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The NPR Politics Podcast

The NPR Politics Podcast

Every weekday, NPR's best political reporters are there to explain the big news coming out of Washington and the campaign trail. They don't just tell you what happened. They tell you why it matters. Every afternoon.

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Episodes

Here's How The Associated Press Declares A Winner

NPR, like many news outlets, relies on the Associated Press to discern and report election results. In this episode, we speak with the AP's David Scott about how the organization makes those determinations.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, and campaign correspondent Scott Detrow.

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2020-10-27
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Trump And Biden Are Both On The Trail, But Their Campaign Events Are Worlds Apart

President Trump is working to enthuse his supporters with rallies full of grievance and conspiracy, harkening back to his successful 2016 run. He cites the energy at his rallies as evidence that polls showing him down are wrong. Meanwhile, Joe Biden's closing argument is the same as his opening argument: Donald Trump is a unique threat to the nation and I represent a return to stability.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, and senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-10-26
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It's Been A Minute: How Latino Voter Outreach Still Falls Short

In this special episode from It's Been A Minute With Sam Sanders, Sam dives into the short falls of Latino voter outreach.

Latinos are the second largest group of eligible voters by race or ethnicity in the United States, but they continue to be misunderstood and underappreciated by political campaigns of all parties.

Sam talks to Lisa García Bedolla, a scholar of Latino politics, about how the word "Latino" encompasses diverse communities of all political stripes and life experiences, and he checks in with the former mayor of a small town in Texas who's been thinking of Latino voter outreach for a long time.

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2020-10-25
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Weekly Roundup: October 23rd

The US government shared details about two alleged election meddling operations by Iran and Russia this week. The operations initially appear to be smaller-scale than they were in 2016. And we talk about what to expect in the last full week of campaigning.

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, voting reporter Miles Parks, election security editor Phil Ewing, campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, and White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe.

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2020-10-23
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Surprise: There Was A Lot Of Policy Talk At The Final Presidential Debate

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden sparred over immigration, energy, and pandemic policy in the final presidential debate. But in race with historically stable polling, the debate had few surprises and seems unlikely to change the state of the race.

Read Our Coverage Of The Debate

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-10-23
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How Campaigns Work: Polling

In an ongoing series congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell looks under the hood at campaigns. From how they raise money to what they do once they have it.

This episode, Kelsey looks at polling. But not the kind you expect. Kelsey talks to two of the top pollsters on both sides of the aisle about who exactly they poll, what they ask them, and how the answers change how a campaign operates.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid and congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell

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2020-10-21
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Trump's Popularity In South Carolina Boosts Lindsey Graham's Odds In SC

Democrats have raised oodles of money in the South Carolina Senate race. Like, a whole lot of money. And polling shows things neck-and-neck between GOP incumbent Lindsey Graham and Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison. But given Trump's top-of-the-ticket draw there, it could be tough for Democrats to score an upset.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, and national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

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2020-10-20
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Fifteen Days Out, Some GOP Lawmakers Are Distancing Themselves From Trump

Joe Biden warns that nothing is certain, while Donald Trump says everything is still possible. Just over two weeks out from the election, the campaigns are in full turnout mode. Despite the president's confidence, though, Republicans are beginning to message that they will be an effective check on a Biden presidency.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, and senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-10-19
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No Compromise From NPR: Does No-Compromising Really Work?

Today we are sharing an episode of NPR's No Compromise. The podcast series tells the story of three brothers who are determined to change gun politics. Ben, Chris, and Aaron Dorr are carving out a space to the right of the NRA and the GOP.

Discover a social media empire with an unapologetic vision of gun rights?generating millions of likes, follows, and dollars. From Guns & America, reporters Lisa Hagen of WABE and Chris Haxel of KCUR expose how these three brothers from the most uncompromising corner of the gun debate are turning hot-button issues into donations and controversy.

The final episode comes out October 20th, so now is a great time to catch up. Find more episodes here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

No Compromise from NPR: https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510356/no-compromise
2020-10-18
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Weekly Roundup: October 16th

Donald Trump mired himself in conspiracy last night at his NBC News town hall. Joe Biden didn't give a clear answer on court-packing, but said he'd make his position clear sometime before the election.

Voters in Michigan and Ohio are feeling differently than they did four years ago. And, more than 20 million Americans have already voted. So, what does that really tell us?

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, and voting reporter Miles Parks.

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2020-10-16
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With Biden Up Double-Digits, Dems Eye North Carolina and Georgia Senate Seats

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows Joe Biden with a double-digit national lead over President Trump. That margin makes states like North Carolina and Georgia competitive for Democrats, which is welcome news for their Senate candidates there.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro, reporter Steve Harrison of WFAE in North Carolina, and reporter Emma Hurt of WABE in Georgia.

