59 episodes

“The Run-Up” is your guide to understanding the 2024 election. Host Astead W. Herndon talks to the people whose decisions will make the difference.

Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at nytimes.com/audioapp

The Run-Up The New York Times

    • News

“The Run-Up” is your guide to understanding the 2024 election. Host Astead W. Herndon talks to the people whose decisions will make the difference.

Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at nytimes.com/audioapp

    Everyone Not Named Trump or Biden Who Might Make a Difference in Trump vs. Biden

    Everyone Not Named Trump or Biden Who Might Make a Difference in Trump vs. Biden

    If the 2024 presidential election were a road trip, we would now be at the part where you start to wonder: Are we there yet? The matchup is set, but there’s still such a long way to go until November.

    And one of the things we’ve noticed about the questions that you’ve been sending in is that you’re starting to mix it up. You want to know what Donald Trump’s possible vice-presidential picks are, how down-ballot races are shaping up, and what difference celebrity endorsements could make.

    This week, we’re answering your questions by setting the main characters of 2024 aside and talking about the people who aren’t named Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Some are candidates and public officials. Others are a little farther from politics. But they all could have an impact on the election come November.

    • 46 min
    Inside the College Democrats’ Rebuke of Biden

    Inside the College Democrats’ Rebuke of Biden

    Here’s what we know when it comes to the antiwar protests on college campuses and electoral politics: President Biden does seem to have a problem with young activists on the left. The disapproval only intensified in the days after the president spoke critically about the protests.

    But whether or not he has a larger problem with young voters in general remains to be seen. Which is why one statement from a more mainstream group, saying the administration is on a “mistaken route,” is worth considering.

    That group? The College Democrats of America.

    That’s an organization that is closely aligned with national party leadership, and the leaders of the group are delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Which means, they’re the young people who would seem most likely to support Mr. Biden.

    So over the past few days, we reached out to a bunch of leaders within the College Democrats to get the inside story of how that statement came to be — and to understand what it might mean for November.

    • 47 min
    The Democrats' New Chance in Wisconsin

    The Democrats' New Chance in Wisconsin

    For years, Wisconsin has been one of the most heavily gerrymandered states in the country, with legislative districts that overwhelmingly favored Republicans. In fact, the maps were so one-sided that, even though the state has a roughly equal share of Democrats and Republicans, Republicans were able to lock in large majorities in the State Assembly and Senate.

    But earlier this year, the state adopted new maps, which have significantly changed the political landscape in the state for Democrats. They are newly optimistic.

    So after months of hearing about President Biden’s problems motivating the Democratic base, we traveled to the critical battleground state of Wisconsin to ask: Have new maps led to new energy for Democrats, up and down the ballot?

    • 55 min
    The Comedian Roy Wood Jr. on Biden, Trump and What’s Funny About 2024

    The Comedian Roy Wood Jr. on Biden, Trump and What’s Funny About 2024

    The stakes of the 2024 presidential election could not be more serious. But in this matchup of two old, largely unpopular candidates, there is no shortage of material for comedians.

    This may be bad news for voters. However, it’s good news for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner — essentially the Super Bowl of political comedy — which takes place this Saturday in Washington.

    The president typically attends the dinner and gives a speech, while also trying his hand at some jokes. But the main event is a set from a comedian. Last year, Roy Wood Jr., a veteran performer who was then a “Daily Show” correspondent, did the honors.

    Today, we talk with Roy Wood Jr. about that gig and political comedy in 2024.

    What’s it like to roast the president to his face? And what is there to laugh about in an election that doesn’t seem funny at all?

    • 43 min
    The Youngest Voters and the Oldest President

    The Youngest Voters and the Oldest President

    In a close election, every vote matters. But in the 2020 presidential race, there’s a good argument that young voters mattered a lot — and helped tip the scales for President Biden.

    This year, though, things seem much less straightforward. Polling data shows that Mr. Biden’s approval rating has tanked among young Americans. Polls also show that he continues to be hounded by the perception that he is too old for the job. And young activists are creating a public-relations nightmare for the campaign as they protest for more direct action on climate change and demand a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.

    In this episode, we speak to young voters. We also talk with two leaders of Democratic groups that are focused on young people: Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, the executive director of NextGen America, which just conducted a poll of young voters, and Santiago Mayer, the founder and executive director of Voters of Tomorrow.

    • 47 min
    Nebraska Was Minding Its Business Until Charlie Kirk Came Along

    Nebraska Was Minding Its Business Until Charlie Kirk Came Along

    Right now, President Biden’s clearest path to re-election in November seems to run through the middle of the country.

    Here’s what that would look like: Biden wins the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — plus the other states that usually go blue — and it brings him to 269 electoral votes, just one vote shy of securing the presidency.

    And that’s where Nebraska comes in.

    Nebraska is one of just two states that distributes electoral college votes proportionally rather than with a winner-take-all approach. That means that, even though it’s a largely conservative state, Nebraskans sometimes still give one of their five electoral votes to a Democrat, as they did for Biden in 2020.

    This year, Nebraska and the up-for-grabs nature of that one electoral vote have caught the attention of the right-wing commentator Charlie Kirk, former President Donald Trump and his supporters. In recent weeks, they’ve mobilized and are throwing Nebraska’s unique electoral system into flux.

    On “The Run-Up” this week: A story about the electoral college, the power of right-wing media and the ongoing fight over who gets a voice in U.S. elections.

    • 35 min

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