

This episode contains strong language. A central reality of the 2024 presidential election is taking shape: Voters may, once again, be faced with a choice between Donald J. Trump and President Biden.For months, Astead has been speaking with party insiders whose main question about the next election is which candidate will win. Speaking to voters, however, their question is: How come both parties seem poised to nominate the same man again?Voters across the country are dissatisfied with the choice, yearning for other options.Astead speaks with voters and the leaders of No Labels, an organization that’s working toward creating a “unity ticket” that they hope will appeal to those in the middle.
5/18/202343 minutes, 24 seconds
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The Anti-Trump Republicans (and the Specter of 2016)

The 2016 Republican primary field was crowded. At one point, 17 people were vying for the nomination. It was a pileup that many saw as leading directly to the ascent of Donald Trump.The specter of that election hangs over the current moment for anti-Trump Republicans — could a fractured party once again put Mr. Trump at the top of the ticket?The question now for potential candidates is: Should I run or should I get out of the way?Astead speaks with Larry Hogan, former governor of Maryland, and Asa Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas — two Republicans who wrestled with this question and made different decisions.For more information on today's episode, visit 
5/11/202344 minutes, 53 seconds
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The Trump Inevitability Question

Outside a Manhattan courtroom, on the day of former President Donald Trump’s arraignment, Astead spoke to two camps of spectators. Supporters cast Mr. Trump as the victim of prosecutorial overreach, while opposing voices hoped this was just the beginning of his legal troubles.With an ever-shifting political landscape as America heads toward the 2024 election, what do Mr. Trump’s mounting legal woes mean for his electoral viability? Is success for the former president, despite it all, an inevitability?Astead speaks with Nate Cohn, The New York Times’s chief political analyst, about what the polls do — and do not — tell us.
5/4/202347 minutes, 35 seconds
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The Pillow Guy and the R.N.C. Chair

Throughout our reporting inside the Republican Party over the past few months, one person kept showing up: Mike Lindell, MyPillow chief executive and election denier.At the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, he ran to unseat the party chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel. At the Conservative Political Action Committee in Maryland, he couldn’t walk 10 feet without being cornered for a selfie. And more recently, he was a part of news coverage about the Dominion lawsuit and Tucker Carlson’s ouster from Fox News.While plenty of people don’t take him seriously, Lindell represents, maybe better than anyone else, the challenge facing the Republican Party in this moment: an establishment trying desperately to satisfy its base, despite evidence that their extreme beliefs are costing the party elections.After months of reporting on that dynamic, we talk to Mr. Lindell and Ms. McDaniel, two people who sit at opposite poles of the party.
4/27/202349 minutes, 18 seconds
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The New Demands of the MAGA Right

For Republican presidential hopefuls, the Conservative Political Action Conference has played a very specific role in the election cycle. It’s where candidates try to establish their grass-roots credibility and convince conservatives that those running are listening to what they want. The conference culminates in a closely-watched straw poll — an early indicator of the candidates who have momentum.This year is an unusual one. After the midterms, the big story was that CPAC had become a place for has-beens and losing ideas. And with Donald Trump in the race, few candidates wanted to come and publicly challenge him in front of his base.But after spending time inside the political establishment of both parties, Astead felt that this was still a must-see event. Any candidate with a hope of securing the nomination is still going to need to speak the language of the grass roots.So, what do they want? We headed to CPAC to find out.
4/20/202346 minutes, 56 seconds
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The Quiet Coronation of Joe Biden

A few weeks after the midterms, something happened that largely flew under the radar. Democrats were celebrating a successful election, and giving all the credit to President Biden. And against that backdrop, the party made an announcement: It would be changing the order in which states voted in the primary election, moving South Carolina first. The party was talking about it in terms of representation and acknowledging the role of Black voters.But given that South Carolina essentially saved Mr. Biden’s 2020 candidacy, Astead wondered: Was something else going on? We headed to the party’s winter meeting as it prepared to make the change official.
4/13/202341 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Republican Party Sorts Through Its Mess

