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Politics is Everything Podcast

Democracy faces a wide range of pressing challenges – from extreme partisanship and divisive politics to persistent inequities in access, voice and participation in public institutions and decision-making processes, from civic unrest to institutions that aren’t responsive to public needs. It’s not enough to just identify problems, we also have to find solutions and work collectively to address them.

Politics Is Everything is a member of the Democracy Group and hosted by Kyle Kondik, Carah Ong Whaley, and other members of the Center for Politics team.

Listen to Politics Is Everything on: SpotifyApple PodcastsAmazon Music and Stitcher.  Scroll down to listen to the most recent episodes.

Ep. 6: Is Roe Fertile Ground for 2024? And What’s the Potential Impact of Ticket-Splitting?

In this episode, Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley discuss the recent Nevada caucus and primary results and dive into the potential impact of ticket-splitting in down-ballot House of Representatives elections this year. Rich Thau, president of Engagious, also joins Carah, Tyler Busch, Zoe Shook, and Etienne Ouellette to discuss focus groups with voters in key states for the 2024 elections. The 2024 Deciders is a project with Sago and Syracuse University’s Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship.

In the Presidential Elections:

The Race for the House, Part One
The Race for the House, Part Two
Engagious – 2024 Deciders

Ep. 5: ‘Huge Election, Huge Stakes’: Trump’s Trials and Political Implications ft. Darren Samuelsohn

Award-winning journalist Darren Samuelsohn joins Carah Ong Whaley and Ella Doddridge (UVA ‘26) to help make sense of the various Trump trials and their implications for politics and the upcoming election, what it’s really like covering the former president, and navigating journalism in the modern media landscapes. 

Ep. 4: How We’re Thinking About Presidential Primary Elections post-New Hampshire

In this episode, Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley discuss what they learned about voter turnout in the New Hampshire primary election and how they are thinking about the upcoming presidential primary elections. They also discuss the recent decision in Louisiana to create a second Black-majority Congressional district, ending a nearly two-year saga over adequate Black representation in the state. 

Links in this episode: 

The Fields Above the Graves: Louisiana 2024 Redistricting
Trump Clears the New Hampshire Hurdle

Ep. 3: A Guide to the New Hampshire 2024 Primary ft. Dante Scala

Polls suggest that the New Hampshire Primary should be more competitive than Donald Trump’s large margin in Iowa’s low-turnout caucus. Just 4 of New Hampshire’s 10 counties will likely comprise 75% of the primary electorate. Dante Scala, University of New Hampshire, joins Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley to offer a guide to which New England hamlets offer the best clues to the outcome on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. Kyle also discusses among which key demographic groups Donald Trump did better in Iowa’s low-turnout 2024 caucus compared to 2016. 

Links in this Episode:

A Roadmap for the New Hampshire GOP Primary 
Big Iowa Win Confirms Trump’s Stranglehold on GOP 

Ep. 2: Full Grassley: What We’re Watching in Iowa ft. Karen Kedrowski, Iowa State University

It’s a flurry of snow and presidential campaigning in Iowa this week in the leadup to the Hawkeye state’s caucuses on Monday, January 15, 2024. Although former president Donald J. Trump continues to hold the lead in polling averages by 30+ percentage points in Iowa, candidates and campaigns are inundating the public with ads, leaflets and rallies, hoping Iowans will brave the freezing temperatures and weather conditions to caucus for them. 

Dr. Karen Kedrowski, Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, joins Kyle Kondik and Carah Ong Whaley to discuss campaign strategies, changes to the Democratic caucus, and how all the efforts might impact the outcome and what it means for the 2024 presidential election. They also discuss changing demographics in Iowa and key areas to watch as caucus results roll in. 

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Ep. 1: ‘It was an attack on democracy; it was terrorism’ ft. Officer Daniel Hodges

As we commemorate the third anniversary of the attacks on the U.S. Capitol, we talk with DC Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges. On January 6, 2021, Ofc. Hodges responded with Civil Defense Unit 42 to the attacks on the U.S. Capitol as Capitol Police units were overrun. Ofc. Hodges fought those who assaulted the Capitol on the west lawn, the west terrace, and in the tunnel leading out to the inaugural platform, sustaining many injuries in the process. While fighting in the tunnel he was crushed by rioters in the west terrace doors of the Capitol and beaten. He returned to full duty within a month and continues to serve as an officer. Not only does he continue to serve, he also has testified in court cases about January 6 and in a case in the Colorado Supreme Court, which recently ruled  that Donald Trump is disqualified from the state’s 2024 ballot under the Constitution’s “insurrectionist ban.” Former President Donald Trump formally asked the US Supreme Court to reverse that decision on January 3.  

Along with others who defended democracy on January 6, 2021, Officer Hodges received a Congressional medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Center for Politics’ 2023 Defenders of Democracy award.  

Hodges joined the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department in 2014.  Hodges has also received multiple awards for his services with MPD, including a Commendation medal for responding to a man brandishing a gun and threatening MPD Officers and talking him into disarming and surrendering.  Civil Disturbance Unit 42 is a “rapid response” platoon that is equipped with non-standard defensive gear and is activated for policing a variety of First Amendment assemblies, protests, and riots. 

Links in this Episode:

Season 2

Ep. 68: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Kyle Kondik shares his new analysis on Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball that compares Trump’s approval in 2019 to Biden’s approval in 2023, the same point in each presidency. He finds that Biden’s lower approval is not driven by a higher level of antipathy from Republicans. Kyle and Carah Ong Whaley also reflect on the state of democracy and the upcoming 2024 elections.  

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Ep. 67: Calling Out & Addressing Threats to Democracy ft. Barbara Comstock and LF Payne

Former Members of Congress Barbara Comstock (Republican) and LF Payne (Democrat), and Alex Theodoridis (UMass) join Carah Ong Whaley and Samuel Kipps to discuss the findings from a new survey on the perspectives, beliefs, and experiences of former members of Congress, with a specific focus on concerns about violence in 2024 and the differing narratives surrounding the events of January 6th. They also discuss the state of dysfunction and polarization in Congress and efforts to rebuild trust and civility in politics. 

Rep. Comstock is a senior adviser for the law and lobbying firm, Baker Donelson, a political commentator, and, most importantly, a resident scholar with us here at the Center for Politics, among many esteemed positions. Rep. Payne is president of Three Ridges Group in Charlottesville, VA and a member of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors. and also joining us is Alex Theodoridis, Associate Professor of Political Science & Co-Director of the UMass Poll at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Links in this Episode:
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