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Politics is Everything Podcast

Ep. 36: What’s Keeping Us Up At Night About Candidate Polling ft. Natalie Jackson

In this episode, Natalie Jackson, who writes the “Leading Indicators” column at the National Journal, joins Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley to discuss what polling tells us about whether anyone from the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates really has a chance against Donald Trump and critiques the new debate rules the Republican National Committee released for the first debate set for August 2023. Jackson also shares her research on the role that reproductive rights played in the 2022 elections and the role it might play in 2024.

Links in this episode:

Herding Cats and Polls
“Leading Indicators” at the National Journal

Ep. 35: Manufactured Crisis Averted & Radical Centrism ft. Paul Hobby

On May 31, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to increase the debt limit by a vote of 314-117, with more Democrats supporting it than Republicans. The debt limit simply allows the United States to spend money on programs that have already been authorized by Congress. However, this debt ceiling deal includes provisions to restrict non-defense spending, amends the National Environmental Policy Act, approves a controversial natural gas pipeline, ends the pause on student loan payments, and imposes work requirements on some people who receive SNAP benefits. Out of 100 members of the House Progressive Caucus, 60 voted yes and 40 voted no; while of the 43 hard-right Republicans who are either members of the House Freedom Caucus or voted no against McCarthy as speaker, 8 voted yes, 34 voted no and 1 didn’t vote. Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley discuss the U.S. House of Representatives vote on legislation to increase the U.S. debt limit and what it means.  

Also in this episode we talk with Paul Hobby, UVA ‘82 and co-founder of the private equity firm Genesis Park, about Texas politics, including the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and about his new book Glorious Tension: Rediscovering Our Sacred Middle Ground in an Age of Extremism.

Ep. 34: What Will It Take to Get Republicans Out of the Red with Black Voters? ft. Ted Johnson

Just one in seven Black voters cast a ballot for Republican House candidates in 2022, and while that represents a nearly 50 percent increase from 2018 (14 percent up from 9 percent), Black Republicanism remains the red, according to new analysis of Black voter behavior by Ted Johnson, a contributor to our 2022 post-election book The Red Ripple: The 2022 Midterm Elections and What They Mean for 2024.

Black voters have largely been and remain a uniform voting bloc because the parties have organized themselves around civil rights – either taking a proactive stance or by opposing or remaining silent on civil rights issues. Johnson joins us to discuss what Black Americans want and need from both political parties and from our political system in order to realize the ideals set out in the Declaration of Independence.

Ted Johnson is a Senior Advisor at New America leading its flagship Us@250 initiative and contributing columnist at The Washington Post.

Links in this Episode:

Us@250 Initiative
When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America (Grove Atlantic, 2021)
The Anger Gap by Davin L. Phoenix (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

Ep. 33: A Tale of Two Electorates ft. Michael Frias and Haris Aqeel

The 2022 election defied conventional wisdom and historical trends. Michael Frias and Haris Aqeel with the firm Catalist join Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley to discuss why and share findings from a new report analyzing what happened in the 2022 midterms elections.  

Michael Frias is the CEO of Catalist with over twenty years combined experience in politics, state government, and the federal government. Prior to joining Catalist, Michael was at the Department of Homeland Security.  

Haris Aqeel is Senior Advisor at Catalist and the report lead author. He has a decade of experience in political analytics, campaigns, and organizational strategy.

Links in this episode:

What Happened™ in 2022: An Analysis of the 2022 Midterms
Leaning Into State Trends: The West Coast – Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Ep. 32: Neverending Cat and Mouse: Are Online Companies Prepared for 2024 Elections?

With some 65 elections across 54 countries slated for 2024, how can social media and other online companies prepare? Katie Harbath, Chief Executive for Anchor Change and a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, shares how companies, individuals and government entities can support election integrity, increase transparency around artificial intelligence, and combat mis- and malinformation.  

Previously Katie was a public policy director at Facebook (now Meta) where, over the course of ten years, she was credited with building out and leading a 30-person global team responsible for managing elections. Prior to Facebook, Katie held senior strategic digital roles at the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, DCI Group and multiple campaigns. 