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2020-10-15
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Out Of Bed, On His Heels: Trump Campaigns In Florida And Georgia

As President Trump returns to the campaign trail after his hospitalization, he's campaigning in states that he won comfortably in 2016. Meanwhile, Joe Biden looks to be expanding his map. And, highlights from day three of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Read All Of Our Coverage

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-10-14
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Barrett Says She Isn't 'A Pawn' ? But Won't Commit To Recuse From An Election Case

Read All Of Our Coverage

Amy Coney Barrett didn't give direct answers to many questions, as expected. Like past nominees, she refused to deal in hypotheticals. But Democrats looked to her past writing and scholarship to make the case that she is hostile to abortion access and healthcare access. Republicans said she is qualified to serve.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-10-14
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'Doubt It'll Change Any Minds': Senate Goes Through Partisan Motions For SCOTUS

Republican Lindsey Graham said even though views were set, the hearings for Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination are important. Republicans pushed back against attacks on her faith that have yet to materialize, while Democrats suggested that Barrett would be the end of the Affordable Care Act in the United States.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-10-12
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How Campaigns Work: Advertising

In an ongoing series congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell looks under the hood at campaigns. From how they raise money to what they do once they have it.

This episode, Kelsey looks at political advertising. She talks with two of the most respected political ad makers in the business. One argues that the best ad is the one that goes viral; the other believes the best ad is the one with the clearest message.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid and congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell

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2020-10-11
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As Senate GOP Demurs On Aid, Women Bear Brunt Of Economic Crisis

The Federal Reserve exists to lessen the severity of economic crises and its chair has been calling for more stimulus money for months. But Senate Republicans aren't likely to coalesce around a deal and mercurial negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin drag on.

And, what to expect from next week's Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, chief economics correspondent Scott Horsley, and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-10-09
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"Violent Extremists" Planned To Kidnap Michigan Governor, Says DOJ

Conspirators began training for a potential attack on Whitmer's vacation home or the governor's official summer residence over the summer, according to a criminal complaint released Thursday. After abducting Whitmer, Fox allegedly said, the governor would be taken a secure location in Wisconsin for "trial," according to the complaint.

And, President Trump throws next debate into doubt and levies a bigoted attack against Kamala Harris.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, justice correspondent Ryan Lucas, national political correspondent Mara Liasson, and White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe.

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2020-10-08
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Pence And Harris Go Head-To-Head Over The Pandemic, Taxes, And Healthcare

Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris spent the evening echoing the rhetoric of their respective party nominees ? but with less interruptions than when President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden debated.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, and White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe.

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2020-10-08
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Joe Biden Up In Post-Debate Polls

The president's sickness has dragged the pandemic back to the center of the presidential campaign, despite the looming Supreme Court fight. And Joe Biden's lead is stable or perhaps slightly up from where it was before the presidential debate last week.

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, White House reporter Juana Summers, and senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-10-06
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As Trump's Care Moves To White House, Doctor Again Evades Key Questions

The president's care will continue at the White House. Signs still point to a severe case of Covid-19, though his doctor continues to dodge questions posed by NPR and other outlets. We do not know if the president is on blood thinners or the condition of his lungs.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, and science correspondent Rob Stein.

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2020-10-06
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Questions Persist About Trump's Health After Second Dissembling Briefing

The president has started a steroid and his doctor acknowledges that Trump has in fact received supplemental oxygen. His course of treatment suggests a severe case of Covid-19, though his team suggests he could be back at the White House as soon as tomorrow.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, science correspondent Richard Harris, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-10-04
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After Doctor Said Trump Doing Well, Source Familiar With His Health Said Otherwise

FOLLOW OUR COVERAGE: https://n.pr/3nj0elU

Muddled messaging from the White House has sent confusing signals about the president's well-being. We talk about what we know about his condition and treatment.

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, White House reporter Franco Ordoñez, science correspondent Joe Palca.

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2020-10-03
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Weekly Roundup: October 2nd

The White House says the president's symptoms have been mild so far, but his positive test is likely to have far-reaching effects on Capitol Hill and the campaign trail.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-10-02
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The President And First Lady Test Positive For Coronavirus

President Trump tweeted after midnight Friday that he and the First Lady Melania Trump had both tested positive for the coronavirus. The White House physician also released a formal letter confirming the news. This comes after top White House aide Hope Hicks tested positive Thursday.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow and White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

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2020-10-02
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Two Million Americans Have Already Voted

Early voting is way up in 2020. But conspiracy theories spread by the president and protests at polling places have spooked some voters, and changed how some plan to cast their ballots.

Life Kit: How To Cast Your Ballot

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, voting correspondent Pam Fessler, and voting reporter Miles Parks.

