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Politics is Everything Podcast

Ep. 46: It’s Not Just the Weather That’s Hot in Arizona: A Deep Dive Into Arizona Voters & Their Views of Elections ft. Thom Reilly

In the new Center for Politics Crystal Ball ratings for the 2024 presidential election, Arizona is just one of four initial toss-up states. In this episode, Carah Ong Whaley and Skylar Tessler talk with Thom Reilly, co-director of the Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy at Arizona State University, about a new survey of Arizonans and their views about elections and election systems. 

Links in this episode:  

Consensus and Concern in Arizona’s Hot Political Climate: Voter Attitudes About Elections 

Ep. 45: Demographics Is not Destiny: The Changing Latino/a/x Electorate ft. Mark Hugo Lopez

A hot-off-the-press Pew Research Center report finds that Latino/a/x voters continued to support Democrats in 2022, but by a much smaller margin than in 2018. However, Latino/a/x voters were most likely to have not voted in any of the most recent three general elections than other demographic groups. In this episode, we talk with Mark Hugo Lopez, director of race and ethnicity research at Pew Research Center, about issues that matter to Latino/a/x voters and what candidates and campaigns can do to reach the Latino/a/x population. He also discusses the broader turnout story of the 2022 midterm elections.

Links this Episode:

Republican Gains in 2022 Midterms Driven Mostly by Turnout Advantage 
The Red Ripple: The 2022 Midterm Elections and What They Mean for 2024 
Equis Research 2022 Post Mortem

Ep. 44: Expect Another Highly Competitive U.S. Presidential Election in 2024

This week, the Center for Politics published its first Electoral College ratings for the 2024 presidential election on Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball. As it stands now, it looks like fewer states than ever could pick the next president. In this episode, Kyle Kondik discusses why we should expect a narrow but competitive election in 2024.

Links in this Episode:

Electoral College Ratings: Expect Another Highly Competitive Election
How the Other Half Votes: The Southwest 

Ep. 43: Why Partisan and Racial Gerrymandering Should Be Abolished ft. Mitchell Brown

The coverage of the Moore v. Harper Supreme Court case has primarily focused on its implications for partisan gerrymandering. But the ruling also has significant implications for racial gerrymandering. Mitchell D. Brown, Senior Counsel for the Voting Rights Section of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, one of the organizations involved in Moore v. Harper, joins us to discuss why checks and balances on state legislative activity are critical to safeguarding the rights of Black voters.

Links in this episode: 

Moore v. Harper
Shelby v. Holder
Gonidakis v. Ohio Redistricting Commission
Allen v. Milligan
Brooks v. Abbott
Stephenson v. Bartlett
The Purcell Principle: An Explainer from Democracy Docket

Ep. 42: The Journey to the Supreme Court & What Comes After Moore v. Harper ft. Becky Harper

Becky Harper, the named plaintiff in Moore vs. Harper, is a citizen-activist who cares deeply about free and fair elections.  She joins us to tell her story about the journey to the Supreme Court and what lies ahead for. In a 6-3 ruling in the case Moore v. Harper issued June 27, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an extreme version of the so-called “independent state legislature” theory that posed serious challenges for the conduct of elections and would have allowed state legislatures to engage in election subversion (something that was attempted in the 2020 election). In its opinion, the Supreme Court upheld the long-running interpretation of the term “Legislature” in the Elections Clause in Article I, Section IV, Clause 1 and in the Presidential Electors Clause in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, making clear that state legislatures do not wield free floating power in the conduct of elections and that their power must be understood in the context of the system of state government, including judicial review. The court also affirmed its 2015 ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission that states legislatures do not violate this interpretation when they use voter initiatives to create independent redistricting commissions to draw congressional lines. 

Rebecca Harper is a citizen-activist who cares deeply about free and fair elections.  She was the named plaintiff in Moore vs. Harper and in the two prior cases that led to Moore v HarperHarper v Hall, and Harper v Lewis.   

