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We’ve already seen record early turnout this election cycle. Our hosts have three major takeaways from the surge: 1) It means the polls are more likely to be accurate (the registered voter number is likely to reflect the actual voter number), 2) It means that we’re going to see interesting shift in how both candidates’ spend time on the campaign tr…
 
The idea that Joe Biden will somehow heal America in a post-Trump era has become the closing argument of the Democratic candidate’s campaign. Will Biden’s “return to normalcy” pitch constrain his presidency? There’s a lot of ill will festering among congressional Democrats over coronavirus relief negotiations and the confirmation of Justice Amy Con…
 
Echelon Insights predicts that we will see record turnout this election cycle. How might a surge in, say, 2o million new voters this year affect the presidential race in battleground states? “If we’re talking the day after the election about why the polls were wrong,” Sarah warns on today’s episode, “it will be because of the extraordinary turnout,…
 
Is the presidential race where the polls say it is? What might pollsters be missing this election cycle? Is there a scenario in which Biden wins the electoral college handedly and Republicans somehow hold the Senate? Polls suggest that Republican senators’ reelection odds aren’t looking too sunny in Maine, Colorado, and Arizona. But what about Repu…
 
The story that the New York Post published last week about Hunter Biden raised all sorts of red flags for veteran journalists. How did they come into possession of the information in the first place? How did they authenticate the story before publishing it? All things considered, the available reporting process indicates that the New York Post’s st…
 
How do journalists and tech platforms determine what information is verifiable online? How can news consumers determine which media outlets to trust when the line between partisan bias and disinformation becomes hazier and hazier? On today’s episode, David and Sarah are joined by Renée DiResta—a technical research manager at the Stanford Internet O…
 
It’s October 15, 2020, and 12.4 percent of the votes that were cast in the 2016 election have already been cast this election cycle. Sarah and David try to discern through the tea leaves what this means for voter turnout this year. “There’s two different schools of thought here,” Sarah says. “One is that we’re on pace to have record turnout and one…
 
How is Amy Coney Barrett holding up in her Senate confirmation hearings? Well, her record is squeaky clean, she’s held fast to the Ginsburg rule, and she’s remained calm and collected despite the Democrats’ best efforts to break her composure. Another benefit from this hearing, as Sarah points out, is that “the media has finally come around to unde…
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off its confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett today with a predictably partisan spin. There were dog whistles from Republicans about religious tests and procedural complaints from Democrats in defense of the Affordable Care Act and against advancing Barrett’s nomination before Novemb…
 
Donald Trump is trailing in the polls by roughly 4.2 points in Arizona, a state Republican presidential candidates have won consistently in recent decades (with the exception of Bob Dole in 1996). Our podcast hosts are joined today by New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin, who explains the demographic changes that have resulted in such a quick po…
 
Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence faced off Wednesday evening for their first and only vice presidential debate. But analysis of the candidates’ performance was disrupted by Trump’s announcement Thursday morning that he will not participate in the October 15 virtual debate against Joe Biden. Is the president bluffing? Or is he simply…
 
Do this week’s national presidential polling averages doom Donald Trump’s chance at winning the election? Joe Biden has maintained a steady national polling lead of 6 to 9 points for months now, with no signs of letting up as we approach November 3. The latest CNN, NBC, and Rasmussen polls from this week show Biden in a 16-, 14-, and 12-point lead,…
 
Supreme Court oral arguments have resumed via telephone and our podcast hosts are nerding out. The court kicked off today with an interesting denial of cert from the Supreme Court on a case out of Kentucky involving Kim Davis, the county clerk who refused to certify marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015 for religious reasons. “This petition…
 
Donald Trump shocked the world when he announced overnight via Twitter that he and the first lady tested positive for the coronavirus, a startling development in an already news-saturated week for the president. Who better to discuss these momentous developments than Dr. Jonathan Reiner—a cardiologist, professor of medicine and surgery at George Wa…
 
How will Amy Coney Barrett shake things up on the bench if she is confirmed by the Senate before November 3? “Amy Coney Barrett will not be as revolutionary as the left fears or the right wishes,” Sarah argues, “Because no justice really is, because it’s one vote.” On today’s episode, David and Sarah address the hysteria surrounding her upcoming Se…
 