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2020-10-01
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Rail Force One: Biden Leads Whistle-Stop Tour After Debate

The Biden campaign chartered an Amtrak train to take the former vice president through Ohio and Pennsylvania after the first presidential debate. And, voters react to the chaos of last night's event.

This episode: White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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Correction Oct. 1, 2020: A previous version of this page incorrectly referred to former Vice President Joe Biden as the president.
2020-09-30
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Debate: Trump Refuses To Condemn White Supremacy, Biden Pitches Directly To Camera

The first debate was chaotic and light on policy as the participants disregarded the agreed-upon rules. President Trump repeatedly interrupted the discussion in order to lambast Joe Biden and debate moderator Chris Wallace. The president once again refused to condemn white supremacy and did not agree to respect the results of the election.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, and White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

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2020-09-30
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The NYT Says Trump Paid Little In Income Taxes; What Does That Mean For The Campaign?

A New York Times investigation published on Sunday said that President Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes each year in 2016 and 2017, which the president denied at a news conference using a familiar retort: "fake news."

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, senior editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro, and chief economics correspondent Scott Horsley.

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2020-09-28
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Amy Coney Barrett Nominated And Expected To Be Confirmed To Supreme Court

The former Antonin Scalia clerk currently serves on the federal bench after a fifteen-year stint as a law professor at Notre Dame. The Senate will now consider her nomination, where Republicans appear to have the votes to ensure a swift confirmation.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-09-27
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Weekly Roundup: September 25th

There was bipartisan backlash after Trump suggested that he would have to see the results before committing to a peaceful presidential transition. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first woman in U.S. history to lie in state at the Capitol.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, and legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.

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2020-09-25
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How Campaigns Work: Fundraising

In an ongoing series congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell looks under the hood at campaigns. From how they raise money to what they do once they have it.

This episode, Kelsey looks at political fundraising. She talks to former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci about how you ask for those big checks from millionaires, and the head of digital fundraising for Bernie Sanders about how you get a lot of people to donate just a little bit of money over and over again.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith and congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell

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2020-09-24
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200,000 Americans Are Dead ? And It Will Take More Than A Vaccine To Halt Pandemic

It is hard to conceptualize 200,000 lives lost. Hundreds more die each day. And a vaccine, with partial efficacy and patchwork adoption, won't be enough to end the pandemic. That would take more testing, contact tracing and social distancing. Also, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was honored in services at the high court.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, science correspondent Allison Aubrey and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-09-23
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It's Been Months Since Congress Last Passed Coronavirus Aid. Americans Are Struggling.

As Republicans secure the votes to move forward on a Supreme Court nomination, government funding negotiations hit a snag. And Americans are struggling after months with no new federal coronavirus support.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-09-22
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Who Are The Women Under Consideration To Replace RBG?

"Most of them [the potential nominees] are young, and they've gone through the [nomination] process very recently," Trump said. He noted that one person he is considering for the vacancy is 38 years old and could be on the court for 50 years.

Stay Up To Date: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Live Blog

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-09-21
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Progressive Icon, Dead At 87

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

OUR COVERAGE:
- Obituary, by Nina Totenberg
- Live Blog and Latest News
- Trump's Supreme Court Short-list
- What Happened With Merrick Garland And Why It Matters Now (from 2018)

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, legal correspondent Nina Totenburg, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-09-19
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Weekly Roundup: September 18th

A steady presidential race remains steady: Joe Biden's lead is in the high single-digits nationally. But Trump's messaging tying Joe Biden to socialism is finding purchase with Latino voters in Florida, a state that is essential to the president's re-election effort.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, campaign reporter Juana Summers, White House reporter Franco Ordoñez, and senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-09-18
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Bad News/Good News: Vaccine Access Months Away, But Masks Really Help

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress that a widely-available vaccine probably won't be available until well into 2021. But he did say that masks are perhaps even more useful in preventing the spread. That will prove especially true if people are reluctant to take the vaccine.

This episode: White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, and science correspondent Joe Palca.

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2020-09-17
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Analysis: Biden Leads, But He's Still Short Of 270 Electoral Votes

Joe Biden maintains a lead in key states Trump won in 2016, but the race remains tight in Florida. Arizona and Georgia are toss-ups, and Texas is pink. And, the race is remarkably stable. Our reporting from across the country finds that a vanishingly small share of voters are persuadable. That makes the election primarily a turnout contest.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, congressional editor Deirdre Walsh, and senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-09-16
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They Voted For Obama, Then Trump?Now What?

Understanding the motivation of voters in Michigan and Pennsylvania is key to understand the 2016 coalition that allowed President Trump to notch a decisive electoral college victory. Is Joe Biden doing enough to draw that support back to the Democratic column?

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, national political correspondent Don Gonyea, national political correspondent Mara Liasson, and political reporter Abigail Censkey of WKAR in Michigan.

