46 episodes

The Downballot is a show dedicated to the thousands of elections across America for critically important offices below the presidency, from Senate to city council. With more than 20 years of experience analyzing U.S. elections, Daily Kos provides unparalleled insight into congressional and state races nationwide. Tune in every Thursday morning for one-of-a-kind coverage of these key contests.

The Downballot Daily Kos Podcasts

    • News
    • 4.7 • 98 Ratings

The Downballot is a show dedicated to the thousands of elections across America for critically important offices below the presidency, from Senate to city council. With more than 20 years of experience analyzing U.S. elections, Daily Kos provides unparalleled insight into congressional and state races nationwide. Tune in every Thursday morning for one-of-a-kind coverage of these key contests.

    Democrats ran great campaigns, actually, with Josh Wolf

    Democrats ran great campaigns, actually, with Josh Wolf

    Why did Democrats do so surprisingly well in the midterms? It turns out they ran really good campaigns, as strategist Josh Wolf tells us on this week's episode of The Downballot. That means they defined their opponents aggressively, spent efficiently, and stayed the course despite endless second-guessing in the press. Wolf gives us an inside picture of how exactly these factors played out in the Arizona governor's race, one of the most important Democratic wins of the year. He also shines a light on an unsexy but crucial aspect of every campaign: how to manage a multi-million budget for an enterprise designed to spend down to zero by Election Day.
    Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard, meanwhile, take a look at how turnout differed between Republicans and Democrats in 2022 (and why it's bad news for the GOP for 2024); why the Republican House majority is the most precarious it's been in a long time; how bonkers conspiracy theorists in a dark-red county in Arizona could flip two major races by refusing to certify their own votes; and a key special election coming up in Wisconsin that could allow Democrats to roll back the GOP's new supermajority in the state Senate.
    Transcript to come.

    • 57 min
    The last results of 2022 and looking toward 2024, with Joe Sudbay

    The last results of 2022 and looking toward 2024, with Joe Sudbay

    Election season overtime is finally winding down, so Democratic operative Joe Sudbay joins David Nir on The Downballot as a guest-host this week to recap some of the last results that have just trickled in. At the top of the list is the race for Arizona attorney general, where Democrat Kris Mayes has a 510-vote lead with all ballots counted (a mandatory recount is unlikely to change the outcome). Also on the agenda is Arizona's successful Proposition 308, which will allow students to receive financial aid regardless of immigration status.
    Over in California, Democrats just took control of the boards of supervisors in two huge counties, Riverside and Orange—in the case of the latter, for the first time since 1976. Joe and David also discuss which Democratic candidates who fell just short this year they'd like to see try again in 2024, and what the GOP's very skinny House majority means for Kevin McCarthy's prospects as speaker.
    Transcript available here.

    • 37 min
    More Dem wins + overtime races

    More Dem wins + overtime races

    We're now in the second week of election overtime and there are still plenty of major races yet to be decided—as well as tons more great news for Democrats to exult over on this week's episode of The Downballot. On the uncalled races front, co-hosts David Nir and David Beard dive into a pair of House races in California and several legislatures that could flip from red to blue, including the Pennsylvania House. Speaking of legislatures, the Davids also go deep on what the astonishing flips in Michigan will mean for progressives and particularly organized labor.
    And there's more! The hosts explain why New York's court-drawn congressional map did indeed undermine Democrats (despite some claims to the contrary) and wrap up with a recap of interesting ballot measures across the country, including an Arizona amendment to create the post of lieutenant governor for the first time; minimum wage hikes in multiple states; and, in several more states, the legalization of weed plus, in Colorado, psychedelic mushrooms.
    Episode transcript is available here.

    • 39 min
    Holy crap, what an amazing night!

    Holy crap, what an amazing night!

    Holy crap, what an amazing night! Where do we even begin this week's episode of The Downballot? Well, we know exactly where: abortion. Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard recap Tuesday's extraordinary results, starting with a clear-eyed examination of the issue that animated Democrats as never before—and that pundits got so badly wrong. They also discuss candidate quality (still really important!), Democratic meddling in GOP primaries (good for democracy, actually), and "soft" Biden disapprovers (lots of them voted for Democrats).
    The Davids then catalog the uncalled races for Senate and game out what might happen in the House; review the clean sweep for the good guys in five states that had abortion-related measures on the ballot; and finish off with some delicious, gourmet schadenfreude. You won't want to miss out!
    Episode transcript.

    • 40 min
    The key House races to watch on Tuesday, with Jeff Singer

    The key House races to watch on Tuesday, with Jeff Singer

    At long last, the 2022 midterms are almost here! With the battle for the House front and center, we've brought back Daily Kos Elections editor Jeff Singer to give us a window into the key races on a final pre-election episode of The Downballot. Singer discusses a wide range of contests that will offer insight into how the night is going, including top GOP pickup opportunities, second-tier Republican targets, and the seats where Democrats are on offense. And with many vote tallies likely to stretch on for some time, Singer also identifies several bellwether races in states that count quickly.
    We'll be covering all of these races and many, many more on Tuesday night in our liveblog at Daily Kos Elections and on Twitter. The first polls close at 6 PM ET, so come join us! And of course, we'll recap the action on next week's edition of The Downballot.
    Transcript is available here.

    • 39 min
    Answering your questions on the 2022 midterms, with Steve Singiser

    Answering your questions on the 2022 midterms, with Steve Singiser

    The 2022 midterms are just around the corner, and you sent us a ton of fantastic questions for The Downballot mailbag episode we promised this week, so we brought on Daily Kos Elections contributing editor Steve Singiser to help us answer them. Among the many topics we cover: which states are likely to report results slowly—and how will those results change over time; the House districts that look like key bellwethers for how the night might go, and which might offer surprises; why and how Democrats make the hard decisions on which races to triage; the top legislative chambers to keep an eye on; and plenty more!
    A transcript of the episode is available here.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
98 Ratings

98 Ratings

2574147935568438627530652) ,

Informative, easy to follow, enjoyable listen

Honestly my favorite elections podcast. It’s not crazy in depth or complicated, all of the info is accessible, the hosts are super fun.

Ross Anglin ,

Fascinating for election junkies

A fast paced, in depth examination of weekly election news. The perspective is from the left, but the analysis is clear eyed and will be valuable to any follower of elections. This new show immediately has found its rhythm and become one of my favorites.

ZAMBO GREEN ,

Look at MN CD8–flippable

MN CD8 was held by Dems 70 of last 76 years. More blue after redistricting. Strong Dem candidate.

Top Podcasts In News

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC
MSW Media
The New York Times
NPR
The Daily Wire
Serial Productions & The New York Times

You Might Also Like

The Daily Beast
The Bulwark
Chris Hayes, MSNBC & NBCNews THINK
Talking Points Memo
The Lincoln Project
Joe Trippi