Last night was the first presidential debate and it was … not a great moment for the country, to say the least. As Sarah reminds us, presidential candidates go into debates with a strategy, basing their metric of success on their ability to boost turnout among an already existing base. Did either candidate achieve what they wanted to achieve? Are u…
 
Several new polls were released over the weekend and Donald Trump is still trailing Joe Biden by roughly 7 to 10 points, depending where you look. Despite Biden’s steady lead, bad takes abound in the journalism world. “Here’s what happens when a race is not particularly close on the numbers,” Sarah explains. “People in the media try to make it more…
 
Why are Supreme Court vacancies more important to Republicans than they are to Democrats at the ballot box? It all goes back to conservative resistance to living constitutionalism, Judicial Crisis Network president Carrie Severino tells Steve and Sarah on today’s episode. “We know historically, it has been conservatives who are incredibly engaged b…
 
A Louisville grand jury on Wednesday indicted one officer in connection with the March 13 police raid that took Breonna Taylor’s life. The grand jury declined to charge the two officers who fired directly at Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend that evening, instead only charging the third officer, who was outside and fired indiscriminately, with wanto…
 
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death on Friday immediately kickstarted a battle among conservative pundits and politicians over the prudence of pushing through a Supreme Court nominee before November 3. The first problem is that mail-in voting is already under way, meaning Republicans would technically be advancing a nominee during an election. Repu…
 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, rocking the nation and setting the stage for a blistering Senate confirmation fight should the Senate Judiciary Committee go through with the hearing process before the election. Today, our podcast hosts walk us through the history of SCOTUS vacancies, reflect on the legendary friendship between Justice Ruth Bade…
 
“People ask me this all the time, ‘Why the hell did you stay?’ ” explains Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff for the Department of Homeland Security under the Trump administration and founder of the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR). “And my response is: If you saw what was happening, why the hell wouldn’t you sta…
 
After reflecting on the best and worst parts of our country’s founding document for Constitution Day, David and Sarah dive into Attorney General Bill Barr’s Constitution Day address at Hillsdale College yesterday, in which he defended political judgment in bringing prosecutions and railed against federal prosecutors’ propensity to punish as much mi…
 
On Tuesday, Israel signed two historic peace agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in a major step toward greater diplomacy in the Middle East. Though the Trump administration played a crucial role in brokering both peace deals—with the signing ceremonies themselves taking place in the White House—media coverage of the deals has been…
 
For the month of August, the Biden campaign outraised the Trump campaign by a whopping $150 million. (Biden raked in $360 million last month compared to Trump’s $210 million). As stark as this fundraising difference may be, is there any reason to believe it will be meaningful in the long run?A lot of this money will go toward television ads at this…
 
It’s the 19th anniversary of September 11, 2001, one of the most harrowing historical events in living memory. Today, our podcast hosts reflect on their personal memories of the day as a launching point into a discussion about the United States’ current understanding of al-Qaeda nearly two decades later. In reality, we don’t talk about al-Qaeda muc…
 
News broke overnight of President Trump’s plans to reduce U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, less than a week after Jeffrey Goldberg’s bombshell article in The Atlantic highlighted anonymous accusations of the president’s poor conduct toward American veterans. Sarah, Steve, and Jonah tackle some of the move’s political implications for Trump’s re…
 
Last week, President Trump encouraged North Carolina voters to test their state's election security. David and Sarah discuss how, exactly, someone commits voter fraud, and what voters need to know as we close in on this November's election. But that's not all: Sarah gives us the latest on the state of the race and how the Trump campaign lost its ca…
 
Erick Erickson, host of 95.5 WSB’s Atlanta’s Evening News and creator of The Resurgent, joins Sarah and Steve on the latest Dispatch Podcast to state the case for the president’s re-election, despite his own wide-ranging reservations about Trumpism and the future of the Republican party. To Erickson, Trump represents the lesser of two evils—acting …
 
There’s a bit of post-2016 election PTSD among American political strategists, where any slight uptick in Trump’s polling numbers is perceived as an emergency situation for the Biden campaign. But despite the almost constant news cycle turbulence in American politics that would have caused big swings in a normal presidential election, the polls hav…
 
On the campaign trail and throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has painted himself as a law and order candidate. We’re now three years into Donald Trump’s America and waves of violence and racial unrest are sweeping across America, most recently in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Do the riots and looting in Keno…
 