Links in this episode: 

Moore v. Harper
Harper v. Hall
Harper v. Lewis
Rucho v. Common Cause
Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission 

Ep. 41: The Politics of a Public Health Crisis & Caregiving ft. Luke Albee & Karen Garner

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and our guests for this episode have personal and professional experience with Alzheimer’s Disease. Luke Albee worked in the Senate for 27 years, including as a chief of staff for both Senators Patrick Leahy (VT) and Mark Warner (VA). Karen Garner is the Advocacy Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association for all of Virginia. Co-hosting this episode is Dr. David Goldberg, Assistant Clinical Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Links in this Episode:

Alzheimer’s Association
UVA Memory and Aging Care Clinic (MACC)
Missing Jim
Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers
A lifetime of racism makes Alzheimer’s more common in Black Americans
Social Determinants of Health
What Does the New Congress Mean for Family Policy? 

Ep. 40: Hot Takes: Virginia Primary Elections

The June 20, 2023 primary elections in Virginia were the first time voters encountered the state’s new electoral maps, which were drawn under supervision of the Supreme Court of Virginia after a bipartisan panel appointed by the legislature failed to reach agreement. Kyle Kondik, J. Miles Coleman and Carah Ong Whaley discuss turnover, turnout, fundraising, key issues and what to watch in the general election later this year. 

Ep. 39: How Congress Is Addressing the Harmful Effects of A.I. ft. Anna Lenhart

In response to a false narrative perpetuated by mainstream media suggesting that Congress has yet to propose legislation “to protect individuals or thwart the development of A.I.’s potentially dangerous aspects,” Anna Lenhart shows in a new report that Congress is working to address the harms of Artificial Intelligence. She joins us to discuss A.I., data, privacy, transparency and accountability, and the many legislative proposals Congress has introduced to address harmful content.  

Anna Lenhart is a Policy Fellow, Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics (IDDP) at George Washington University.She most recently served in the House of Representatives as the Senior Technology Legislative Aide to Rep Lori Trahan (117th Congress) and as a Congressional Innovation Fellow for the House Judiciary Digital Markets Investigation (116th Congress).  

Prior to working for Congress, Anna was a Senior Consultant and the AI Ethics Initiative Lead for IBM’s Federal Government Consulting Division, training data scientists and operationalizing principles of transparency, algorithm bias and privacy rights in AI and Machine Learning systems. 

Links in this Episode:

Federal AI Legislation: An Analysis of Proposals from the 117th Congress Relevant to Generative AI tools
“As A.I. Booms, Lawmakers Struggle to Understand the Technology,” New York Times 

Ep. 38: How Single Member Districts Are Weakening the Foundations of American Democracy & Policy Options for Reform ft. Grant Tudor

First-past-the-post is not baked in the U.S. Constitution and single-member, winner-take-all elections have not always been a given in Congressional elections. But why did Congress mandate single-member districts for U.S. House of Representatives elections in 1967 with the passage of the 1967 Uniform Congressional District Act (UCDA)? And, could replacing current winner-take-all elections with a proportional system of representation curb political extremism and gerrymandering, restore competition to congressional races and expand opportunities for racial representation? Grant Tudor from Protect Democracy joins Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley to discuss the evidence from decades of research and a new report. 

Links in this Episode:

Towards Proportional Representation for the U.S. House
There’s a way to fix gerrymandering (and it’s not through the courts)
Is Ranked Choice Voting a Cure for What Ails Politics?

Ep. 37: Did the Roberts Court Really Just Uphold Voting Rights? Ft. Dave Daley

Legal scholars, voting rights and racial justice advocates alike are expressing surprise at the Supreme Court’s 4-3 ruling in Allen v. Milligan on June 8, 2023 that upholds Section 2 of Voting Rights Act. The court upheld a lower court’s decision to strike down an Alabama congressional map because it discriminated against Black voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Dave Daley, Senior Fellow at Fair Vote, joins Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley to discuss the ripple effects of the ruling for representation, redistricting and the 2024 elections.  

David Daley is the author of “Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count” and “Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy.” His work has appeared in CNN, the New Yorker, New York Times, Atlantic and Washington Post, among other publications.  

Links in this Episode:

Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act
Allen v. Milligan
Bronovich v. DNC
Ruccho v. Common Cause
Shelby v. Holder
Thornburg v. Gingles
Fair Vote