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Politics in Question

108 EpisodesProduced by Julia Azari, Lee Drutman, and James WallnerWebsite

Join hosts Lee Drutman, Julia Azari, and James Wallner, three lively experts on American political institutions and reform, as they imagine and argue over what American politics could look like if citizens questioned everything.

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How much money should Americans spend on their elections?

January 24th, 2023

25:04

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Ryan Williamson joins James to consider how much money Americans spend on their elections. Williamson

What does the House Speaker election say about the Republican Party?

January 14th, 2023

35:17

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia and Lee kick off a new year by considering what the House Speaker election says about the …

What happened in 2022?

December 20th, 2022

47:51

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James consider what happened in 2022 and what it means for American politics moving …

How do winner-take-all elections harm American democracy?

December 10th, 2022

57:35

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia and Lee join Brendan Nyhan, Lilliana Mason, Aziz Huq, and Jennifer Victor to discuss how …

How can business help solve America's democracy crisis?

December 4th, 2022

41:42

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Daniella Ballou-Aares joins Lee and James to discuss the relationship between business and democracy. …

What do the 2022 midterm results mean?

November 21st, 2022

35:22

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss what happened in this year’s midterm elections. Is the Red Wave a …

How do the politics of race impact the American presidency?

November 16th, 2022

36:55

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Robert C. Smith joins Julia to discuss race and the American presidency. Smith is a professor …

Is America on the cusp of a realignment?

November 4th, 2022

45:01

In this week’s episode, Timothy Shenk joins Lee and James to discuss electoral politics in the United States. Shenk is a historian of the modern …

What can we learn from political polls?

October 13th, 2022

41:30

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Elliott Morris joins Julia and Lee to discuss political polling. Morris is a data journalist and US …

What does it mean to be a good citizen in the United States?

September 22nd, 2022

34:22

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Sara Wallace Goodman joins Julia and Lee to discuss citizenship and its impact on politics. Goodman

What's wrong with the Constitution?

September 15th, 2022

49:25

In this week’s episode, Sanford Levinson joins Lee and James to discuss constitutional reform. Levinson holds the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John …

How does electoral reform happen?

September 13th, 2022

35:11

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Jack Santucci joins Lee to discuss electoral reform. Santucci is an assistant teaching professor in …

Is there a generation gap in American politics?

September 9th, 2022

42:38

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Kevin Munger joins Lee to discuss the generation gap in American politics. Munger is the Jeffrey L. …

What's wrong with primary elections?

September 6th, 2022

37:38

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Matt Germer joins Julia and Lee to discuss election reform. Germer is a resident elections fellow for …

What decisions do political parties make after losing an election?

August 9th, 2022

30:00

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Seth Market joins Julia and James to consider how losing an election affects partisans. Market is a …

Why are Americans so upset about politics?

July 29th, 2022

31:32

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Lee and James consider why Americans are so upset about politics. Why are Americans so angry when it …

Is it time to rethink how we understand political parties?

July 14th, 2022

40:47

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Hans Noel joins Julia and James to talk about political parties. Noel is an associate professor in …

Is it a good idea to require Americans to vote in federal elections?

July 6th, 2022

31:06

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, E.J. Dionne and Miles Rapoport join Lee to discuss their new book, 100% Voting: The Case for …

Is the Supreme Court's legitimacy at risk?

June 22nd, 2022

42:32

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss the Supreme Court and democratic legitimacy in front of a live audience …

What will it take to change how the federal government budgets?

April 26th, 2022

31:38

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Jonathan Bydlak joins James to talk about the federal budget. Bydlak is director of the Governance …

What if things happened differently?

April 11th, 2022

39:04

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James consider what could have been if things happened differently at key moments in …

Is Trumpism in decline?

April 3rd, 2022

27:51

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James ask about Donald Trump’s ongoing influence on the Republican Party. Will the …

What do Americans think about immigration policy?

March 24th, 2022

38:54

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Sophia Jordán Wallace joins Lee and James to discuss public opinion on immigration policy. Wallace is …

Why did Russia invade Ukraine and what can the United States do about it?

March 17th, 2022

30:17

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Heather Hurlburt joins Julia and James to talk about what’s happening in Ukraine. Hurlburt is the …

What's stopping the United States from changing its energy policy?

March 11th, 2022

45:24

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Leah Stokes joins Lee and James to discuss energy policy in the United States. Stokes is an associate …

Where is the Republican Party headed?

March 4th, 2022

22:43

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James talk Republican Party politics. What’s happening inside the GOP? Has the party …

Did conservatives transform the Supreme Court?

February 25th, 2022

34:52

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Amanda Hollis-Brusky joins Julia and Lee to discuss the conservative legal movement’s effort to …

Why is everyone talking about the Supreme Court?

February 11th, 2022

34:34

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss the impending debate over President Biden’s pick to fill the Supreme …

Why can't the Senate pass voting rights legislation?

January 31st, 2022

36:49

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James consider Senate Democrats’ failure to pass voting rights legislation. Why did …

What will American politics look like in 2022?

January 14th, 2022

40:47

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James consider what American politics will look like in 2022. Is American democracy …

Is America's constitutional order on the brink of collapse?