Ever since its humble beginnings in March 2016, The Babylon Bee—a Christian, conservative version of The Onion—has been a godsend for Americans who have become worn out by news outlets that take themselves too seriously. From its theological inside jokes about the prosperity gospel to its long-standing feuds with Snopes and CNN, the Bee has made it…
 
The Democratic and Republican conventions are finally over but most of the major credible pollsters are waiting for the dust to settle before tracking public opinion of both presidential candidates. The critical message pushed by the RNC this week was that Trump kept the promises he made to voters, but is that a real policy agenda moving into his s…
 
Widespread destruction of businesses and private property has devastated Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the wake of the police shooting of a Jacob Blake last week. As we explained in today’s Morning Dispatch, “Blake was airlifted to a hospital, underwent surgery, and is still alive, but reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.” The details leading up to B…
 
Today our hosts are joined by Phill Drobnick, head coach of the Olympic curling team, for some hot takes about the sport that inspired Sarah’s new campaign newsletter The Sweep. Listeners who are unfamiliar with this sport, which gets even passing national coverage only during Winter Olympics years, might be wondering about curling’s origins. “It s…
 
Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon was arrested Thursday—along with Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea—after federal prosecutors discovered they defrauded donors involved with the “We Build the Wall” campaign, a GoFundMe that shored up $25 million in donations since its inception in 2018. The unsealed federal indictment is damning, and…
 
When Politico reported on Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Greene’s racist and bigoted comments in June, several top GOP officials—including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy—condemned her campaign. But after she beat her Republican opponent Dr. John Cowan in Tuesday’s primary race, McCarthy immediately switched gears. A spokesman for McCar…
 
In 2017, an anonymous individual named “Q” began posting on a public messaging board called 4chan about “Pizzagate,” a conspiracy theory alleging that a restaurant called Comet Ping Pong was really an underground child sex trafficking ring run by deep state political elites. Q quickly gained acclaim online after he continued posting unsubstantiated…
 
On Tuesday, Joe Biden tapped Kamala Harris as his running mate. But let’s be honest—we all saw this coming. As we wrote in The Morning Dispatch today, “D.C. conventional wisdom had Sen. Kamala Harris pegged as Joe Biden’s likeliest choice for months.” Despite Harris’ numerous attacks on Biden over his busing record and relationship with segregation…
 
How realistic is the SpaceX dream to get to Mars? What does the latest scientific literature have to say about supernovae? Is there intelligent life in the universe? Today, Sarah and David are joined by Atlantic staff writer Marina Koren for a deep dive into all things space. Hear everything there is to know about the space race between Elon Musk a…
 
People who watch and comment on politics do so very differently than campaign operatives do. Campaigns use voter scores and voter modeling—which is essentially “Moneyball” for politics—to gauge which voters are worth spending money on. As Sarah explains: “It’s a quadrant: on the y axis you have who you’re going to vote for, and on the x axis, you h…
 
Last week, President Trump experienced one of the most challenging interviews of his presidency when he sat down with Jonathan Swan from Axios. Swan asked some tough follow-up questions, and Trump’s responses demonstrated that he is not used to this level of pushback. What’s more, the interview highlighted the fact that the White House’s media stra…
 
Rewind millions of years and a dinosaur-killing asteroid is racing toward Earth at breakneck speed. But what exactly happened in the immediate aftermath of this event? Which species survived and which ones were met with instantaneous extinction? In a much-needed break from today’s partisan political climate, David and Sarah are joined by Steve Brus…
 
The D.C. Circuit has decided to hear the Michael Flynn debacle en banc. For the meantime, as Sarah reminds us on today’s episode, “Michael Flynn seems to be getting some extra justice that a lot of criminal defendants would be really happy to get.” If it goes back to the district court, would Trump pardon him? Our podcasters weigh in. On Thursday m…
 
This morning, Trump told Jonathan Swan from Axios that he has never confronted Vladimir Putin about Russian bounties that were paid to the Taliban to kill American troops, partly because the president doesn’t believe it happened in the first place. But we know from several credible intelligence reports that the president was briefed on the Russian …
 
Our esteemed podcast host Sarah Isgur launched her new Dispatch newsletter called “The Sweep” today, in which she broke down the effectiveness of the new presidential campaigns ads. Conclusion? Biden’s new ads are strategically boring to offset his opponent’s predictable unpredictability, whereas Trump’s play up the anarchy of the radical left. As …
 
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