7 episodes

David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt are friends, former rivals and two of the top strategic minds in America. They understand American politics better than almost anyone because, when they were running presidential campaigns, they had to make momentous decisions almost every single day. In Battleground, they'll draw on 50+ years of combined experience inside campaigns and in government to break down how the Democrats and Republicans are fighting for votes. They’ll dissect the opposing parties’ game plans to explain exactly what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and why it is – or isn't – working.

Battleground with David Plouffe & Steve Schmidt iHeartRadio

    • Government
    • 4.8 • 25 Ratings

David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt are friends, former rivals and two of the top strategic minds in America. They understand American politics better than almost anyone because, when they were running presidential campaigns, they had to make momentous decisions almost every single day. In Battleground, they'll draw on 50+ years of combined experience inside campaigns and in government to break down how the Democrats and Republicans are fighting for votes. They’ll dissect the opposing parties’ game plans to explain exactly what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and why it is – or isn't – working.

    Pennsylvania, Texas and the Suburban Backlash

    Pennsylvania, Texas and the Suburban Backlash

    In 2016, Pennsylvania was considered part of Hillary Clinton’s “blue wall.” The thought was that, together, the Keystone State, Wisconsin and Michigan would vote Democrat and prevent Trump from winning the White House. Four years later, David and Steve talk to Democratic strategist Bill Hyers about why Pennsylvania crumbled and how 45’s chances look this time around. Hyers was named “Campaign Manager of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants after he engineered Bill de Blasio's come from behind victory in 2013. He ran Michael Nutter’s successful 2007 campaign for Mayor of Philadelphia, was the Pennsylvania State Director for Obama’s 2012 campaign, and worked on Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman’s very first campaign in 2018-19. Today, as a partner at The WIN Company, he’s working on campaigns across the country, including state races in Pennsylvania and Texas. In this episode of Battleground, he breaks down the Dems' chances in Pennsylvania and Texas, and explains why he's so bullish on Biden.

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    • 38 min
    Dave Wasserman

    Dave Wasserman

    Two months before the 2016 election, House Editor of the Cook Political Report and self-described “numbers junkie,” Dave Wasserman penned a prophetic piece for The New York Times titled “How Trump Could Win the White House While Losing the Popular Vote.” Four years later, he’s putting the battleground in Battleground by taking David Plouffe & Steve Schmidt on an in-depth tour of the states, and even counties, that could decide the 2020 election. But first, our hosts talk about the plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer, President Trump’s determination to mishandle the Covid crisis in his own White House and across the nation, and whether it’s too late for Senate Republicans to get off the Trump train before it derails. 

    Dave Wasserman’s 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/133Eb4qQmOxNvtesw2hdVns073R68EZx4SfCnP4IGQf8/htmlview

    Dave Wasserman’s Swingometer: https://cookpolitical.com/swingometer?politicalwire
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    • 39 min
    Arizona: The Replacement State

    Arizona: The Replacement State

    David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt break down Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and the first presidential debate. Then, they're joined by Representative Raquel Terán, who was elected in 2018 to the Arizona State House to represent the people of Central West Phoenix and Downtown Glendale in Maricopa County. Before winning elective office, Rep. Terán was Political Director for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, Director of Mi Familia Vota, a nonprofit devoted to building Latino political power, and Campaign Director for I Stand with Planned Parenthood. She joins David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt to discuss Covid-19, the Latino vote, and how the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett could affect the race in the Grand Canyon State.
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    • 41 min
    SCOTUS Fight & Debate Fright

    SCOTUS Fight & Debate Fright

    David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt are joined by Nicolle Wallace, NBC News political analyst and host of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” and Stephanie Cutter, Program Executive of the Democratic National Convention and previously the Deputy Campaign Manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, to discuss the first 2020 presidential debate and upcoming Supreme Court nomination. The Battleground team analyzes Biden versus Trump in temperament and tactical skill ahead of this week’s debate, peaceful transitions of power and what it would take to stop a Supreme Court confirmation before Election Day.
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    • 39 min
    Florida: The Checkmate State

    Florida: The Checkmate State

    David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt are joined by Rick Wilson and Steve Schale, two of the top political strategists in the Sunshine State, and they discuss the ultimate electoral battleground – Florida. The quartet dissects the Trump and Biden strategies in Florida, puzzles over the Trump campaign's shocking ability to squander money and ponders the horrors that await the nation in a post-Trump world where disaffected, MAGA conspiracy theorists refuse to accept the legitimacy of the election.
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    • 40 min
    The Existential Election

    The Existential Election

    In the first episode of Battleground, David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt dissect the upcoming presidential contest – the most important election America has faced since 1864.
    The two former foes turned friends discuss Biden's chances in Florida and Pennsylvania, Trump's attempts to turn Minnesota and Nevada into battlegrounds, Biden's appeal to blue collar voters and Trump's ability to expand the electorate.
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    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

nofoolingaround ,

Listen to the people who know

Incisive, insightful, intelligent and compelling. This is analysis by the creme de la creme. Get educated and get voting!

James Van Allen ,

Disappointing. Just more divisive party propaganda.

First episode wasn’t too bad, although clearly in one camp. The second and third episodes deteriorated to name calling and agenda driven political discussion.

I’m at a loss with American media. I haven’t found anything remotely bipartisan since maybe the 2016 election series of The Circus (which has also reduced itself to the same cringeworthy tactics as it’s peers.

1Picccccckle1 ,

Solid analysis

Solid.

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