December 29th, 2021

41:11

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James consider claims that America’s constitutional order is on the brink of …

Should the Senate eliminate the filibuster to pass the Freedom to Vote Act?

December 22nd, 2021

42:20

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Lee, and James discuss civic participation and voting reform. What is the Freedom to Vote Act? Why …

What is thermostatic politics?

December 9th, 2021

40:18

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss thermostatic politics. What is thermostatic politics? Does public …

Building the Relationships for Collaborative Governance: Interview with Colorado State Senator Faith Winter

December 2nd, 2021

37:15

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Colorado State Senator Faith Winter discusses the successful collaborative governance process that …

What the hell is going on with the Republican Party?

November 8th, 2021

29:12

Lee and James talk Republican Party politics in this week’s episode of Politics In Question. Are Republicans becoming an illiberal and authoritarian …

What issues should Democrats emphasize ahead of the 2022 midterm elections?

October 20th, 2021

52:04

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss David Shor’s recent controversy-provoking advice for Democrats. What …

How do congressional elections fuel dysfunction in Congress?

October 12th, 2021

1:18:20

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Katherine Gehl joins Julia, Lee, and James to take a fresh look at how Americans conduct their …

What can Congress’s present dysfunction teach us about our politics and how to make it better?

October 1st, 2021

36:14

In the season four opener of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James unpack the rampant dysfunction on Capitol Hill. Why did Congress wait until …

How much conflict is too much conflict in politics?

July 22nd, 2021

41:04

In this episode of Politics In Question, Amanda Ripley joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss political conflict. Ripley is an investigative …

What is affective polarization?

July 20th, 2021

40:07

In this episode of Politics In Question, Noam Gidron joins Julia and Lee to discuss political polarization. Gidron is an assistant professor at the …

Should lawmakers be afraid of taking votes?

May 20th, 2021

51:13

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Tony Madonna joins Julia and James to discuss voting in Congress. Madonna is an Associate Professor …

Should House Republicans fire Liz Cheney?

May 7th, 2021

41:07

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss Liz Cheney and whether House Republicans should remove her from their …

Is American democracy backsliding?

May 5th, 2021

1:10:59

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Jake Grumbach, joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss democratic backsliding in the United States.

Can Biden transform American politics?

April 30th, 2021

45:05

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss President Joe Biden’s performance during his first 100 days in office. …

What does presidential rhetoric say about the state of American politics?

April 23rd, 2021

35:22

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Mary Stuckey joins Julia and Lee to discuss presidential rhetoric. Stuckey is Sparks Professor of …

Why can't Congress do its job?

April 14th, 2021

38:38

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Kevin Kosar joins Lee and James to consider why Congress can’t do its job. Kosar is a resident …

What are the prospects for elections reform at the federal level?

April 3rd, 2021

49:04

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Sara Sadhwani joins Julia and Lee to discuss elections reform. Sadhwani is an assistant professor of …

How do independent voters impact American politics?

March 29th, 2021

49:22

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Yanna Krupnikov joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss independent voters and the impact they have on …

How does conspiracism impact American Politics?

March 15th, 2021

57:16

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Nancy Rosenblum joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss conspiracism and the Republican Party.

What makes American democracy work?

March 5th, 2021

59:16

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss what makes democracy work in the United States. What is democracy? Can …

Who disciplines bad behavior in government?

February 19th, 2021

54:39

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James consider who is responsible for disciplining bad behavior in government. Do …

Did the filibuster break the Senate?

February 12th, 2021

59:40

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Adam Jentleson joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss what makes the Senate dysfunctional. Jentleson …

Will Americans pay for government if they don't trust it?

February 8th, 2021

56:10

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Ethan Porter joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss the relationship between Americans’ trust in …

Why do Americans celebrate presidential inaugurations?

February 3rd, 2021

31:11

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss Joe Biden’s inauguration as the nation’s 46th president of the United …

What is the future of the Republican Party?

January 17th, 2021

1:02:52

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Rachel Blum joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss the future of the Republican Party. Blum is an …

Will Congress change how it operates in 2021?

January 1st, 2021

1:01:29

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Ruth Bloch Rubin joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider how Congress may work in the new year. Bloch …

What is the best way to pick United States senators?

December 24th, 2020

1:13:28

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Wendy Schiller joins Julia, Lee, and James to talk about how we elect senators in the United States.

How did losing to Trump in 2016 help Democrats win the presidency in 2020?

December 17th, 2020

59:40

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Seth Masket joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss the future of the Democratic Party. Masket is …

Does it really matter which party controls Congress next year?

December 10th, 2020

43:33

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Philip Wallach joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider how the 2020 elections will impact Congress.

Can a new agency improve national elections in America?

December 3rd, 2020

1:02:13

n this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Charlotte Hill joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider how Americans conduct national elections. 

How should Americans interpret the results of the 2020 election?

November 20th, 2020

1:04:11

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss what happened in this year’s  election and what it means for American …

Did American democracy win on Election Day?

