This post will only appeal to a very small, very nerdy subset of people who love both politics and podcasts. Hello, friends. Let’s nerd out.
I feel like my only interest lately is the election. I AM OBSESSED, YOU GUYS. I listen to podcasts all day. I don’t have much time to sit down and read articles or watch the news (or comedy news, RIP Colbert Show), so it’s podcasts in my ears as I work, clean, watch my kids play outside, cook dinner, you name it.
And the best part about all these podcasts is that there are often crossover shows – where a host from one of my favorite podcasts will be a guest expert on another and I get to fangirl out with excitement. (I told you: NERDY.)
Here are the podcasts I’m listening to right now:
I love this podcast because it’s a good mixture of smart and funny, their segment on “Good Use of Polling, Bad Use of Polling?” is fascinating, and co-host Claire is from Cleveland (yay). Nate Silver is famous for his Election Forecast model and I love following it. Their episodes cover current events in the campaigns (“The basket of deplorables” comments, debate analysis, voter demographics, and issues that matter to the electorate).
Another podcast that balances smart and funny well. I’ve come to love the co-hosts and will miss them once the election is over (they’re starting daily episodes in a few weeks. Be still, my heart). They often do special episodes on voter demographics, pre-debate show, post-debate analysis, quick takes on events like Trump’s tweets (oh, 2016!), and answer lots of interesting questions.
A longer form podcast with three great, smart, super-accomplished hosts. John Dickerson from Face the Nation, Emily Bazelon from the New York Times Magazine, and David Plotz of Atlas Obscura. They were the ones to come up with the “Bart vs. Lisa Simpson” metaphor for the election that I can’t seem to get out of my head. (SO TRUE.)
This has been my favorite for years. YEARS. The only bummer is it’s only once a week. He always has great interviews with interesting people (my favorite is when he has Neal Conan each month because I still miss Talk of The Nation). He does a weekly segment on looking back in political history, as well. It’s a bit more structured than any of the other podcasts.
(You know I’m a real podcast nerd and political junkie because it was the highlight of my month in 2015 when Ken Rudin came to Mike’s school and I got to hear him speak.)
A new one to my rotation, but I’m enjoying it so far! It’s funny but the only one with an explicit language warning, so beware. The post-presidential debate podcast had a host who was a “sad Republican” who used to work on Romney’s campaign, so it was an interesting perspective.
While not strictly a political podcast, there’s usually at least one politics-specific episode a week, plus the Friday News Roundup is often politics-heavy right now. The show format is involves panel of guests (usually both conservative and liberal) who discuss the election, the debate, the senate elections, and so on. I love Diane and I love how there’s a variety of perspectives because of the call-in audience participation. It’s fascinating to hear what people across the country and political spectrum are thinking. (Diane is retiring after this election – so I’m soaking it all up while I can!)
Another non-political podcast that has lots of political shows right now. Tom Ashbrook is a great host – really likable and great at guiding the discussion. Like Diane Rehm, I love hearing the variety of perspectives from the audience. Most of the other podcasts tend to less in favor of Trump, so hearing from his supporters is important and interesting.
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Am I missing any? Am I absolutely crazy? I just find politics in general really fascinating – maybe because I grew up in a family that is the opposite of my political leanings now and I’m so interested in what makes people vote the way they do, in addition to all the technical nerdy stuff about polling and election forecasts and demographics.
I get a lot of satisfaction from this hobby/interest – I love knowing a lot and politics do matter, so it’s fun and important.