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2020-09-15
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Trump's Nevada Rally Violated State Covid Rules. He Held It Anyway.

After the weekend's rally, aimed at building support among Hispanic voters, President Trump spent Monday in California hearing about disaster response there. Kamala Harris is set to visit her home state tomorrow.

And Democrats have made the decision to abandon door-knocking to engage with voters. The Trump campaign alleges it's knocking on a million doors a week. So who has the best strategy?

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, and campaign correspondent Asma Khalid.

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2020-09-14
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Weekly Roundup: September 11th

As wildfires rage across the west, activists are noting the campaign's relative silence on the issue of climate change. Natural disasters of all sorts, from heat waves to hurricanes, are made worse as humans continue to increase their emissions.

And the Treasury Department and Microsoft have disclosed new election interference efforts by foreign powers, including Russia. The disclosures come the same week a whistleblower alleged Trump administration officials pushed intelligence staff to downplay findings that could make the president look bad. The administration denies the claims.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, science correspondent Lauren Sommer, and voting reporter Miles Parks.

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2020-09-11
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Whistle-blower: Trump Officials Pushed Intel Staff To Downplay Russian Interference

The Department of Homeland Security official says in his complaint that he was ordered to halt reports that made the president "look bad." DHS and the White House deny the allegation.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, election security editor Phil Ewing, and congressional correspondent Susan Davis.

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2020-09-10
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On Tape: President Trump Admits To Downplaying The Pandemic

President Trump was aware of the severity of the coronavirus in early February, telling Bob Woodward that it was much more severe than the flu. In public, Trump used the flu comparison in a different way: highlighting the flu's high seasonal death toll compared to the few dozen early cases of coronavirus.

He admitted to Woodward in March that he was intentionally downplaying the pandemic in order to avoid panic.

Those revelations are contained in Woodward's new book Rage.

The United States death toll from the disease will likely top 200,000 by the end of the month.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and senior political editor and correspondent Ron Elving.

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2020-09-09
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President Trump Pushes Unrealistic Vaccine Timeline In Effort To Win Votes

Pressed on whether he was politicizing vaccine development by suggesting that a vaccine could come before election day (very unlikely), President Trump insisted his pitch was that a vaccine would be available by the end of the year, and that he was just saying it may be possible by late October or early November. And, his campaign is struggling with money.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-09-08
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Labor Day Is When Election Season Kicks Into High Gear. Here's Where Voters Are.

In this Labor Day episode of the podcast, we hear from voters in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Pennsylvania about how they're feeling about their options in November.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson,

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2020-09-07
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Weekly Roundup: September 4th

Isolated bursts of violence between protesters have left at least three Americans dead. But demonstrations across the country remain primarily peaceful. And reporting in The Atlantic alleges that President Trump called military service members "losers" and repeatedly privately degraded troops.

Also: Facebook now acknowledges that it has a role to play in election security, but experts say that the moves it announced this week are insufficient given the scale of the problems ? especially when it comes to disinformation originating from President Trump.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, justice correspondent Ryan Lucas, technology correspondent Shannon Bond, and voting reporter Miles Parks.

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2020-09-04
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The Pandemic Is Slowing Nationally, But Still Severe

Six million Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus and more than 185 thousand have died. Cases nationally are trending downward, but the Midwest is seeing a youth-driven surge. And while the number of people seeking unemployment money has continued to tick downward, the absolute numbers of folks out of work remain high when compared to January.

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, science correspondent Allison Aubrey, and economics correspondent Scott Horsley.

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2020-09-03
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Lawmakers On Both Sides Of The Aisle Contend With New Political Realities

Republicans' internal divisions, and divisions with President Trump, made legislating nearly impossible during Trump's first term. There's little sign that thing would be different should he be re-elected.

And Sen. Ed Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, won his primary against Rep. Joe Kennedy III. Congressman Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, also held-off a insurgent challenger. But the contests illustrate a new reality of Democratic politics: primary challenges are here to stay.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, congressional reporter Kelsey Snell, and congressional editor Deirdre Walsh.

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2020-09-02
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Trump Defends Man Accused Of Shooting Protesters, Visits Kenosha

The president is in Kenosha, Wis., today, a city that has been rocked by protests after police shot a black man several times in the back a little over a week ago. Despite some incidents of looting, crime appears to be on par with recent years and near a three-decade low.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, and White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

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2020-09-01
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Joe Biden: 'Do I Look Like A Radical Socialist With A Soft Spot For Rioters?'

Biden's remarks come after several days of unrest in cities, including the shooting deaths of two protesters in Wisconsin, allegedly by an armed white vigilante, and a fatal shooting in Portland, Ore., where a man was killed during a night of confrontations between Trump supporters and racial justice demonstrators.

Also, how activists at the March On Washington are talking about voting this election cycle.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, political reporter Juana Summers, campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-08-31
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