107 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 • 126 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.

    Our big fat Super Tuesday primary preview

    Our big fat Super Tuesday primary preview

    The first downballot primaries of 2024 are here! We're previewing some of Tuesday's biggest races on this week's episode of "The Downballot" with Daily Kos Elections editor Jeff Singer. Singer highlights major elections in four states, including the battle for second place in California's Senate contest; whether Democrats will avoid a lockout in a critical California House district; if the worst Republican election fraudster in recent years will successfully stage a comeback in North Carolina; and how Alabama's new map will affect not one but two House races.Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also shake their heads in dismay at New York Democrats, who just unilaterally disarmed in the face of extreme GOP gerrymandering nationwide by passing a new congressional map that barely makes any changes to the status quo. The Davids emphasize that as long as Republicans keep blocking Democratic efforts to ban gerrymandering, Democrats have no choice but to fight fire with fire. Yet in New York, they grabbed the fire extinguisher.

    • 44 min
    How Democrats can win on the economy

    How Democrats can win on the economy

    The economy seems to be going great, but lots of voters still say they aren't feeling it. So how should Democrats deal with this conundrum? On this week's episode of "The Downballot," communications consultant Anat Shenker-Osorio tells us that the first step is to reframe the debate, focusing not on "the economy"—an institution many feel is unjust—but rather on voters' economic well-being. Shenker-Osorio advises Democrats to run on a populist message that emphasizes specifics, like delivering tangible kitchen-table economic benefits and protecting personal liberties, including the right to an abortion.Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also investigate the new candidacy of rich guy Eric Hovde, the latest in a long line of GOP Senate candidates who have weak ties to the states they want to represent. Then it's on to redistricting news in two states: Wisconsin, which will have fair legislative maps for the first time in ages, and New York, where Democrats are poised to nuke a new congressional map that no one seems to like.Transcript to come.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Dems dominate in huge special election flip

    Dems dominate in huge special election flip

    Ohhhhh yeah! Democrats kicked ass and then some in Tuesday's special election in New York, so of course we're talking all about it on this week's episode of "The Downballot." Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard explain how Tom Suozzi's win affects the math for Democrats' plan to take back the House, then dive into the seemingly bottomless list of excuses Republicans have been making to handwave their defeat away. The bottom line: Suozzi effectively neutralized attacks on immigration—and abortion is still a huge loser for the GOP.The Davids then chat with Alex Roarty, a politics reporter at NOTUS, a new nonprofit newsroom promoting a new model not just for covering news but for training the next generation of reporters. Roarty tells us how his work has changed since coming over from the for-profit world and also shares his thoughts on the down-ticket races he's watching most closely this year, including bellwether contests in North Carolina and Pennsylvania.Transcript to come.

    • 56 min
    Fighting disinformation in Latino media

    Fighting disinformation in Latino media

    Disinformation is a growing problem in American politics, but combating it in Latino media poses its own special challenges. Joining us on this week's episode of "The Downballot" is Roberta Braga, founder of the Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas, a new organization devoted to tackling disinformation and building resiliency in Latino communities. Braga explains how disinformation transcends borders but also creates opportunities for people in the U.S. to import new solutions from Latin America. She also underscores the importance of fielding Latino candidates and their unique ability to address the issue.In our Weekly Hits segment, co-hosts David Nir and David Beard hit a broad array of stories, including why a top California Democrat is seeking to pick his opponent for the general election; a truly bonkers un-retirement in Indiana; a troubling story sparked by an AI-generated image of a Democratic congressman in Illinois; and why a whole bunch of Oregon Republicans won't be allowed to seek reelection even though they very much want to.Transcript to come.

    • 51 min
    Why more women than ever are running for office

    Why more women than ever are running for office

    EMILY's List has been devoted to electing pro-choice Democratic women for 40 years, a mission that's grown only more critical since the fall of Roe. Joining us on "The Downballot" this week is Christina Reynolds, one of EMILY's top officials, to tell us about how her organization recruits, supports, and advises women candidates at all levels of the ballot nationwide. Reynolds explains the unique challenges women face, from a lack of fundraising networks to judgments about their qualifications that never seem to stick to men. She tells us how Dobbs has—and hasn't—changed campaigning for EMILY's endorsees and spotlights a wide range of key races the group is involved in this year.Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also discuss the rollout of the DCCC's first "Red to Blue" list this year, highlighting the most promising Democratic pickup opportunities in the House. While the D-Trip is focused on general elections, the Davids explain why the committee has no choice but to get involved in a California primary thanks to the state's verkakte election rules. And finally, they tear into the Tennessee GOP for a ridiculous set of rule changes designed solely to protect a scandal-plagued incumbent—changes that will probably bite them in the ass before long.Transcript to come.

    • 50 min
    The inside story on winning the Wisconsin Supreme Court

    The inside story on winning the Wisconsin Supreme Court

    We're going deep inside last year's momentous progressive victory in the battle for control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on this week's episode of "The Downballot," where we're joined by Alejandro Verdin, who managed Judge Janet Protasiewicz's triumphant campaign. Verdin explains how he assembled a team that took the little-known Protasiewicz from third place in the polls to a runaway first-place finish in the primary and then on to a landslide win in the general election.
    Verdin tells us why Protasiewicz broke with the staid traditions of campaigning for judicial office and was so outspoken on the issues that voters cared about—particularly gerrymandering and abortion. Plus: the never-before-revealed easter egg trolling their conservative opponent that the campaign inserted into their ads.
    Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also recap Tuesday's elections in New Hampshire—no, not those elections. We're talking about two special elections for the state House, of course! Then it's on to Louisiana, where the Davids explain how the state's unique all-party primaries will come to a (partial) end, and how a Republican congressman might get revenge on his party for making him walk the plank in redistricting.
    Transcript to come.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
126 Ratings

126 Ratings

CarlyMonica🖤 ,

Love it!!

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

DanDüma ,

Defending the Hot Sauce in Clinton’s Bag…

Really? Be so for real. There can be genuine questions about the idea of “electability,” but also room for genuine criticism of inauthentic Democrats like Hilary. Both things can be true 🙄

GQPsucks ,

Excellent! Very informative

Excellent- very informative

Top Podcasts In News

The New York Times
NPR
The Daily Wire
SiriusXM
Crooked Media
Cumulus Podcast Network | Dan Bongino

You Might Also Like

Wonder Media Network
Talking Points Memo
Democracy Docket
The Daily Beast
Slate Podcasts
Chris Hayes, MSNBC & NBCNews THINK