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Politics in Question

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

A podcast about how our political institutions are failing us and ideas for fixing them. 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 quest… read more


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

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 professor of political science and director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver. He is the author of numerous books and articles about political parties, elections, state politics, and, on occasion, Star Wars. He is also the founder of the political science blog, Mischiefs of Faction. His most recent book, Learning From Loss: The Democrats, 2016-2020, examines how Democrats’ perceptions of why they lost in 2016 shaped their behavior in the 2020 presidential election.

How did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Donald Trump influence Democrats’ decision to nominate Joe Biden in 2020? To what extent do broad narratives impact voters’ perceptions of what is at stake in elections? Do those narratives also impact the behavior of elected officials in-between elections? And if election narratives have this kind of power, does that create a feedback loop that inhibits serious change? These are some of the questions that Seth, Julia, Lee, and James discuss in this week’s episode.

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