It may feel too early to be thinking about the 2024 presidential election — but it’s the perfect time to understand where the parties are at, and how their plans for the next election cycle are shaping up.In our first episode, we join the Republican National Committee in Dana Point, Calif., as it gathers for its winter meeting. After a disappointing midterms, fractures have formed within the committee’s ranks. After targeting Kevin McCarthy in the fight for House speaker, the grass roots turned their ire on Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the R.N.C.The effort to replace Ms. McDaniel at this year’s winter meeting is emblematic of what the party is at this moment: a mess of tangled lines and scrambled allegiances.
4/6/202352 minutes, 16 seconds
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The 2024 Election Is Already Here

It may seem way too early to be thinking about next year’s presidential election — and it is too soon to ask who’s going to win. But actually, it’s the perfect time to understand what the parties took away from the last election and how that’s already shaping their plans for the next one.For the past few months, Astead W. Herndon has been reporting from inside the political establishment, where party leaders, donors and activists are already trying to influence the 2024 election — and while voters are less likely to pay attention and lines of allegiance are scrambled.“The Run-Up” returns Thursday, April 6. See you there.
4/3/20234 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Post-Mortem

The midterm elections have left both parties in a moment of reflection. For Republicans, it’s time to make a choice about Trumpism, but one that may no longer be theirs to make. For Democrats, it’s about how much of their future is inherently tied to the G.O.P.
11/17/202240 minutes
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The Midterms

The votes are still being tallied across the country — but we’re starting to get a picture of what these midterms were all about, and where American politics might be headed. Astead Herndon joins Michael Barbaro, host of “The Daily,” to sift through early midterm election results.
11/9/202224 minutes, 43 seconds
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The Grass Roots, Part 2

This moment in politics will be defined by shifts at the grass-roots level. It wasn’t long ago that Democrats used to brag about the coalition they had built — full of young people, minority voters and college-educated women. Today, we talk to members of the Democratic base, many of whom no longer see a clear path forward for the party.
11/3/202256 minutes, 54 seconds
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The Grass Roots, Part 1

This moment in politics will be defined by shifts at the grass-roots level. Today, we talk to conservative voters about the forces animating the midterm elections for them — and what Washington can learn from the people. What do you think of “The Run-Up” so far? Please take our listener survey at 
10/27/202250 minutes, 47 seconds
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The Maps

How a 12-year project to lock in political power in Wisconsin could culminate in this year’s midterms – and provide a glimpse into where the rest of the country is headed. 
10/20/202233 minutes, 18 seconds
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The Flip

When Georgia flipped blue in the 2020 election, it gave Democrats new hope for the future. Credit for that success goes to Stacey Abrams and the playbook she developed for the state. It cemented her role as a national celebrity, in politics and pop culture. But, unsurprisingly, that celebrity has also made her a target of Republicans, who say she’s a losing candidate. On today’s episode: the Stacey Abrams playbook, and why the Georgia governor’s race means more to Democrats than a single elected office.
10/13/202237 minutes
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The Blueprint

How the Republican grass roots got years ahead of a changing country, and whether the Democrats can catch up.
10/6/202243 minutes, 2 seconds
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The Guardrails

Why we can’t understand this moment in politics without first understanding the transformation of American evangelicalism.
9/29/202246 minutes, 10 seconds
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The Republic

In kicking off the midterms, Joe Biden talked about American democracy as a shared value, enshrined in the country’s founding — a value that both Democrats and Republicans should join together in defending. But there is another possible view of this moment. One that is shared by two very different groups: the voters who propelled Biden to the presidency … and the conservative activists who are rejecting democracy altogether.
9/22/202245 minutes, 53 seconds
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The Autopsy

It’s March 2013. The G.O.P., in tatters, issues a scathing report blaming its electoral failures on an out-of-touch leadership that ignores minorities at its own peril. Just three years later, Donald Trump proves his party dead wrong. Today, how certain assumptions took hold of both parties — and what they’re still getting wrong — heading into the midterm elections.
9/15/202240 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Stakes

“I’m worried that democracy is being eroded.” “The voting system is not secure.” “It’s like the land of no more moderates.” “Nothing in this country here really gives me hope.” As voters are feeling a new level of political disconnect, Astead Herndon asks how we got here and lays out the stakes of the 2022 midterm elections.
9/6/202213 minutes, 39 seconds
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Introducing 'The Run-Up'

The midterm elections are usually a referendum on the party in power. This year, they’re about so much more. “The Run-Up,” starting Sept. 6.
8/30/20223 minutes, 2 seconds