November 11th, 2020

1:13:48

Ezra Klein joins Lee and James to discuss what the 2020 election reveals about the present state of American democracy. Klein is the editor-at-large and founder of Vox. He is the host of The Ezra Klein Show and the …

Do presidential debates help Americans make better choices when they vote?

October 30th, 2020

45:55

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James debate presidential debates. What role do they play in campaigns? In their …

Should the Democrats play hardball in 2021?

October 23rd, 2020

55:39

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Matt Green joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider whether Democrats should play constitutional …

How should the United States select its judges?

October 14th, 2020

52:38

In this week’s episode of Politics In Questions, Judith Resnik joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider how a democracy should select its judges. 

How well do our political parties represent us in government?

October 9th, 2020

55:40

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Ted Johnson joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider the role that political parties play in …

What can we learn from other nations about pernicious polarization in the United States?

October 2nd, 2020

1:04:54

In this week's episode of Politics In Question, Jennifer McCoy joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss political polarization in the United States and …

How will the debate to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg end?

September 24th, 2020

51:14

On this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James consider the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fight to replace her on the …

What did the political conventions tell us about the state of the 2020 presidential campaign?

September 18th, 2020

58:53

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Julia, Lee, and James discuss the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. Why do party …

How important is expertise and experience in Congress?

September 14th, 2020

49:07

On this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Alexander C. Furnas joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider the importance of expertise and …

What Are the Pillars of Democracy?

August 28th, 2020

1:07:55

On this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Suzanne Mettler and Robert Lieberman join Julia and Lee to discuss the state of democracy in the …

How did the suffrage movement win the right to vote for all women in the United States?

August 19th, 2020

58:22

Tennessee made history on August 18, 1920, when it became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment, guaranteeing all women the right to vote in the United States, was officially …

When should Americans remove statues of historical figures from the nation's public square?

August 12th, 2020

1:02:30

On this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Greg Weiner joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider the controversy surrounding recent efforts to …

How will COVID-19 impact the November elections?

April 15th, 2020

48:43

Julia references an Electoral Studies article by R. Michael Alvarez, Thad E. Hall, and Betsy Sinclair (“Whose absentee votes are returned and …

Filibuster or Filibusted?

March 25th, 2020

36:34

Julia argues that we need to pay greater attention to the informal norms surrounding the filibuster and cites a 2012 article she authored with …

Is there a better way to pick presidential nominees?

March 11th, 2020

44:04

James references Martin Van Buren’s 1827 letter to Thomas Ritchie in which he outlines his plans for the creation of a new Democratic Party. Julia …

Should the House have more members?

March 4th, 2020

34:32

Lee reminds Julia and James that the original First Amendment to the Constitution proposed by James Madison in 1789 concerned apportionment and …

What is unprecedented about our politics?

February 26th, 2020

40:56

This week, Lee and James ask special guest Matt Glassman what is unprecedented about our politics. Matt is a senior fellow at the Government Affairs …

Do we have too much judicial review?

February 19th, 2020

51:25

This week, Julia, Lee, and James court a debate over the role of our third branch, the federal judiciary. Has the long arm of the law reached too far …

Did the impeachment process work?

February 12th, 2020

44:35

This week, Julia, Lee, and James consider impeachment in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate. They debate what worked …

Is American politics too contentious?

February 5th, 2020

51:07

This week, Julia, Lee, and James work through America’s love-hate relationship with political conflict. How much conflict can our institutions …

Do Americans need more parties?

January 29th, 2020

49:05

This week, Julia, Lee, and James are examining a counter-intuitive proposal to counteract the menacing effects of partisanship - more partisanship. …

Is populism a problem?

January 22nd, 2020

55:34

In this week’s episode, Julia, Lee, and James tackle populism. They consider what it is, where it comes from, and its influence on American politics.

What's the deal with the separation of powers?

October 24th, 2019

46:36

In this week’s episode, Julia, Lee, and James tackle the separation of powers. They consider why it exists and explore its consequences for our …

How should we think about impeachment?

October 9th, 2019

51:09

In this week’s episode, Julia, Lee, and James think through the House’s inquiry into whether it should impeach President Trump. They consider the …

What is a gerrymander?

October 1st, 2019

38:56

In today’s episode, Julia, Lee, and James go in search of the storied gerrymander. They consider how it impacts our politics, examine what the courts …

Should we abolish the Senate?

September 19th, 2019

46:45

In today’s episode, Julia, Lee, and James tackle the Senate and the debate whether it is time to scrap it. They ask why it is that we have a Senate, …

Are we in a political realignment?

August 6th, 2019

41:13

Julia, Lee, and James try to make sense of what is currently happening inside the Democratic and Republican parties.

Can ranked choice voting save us?

July 23rd, 2019

43:32

Julia, Lee, and James talk about the reform plan people can’t stop talking about.P

Are primary elections really that bad?

July 9th, 2019

41:03

The Electoral College has been in the news lately. But it isn’t the only thing people are talking about when it comes to how we pick our next …

Should the Electoral College be abolished?

June 26th, 2019

40:39

In this week’s episode, Julia casts an absentee ballot on-air while discussing proposals to eliminate the Electoral College with Lee and James.

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