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The Run-Up

New York Times

“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

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New York, NY

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“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

Language:

English


Episodes
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Can Celebrities Make a Difference? Your 2024 Election Questions, Answered

5/16/2024
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. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:46:56

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Inside the College Democrats’ Rebuke of Biden

5/9/2024
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.

Duration:00:47:34

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The Democrats' New Chance in Wisconsin

5/2/2024
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?

Duration:00:55:42

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

4/25/2024
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?

Duration:00:43:27

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The Youngest Voters and the Oldest President

4/18/2024
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.

Duration:00:47:58

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Nebraska Was Minding Its Business Until Charlie Kirk Came Along

4/11/2024
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. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:35:58

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Biden Is Winning the Money Race. Does It Matter?

4/4/2024
Last week President Biden, flanked by former Presidents Obama and Clinton, came to Radio City Music Hall for what Biden’s campaign called “the most successful political fund-raiser in American history.” The former Presidents, alongside celebrities like Stephen Colbert, Mindy Kaling, Lizzo, and Queen Latifah, spoke to an audience of 5,000 donors. And according to the Biden campaign, the event brought in more than $25 million. That fund-raising haul further tips the scales in the money race between Trump and Biden — a race that, so far, the Democrats have been winning. But Biden’s big cash advantage hasn’t helped solve his political problems. And when two candidates are as well known as Biden and Trump, there might be a limit to what money can buy. This week, we speak with longtime Democratic donor Robert Wolf about the Radio City fund-raiser and why he’s donated to Biden. And National Political Correspondent Shane Goldmacher explains the vast financial gap between the candidates.

Duration:00:48:22

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What About the People Who Don’t Vote?

3/28/2024
The people who don’t vote are often left out of the political conversation. Campaigns don’t spend much money on them, and the media doesn’t devote much coverage to them. But to understand a presidential contest like the 2024 race — one that threatens to be extremely close — we have to understand not just the people who show up to vote, but also those who sit out elections. This week, we talk to several people who skipped the last Trump-Biden matchup in 2020 and ask how they’re thinking about 2024. We also speak to Anthony Williams, who directed a project at the Knight Foundation that surveyed 12,000 nonvoters ahead of the 2020 election. We ask: How do you define this group of people? And what, if anything, will change their minds when it comes to voting? Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:47:23

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Don’t Ask RFK Jr. About Being a Spoiler

3/21/2024
This week, the Democratic National Committee formed a unit to push back against third-party candidates and independents. At the same time, a number of Biden allies have formed a super PAC called Clear Choice, which plans to do the same, signaling the seriousness of the potential impact of an outsider candidate. One such candidate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is polling above 10 percent in national surveys and is well known for his family lineage. Today, the candidate shares why he decided to jump in, the issues that matter most to him personally and his thoughts on positioning himself as a potential spoiler. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:42:15

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Why It Had to Be Trump

3/14/2024
On Tuesday night, Donald J. Trump won another four nominating contests and officially became the presumptive Republican nominee. That’s despite the criminal charges, the judgments made against him in defamation and sexual abuse cases, the hundreds of millions of dollars in legal penalties and the continued fallout from the events of Jan. 6, 2021. Considering all of that, we want to ask Republicans the same questions we posed to Democrats last week — and to answer them more directly than we have before: How exactly did we end up with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee again? And why? To answer these questions, we turn to two different branches of the Republican Party today. First, we speak with Henry Barbour, who has been a member of the Republican National Committee since 2005, a consummate party insider. He supported Nikki Haley in the primary but now supports Mr. Trump. Then we speak with Vivek Ramaswamy, who ran against Mr. Trump for the nomination, but was most similar to the former president among the other candidates in terms of ideology and style. He now fully backs his one-time rival and embraces the MAGA philosophy he represents. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:43:48

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Why It Had to Be Biden

3/7/2024
With Super Tuesday behind us, this week is the end of one chapter of this campaign. On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump’s only remaining challenger, Nikki Haley, is out of the race. And on the Democratic side, President Biden has so far secured more than 70 percent of the delegates he needs to secure the nomination. The general election is here. And so too is the rematch we’ve been expecting, despite the fact that the majority of Americans continue to say they wish they had other options. So for the next two episodes, we’re going to focus on a question we hear more than anything else: How exactly did we wind up with these two candidates? And why? First up: We map Mr. Biden’s path to the 2024 election through conversations with Elaine Kamarck, a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee and the author of “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates,” and Ron Klain, the president’s former White House chief of staff. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:49:46

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Everything You Need to Know About Super Tuesday

3/5/2024
It’s Super Tuesday. That means that people in 15 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia) and one territory (American Samoa) are going to the polls. Usually, Super Tuesday is one of the biggest dates on the primary calendar — a day when a lot of people across the country make their voices heard. This year is different. There’s no reason to believe that today’s results will alter the seemingly inevitable rematch between President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump. But there are noteworthy primaries in contests that could matter for control of the House and Senate and in important governor races. Today: Amy Walter, the publisher and editor in chief of The Cook Political Report, previews the Super Tuesday races worth watching. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:29:22

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MAGA Thinks the Game Is Rigged. Will They Play?