Links in this episode:

Integrity Institute, Elections integrity best practices
A Brief History of Tech and Elections
EU Regulatory Framework on AI
EU Digital Services Act  

Ep. 31: Saving Democracy From & With AI ft. Nathan Sanders

In this episode, Nathan Sanders joins us to discuss how Artificial Intelligence technologies are impacting political processes in complex ways, including increasing disruptive risks to legislative processes but also providing enforcement mechanisms. Sanders also addresses what regulatory frameworks and Codes of Ethics should include.  

Nathan Sanders is a data scientist and an Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University where he is focused on creating open technology to help vulnerable communities and all stakeholders participate in the analysis and development of public policy.  

Cover art for this episode was generated by DALL-E.

Links in this Episode:

How ChatGPT Hijacks Democracy (NYT)
We Don’t Need to Reinvent our Democracy to Save it from AI
Large Language Models as Lobbyists
How AI could write our laws
Massachusetts Platform for Legislative Engagement
White House AI Bill of Rights 
Share GPT

Ep. 30: Can We Fix America’s Financial Crises? ft. Steve Laffey

“We need the next president to be a financial expert,” says Steve Laffey, two-term former mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, financial expert and 2024 Republican presidential candidate. Laffey joins us to discuss America’s financial crisis and what he would do to address it, most importantly by tackling entitlements.  

Laffey is a Harvard Business graduate and has served as a financial executive and a university professor. When he was mayor of Cranston, the city experienced the fastest economic turn around for a city in American history. Laffey also ran for Congress, for Colorado House District 4 in 2014 and for U.S. Senate in Rhode Island in 2006.

Links in this Episode:

Fixing America
Steve Laffey on Substack

Ep. 29: Can Generative AI Move Politics from ‘Shout with Scale’ to ‘Communications with Scale’? Ft. Jeff Berkowitz and Anthony Sowah

Both political parties and candidates are already using AI technology. Where is the technology at this stage, how is it being used and how might generative AI impact elections and politics?  Anthony Sowah and Jeff Berkowitz join us to answer these questions and help us go beyond the hype cycle to understand what AI is and what it might become.

Jeff Berkowitz is the founder and CEO of Washington’s preeminent competitive intelligence and risk advisory firm, Delve. Berkowitz previously served as the Research Director of the Republican National Committee (RNC). He also served on staff or advised five major presidential campaigns and has shepherded research and messaging operations at The White House, the U.S. Department of State, and several prominent private sector and non-profit organizations.

Anthony Sowah is Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at The Hawthorne Group, a firm that specializes in strategic communications, issue advocacy and crisis management.

Links in this Episode:

The Hawthorn Group
American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) Condemns Use of Deceptive Generative AI Content in Political Campaigns 

Ep. 28: Which States Will Have the Most Important Elections Downballot in 2024?

Which states will have the most important elections downballot in 2024? David Nir and David Beard, co-hosts of The Downballot, join Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley to share their expert insights. They also discuss how Donald Trump continues to impact candidates down ballot and what new turnout data by demographics from the Census Current Population Survey tells us about the 2022 midterm elections and how should candidates and campaigns be thinking about their approaches to different constituencies looking ahead to 2024. 

David Nir is the Political Director at Daily Kos and publisher of Daily Kos elections, and David Beard is contributing editor at Daily Kos Elections.

Links in this Episode:

The Downballot
McConnell details GOP efforts to not ‘screw this up’ in 2024 Senate battle, CNN.
CBS News/YouGov poll on how 2024 GOP presidential primary race could be Donald Trump v. Trump fatigue.
Turnout rates by key demographics on the U.S. Election Project

Ep. 27: Which States Will Be the Battleground States in 2024? ft. J. Miles Coleman

How have voting patterns in the Midwest & interior West trended relative to the national popular vote in presidential elections since 2000? Hint: we’re seeing a lot of red. This week on the podcast we’re discussing part two of J. Mile Coleman’s’ analysis on trends in two party voting in presidential elections since 2000. Part 1 covered the Northeast and South and you can go back and listen to that episode for more. 

Links in this Episode:

Leaning Into State Trends: The Midwest and Interior West – Sabato’s Crystal Ball
Part 1 Podcast