126 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
    • 4.8 • 131 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.

    Give up on 2024? Vote Save America says hell no!

    Give up on 2024? Vote Save America says hell no!

    Unnamed "senior Democrats" are at it again, saying they're "resigned" to losing in November. On this week's episode of "The Downballot," host David Nir and guest host Joe Sudbay go hog-wild on the defeatists, explaining why humility and fortitude must be the order of the day. They also delve into polling data showing that the top of the ticket is not destiny: Regardless of what happens in the race for the White House, you don't need to be huffing hopium to believe that Democrats are still very much in the game further down the ballot.And no one believes that more than our guest this week. Shaniqua McClendon runs Vote Save America, the activism arm of the Pod Save America network, which is dedicated to helping progressives across the country get involved at all levels. McClendon explains how the Pod Save crew leverages its reach to engage grassroots activists, and why VSA is devoted to ensuring small donors get the biggest bang for their buck. She also tells us about some of her top races and how listeners can get involved at votesaveamerica.com.

    • 46 min
    The other 499,999 elections

    The other 499,999 elections

    There are half a million elected offices in the United States, and the presidency is just one of them. This week on "The Downballot," co-hosts David Nir and David Beard revisit why they started the show in the first place: to cast a spotlight on those other 499,999 races. If you're a progressive feeling understandably depressed and/or scared right now, it's more important than ever to remember we can still have a huge impact further down the ticket—and there's lots of reason to think that even if Democrats lose the White House, they can score major victories elsewhere. And no matter what, the more seats we win, the firmer our bulwark against fascism.Indeed, two of America's most important allies showed us just that over the past week. The Davids recap monumental elections in the United Kingdom and France that saw voters across the spectrum reject the far right. The results, though, look very different. The U.K. just ushered in a massive majority for the center-left Labour Party for the first time in 14 years, while France's parliament is now split between three major blocs that themselves have internal divisions. What comes next is anyone's guess, but we can at least say that extremism and xenophobia failed to carry the day.

    • 38 min
    French snap elections preview

    French snap elections preview

    Momentous elections are taking place in just days in France, so we've brought Bolts editor-in-chief Daniel Nichanian on this week's episode of "The Downballot" to give us the complete picture. Nichanian deciphers President Emmanuel Macron's opaque rationale for calling snap elections despite his party's grim standing in the polls and explains why, for the first time ever, the longstanding firewall between the center-right and the far right has finally collapsed—and could usher in the most extreme government that America's oldest ally has seen since the Vichy regime.
    Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also give due attention to elections on this side of the Atlantic, with a rundown of Tuesday's primaries. They discuss why it's a mistake to conclude that AIPAC's massive spending was the chief driver of Jamaal Bowman's fall, then delve into the not one, not two, but three different GOP primaries that saw Trump-backed candidates all lose.
    To all of our loyal listeners, "The Downballot" will be taking off next week for the Fourth of July, but we'll be back in two weeks' time with a new episode!

    • 59 min
    Freedom Caucus chair loses in a squeaker

    Freedom Caucus chair loses in a squeaker

    The entire GOP from Trump on down was gunning for the head of the House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday night—and they succeeded, but only barely. We're recapping the latest primaries on this week's episode of "The Downballot," starting with Virginia Rep. Bob Good's near-escape from political doom. We've also got a compelling Democratic primary in NoVa, where a retiring congresswoman's blessing proved critical, and a brewing rumble in a swing district that will test a first-time Democratic candidate with immense fundraising prowess but limited experience on the campaign trail.

    • 25 min
    A crazy Dem special election overperformance

    A crazy Dem special election overperformance

    Holy moly! Ohio Democrats just turned in an astounding special election performance on Tuesday night—in a conservative rural district they had no reason to think would be favorable in any way. Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard discuss what it means on this week's episode of "The Downballot," including why it's a bad idea to ignore the warning signs that special elections writ large are flashing for Republicans.We also recap some wild GOP primaries in South Carolina and explain why Democrats should not challenge a successful ballot measure in North Dakota that would bar octogenarians from serving in Congress.Our guest this week is Pete Maysmith, who runs political campaigns for the League of Conservation Voters, one of the leading environmental organizations in the country. Maysmith tells us about the top environmental issues that motivate voters—and why LCV is also happy to highlight other topics, like the cost of insulin, if it'll help climate champions win. He also zooms in on several of LCV's key target races this fall and explains how addressing climate change can be a winning issue even on red turf.

    • 59 min
    Jumbo June primary preview

    Jumbo June primary preview

    Whoa mama! June is chock-full of juicy primaries, so we've brought Daily Kos Elections editor Jeff Singer on this week's episode of "The Downballot" to give us the lay of the land. In South Carolina, we've got not one but two GOP primaries marked by accusations of infidelity on the part of Republican incumbents, while North Dakota will vote on a ballot measure that could spark a legal upheaval and pave the way for congressional term limits. And in Colorado, of course, we've got Lauren Boebert's switcheroo, but there's so much more, so tune in!Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also recap Tuesday night's primaries, which saw a Trump-endorsed candidate lose in New Jersey thanks to the death rattle of the "county line" system. In Iowa, meanwhile, a Republican congresswoman had her own near-death experience despite outspending her challenger 100-to-1. And in New Mexico, progressives ousted several reactionary Democratic incumbents in the legislature, opening the door to more progressive legislation next year.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
131 Ratings

131 Ratings

Ljlboulder ,

Great info on races across the country!

I love listening to the Davids and the amazing guests they host to learn about key races around the US. Their podcast is incisive and informative for politics junkies and normal
people, too.

CarlyMonica🖤 ,

Love it!!

Excellent! Very informative, intelligently presented, and love to listen 🎧 every episode as a left voter, I love this podcast!!

GQPsucks ,

Excellent! Very informative

Excellent- very informative

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