2/29/2024
For a lot of his most loyal supporters, Donald Trump isn’t just the former president or even the potential next president. He is, in their view, the true president — because many of them believe the 2020 election was stolen. So with Mr. Trump marching toward the Republican nomination and a likely rematch with President Biden in November, we went to this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference for a temperature check on election denial. Can the MAGA movement move on? Or is the only result they’ll trust a result where Mr. Trump wins? Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:41:39

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‘What If Someone Dies?’ And Other 2024 Questions, Answered

2/22/2024
For the past few months, we’ve been asking our listeners to write in with questions, and we’ve gotten some great ones. Things like: How does polling work? Does Joe Biden’s stance on Gaza present a campaign challenge? And who might Donald Trump select as his running mate? But as we were sorting through them, an underlying theme started to emerge: People can’t seem to fathom that we’re careening toward a Biden-Trump rematch — and they want to know if anything could alter this seemingly inevitable reality. So today, with some of our most trusted colleagues on the Times Politics team, we talk through all of the hypotheticals: What happens in the case of a health emergency? How about a criminal conviction? Could this be the year that a third-party candidate breaks through? Or is it too late? Do you have a question you want us to answer? Nothing is out of bounds. We’re game for everything from the existential (Will democracy survive?) to the more trivial (Do celebrity endorsements make a difference?). Fill out this form or email us a voice memo with your question at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:51:46

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Do Not Invite Donald Trump or Joe Biden on This Date

2/15/2024
If you had just a few minutes to win someone’s affection, how political would you get? Would you dive right in, or avoid politics altogether? The Run-Up went speed dating in suburban Philadelphia to find out. Usually when we’re out in the field, we’re at rallies or campaign events – places where people are vocal about their political beliefs. But for many participants at the dating event, talking politics was a complete turn off. This got us thinking: How do political divisions — the things that seem so present on the campaign trail and in polling — actually play out in people’s personal lives? We turned to two of our colleagues -- Anna Martin, host of the Modern Love Podcast, and Jessica Grose, a writer for the Times Opinion section -- for perspective and additional reporting from the intersection of love and politics. Want more from our guests? You can subscribe to the Modern Love podcast here, and sign up for Jessica’s newsletter here. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:44:25

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How Political Polls Really Work

2/8/2024
Our listeners have lots of questions about polling. Questions such as: Is it still relevant? How does it work? How do you get a reliable sample when people don’t answer the phone? At this point in a usual primary season, still weeks away from Super Tuesday, most of the attention of polling would be on who might capture the nomination. But this year, with the race all but set, we’re anticipating nine months of polling on two men we already know very well. Today, to prepare for that future and to answer the many questions on the subject, we go behind the scenes with the New York Times polling team. And Nate Cohn, our chief political analyst, introduces us to “double haters” and other swingy voters he thinks will decide 2024. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:44:05

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Why Donald Trump Won Nevada Before Any Votes Were Cast

2/6/2024
Nevada is doing things differently this year. Or at least, it tried to. The first presidential nominating contest in the west takes place on Tuesday — and on Thursday. But that’s not what state officials were hoping would happen when they decided to move from a caucus to a primary in 2021. Democrats got on board — and President Biden is expected to win that contest handily on Tuesday. On the Republican side, however, things did not go according to plan. A caucus was seen as being beneficial to former President Donald J. Trump, so state party officials — who were aggressively lobbied by the Trump campaign — decided to hold a caucus anyway. The caucus, not the primary, is what will determine which Republican candidate wins Nevada’s delegates. Nikki Haley, the last remaining significant challenger to Mr. Trump, opted to run in the primary, not the caucus. So Mr. Trump is effectively in a caucus without a real opponent. And his win is a foregone conclusion. Confused? You’re not alone. Today, with our colleague Jennifer Medina, we travel to East Las Vegas to talk to voters about what makes their state so critical — and so confounding — to Republicans and Democrats alike. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:23:24

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Will ‘Cease-Fire Now’ Drown Out ‘Biden 2024’?

2/1/2024
President Biden has started to switch gears into campaign mode. On the trail, he’s particularly focused on South Carolina, which holds the first official Democratic primary contest on Saturday. And one of his first campaign events of the year took him to Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, for a speech that addressed the dangers of white supremacy. But a few minutes into the speech, he was interrupted by protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. Since that day in early January, it seems as if wherever Biden goes, protesters are ready to voice their dissatisfaction with the way the administration is handling the war between Israel and Hamas. Today: The activists drowning out the president at campaign events. And the Arab American swing state mayor, Abdullah Hammoud of Dearborn, Mich., on why he declined a recent invitation from Biden’s team. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:43:02

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The ‘People’s President’ vs. the Donor Class

1/25/2024
Donald Trump’s victory over Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire primary made two things clear: The MAGA wing of the G.O.P. is ready for his coronation, while anti-Trump Republicans believe the race is far from over. From inside Trump’s victory party on Tuesday night, we hear from supporters of the former president and from the stars of his orbit, who see themselves as being on the verge of “obliterating the establishment.” And from Tim Draper, a billionaire venture capitalist who is backing Haley. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:43:15

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Everything You Need to Know About New Hampshire

1/23/2024
Warning: this episode contains strong language. On Sunday, after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses and with just two days to go before the New Hampshire primary, Ron DeSantis ended his campaign for president. His decision made it official: The race for the Republican nomination is now a head-to-head contest between two wildly different candidates, Nikki Haley and Donald Trump. And now, the famously independent New Hampshire voters are going to determine how serious a contest it is. We’re looking for three big things. First, how Haley’s recent change in tone and sharpening attacks on Trump will play with independents. Second, whether Trump is as dominant here as he was in Iowa. And third, what the Democrats are up to — since there’s a contest here on that side too. Do you have a question about the 2024 election? We want to hear from you. Fill out this form or email us a voice memo at therunup@nytimes.com

Duration:00:38:35