Cover art for podcast The Focus Group with Sarah Longwell

The Focus Group with Sarah Longwell

20 EpisodesProduced by The BulwarkWebsite

Unfiltered, uncompromising, unexpected—The Focus Group is a look into what the average voter thinks about politics, policy, and current events. Sarah Longwell, publisher of The Bulwark, has conducted hundreds of hours of focus groups all across the country. She and a series of special guests will ta… read more

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The Devil Goes Down to Georgia (and Alabama, with Tim Miller)

May 21st, 2022

49:26

A devil has the Republican Party’s soul, but not all of his endorsed candidates are faring too well. In Georgia, former Sen. David Perdue is losing …

The Pennsylvania Primary: The Dude, the Doctor, and a MAGA Queen

May 14th, 2022

47:46

 The Pennsylvania Senate race might just be the craziest of 2022. There’s a Bernie guy who looks like a Trump guy (Lt. Gov. John Fetterman) and a Trump guy who looks like a Biden guy (Dave McCormick). There’s also …

Unfiltered and Uncut: Special Episode

May 9th, 2022

54:24

Sarah has Covid, so we're doing something a little different this week. Rather than bring on a guest and combine analysis with clips from focus …

Ohio: A MAGA Murderers’ Row (with Dave Weigel)

May 2nd, 2022

41:06

Folks: it’s primary season! The Ohio U.S. Senate primary is tomorrow, and it’s been…less than nice. Two candidates had to be physically separated at …

Andrew Yang: Will Trump and Biden Birth a Third Party?

April 25th, 2022

39:26

In 2024, we may be re-running the 2020 election with two very unpopular and very old candidates. Seems like a good time for a viable third party …

The Asterisk Follows Us (with Dr. Ted Johnson)

April 18th, 2022

50:36

Supreme Court nominations are polarizing nowadays, and President Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was no exception. Dr. Ted Johnson …

Running in Mud (with Robert Gibbs)

April 11th, 2022

48:17

Joe Biden’s approval rating is around 42%. That didn’t happen without Biden losing some of his own voters.

Sarah sits down with President Obama’s former White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs to listen to some Biden …

When Bad Guys Think They’re Good Guys (with Rep. Adam Kinzinger)

April 4th, 2022

47:51

Most of the GOP hasn’t responded to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol with much courage.

But our guest has.

This week, Sarah talks with Rep. …

It Just Didn’t Smell Right (with Benjamin Ginsberg)

March 28th, 2022

49:50

Donald Trump convinced about a third of the country that the 2020 election was rigged - this is commonly referred to as the “Big Lie.” It sure seems like a problem to Sarah.

Ben Ginsberg, former legal counsel to the …

The Truth is Somewhere In Between (with Dr. Leana Wen)

March 21st, 2022

44:03

After over 2 years, the American people are over COVID — but is the pandemic over? CNN medical analyst and WaPo contributor Dr. Leana Wen joins Sarah to talk about how MAGA, Swing, and Dem voters are thinking about the …

Babushkas with AK-47s (and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman)

March 14th, 2022

42:02

We have…good news? Trump fans love Zelensky and hate Putin.


You may remember Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from his testimony in President Trump’s first …

Inflation? Ludicrous! (with Jonathan V. Last)

March 7th, 2022

45:09

While the American people are mad about inflation, our guest is (mostly) mad at the American people.

Sarah and The Bulwark’s own Jonathan V. Last …

Who Has the Cojones? (With Mark McKinnon)

February 28th, 2022

45:08

The Focus Group is back for season 2!

Sarah kicks off the season with Democratic-turned-Republican strategist Mark McKinnon to talk about Mark’s adopted party (the Republican Party) in his adopted home state (Texas).

Bonus Episode with Charlie Sykes

November 1st, 2021

1:57

The first season of the Focus Group podcast is over, but we'll be back in 2022!

If you're still itching for another peek behind the glass, we have a …

“It’s kind of an ‘oh s**t’ moment”: James Carville on the Virginia Governor's Race

October 25th, 2021

44:56

Legendary political consultant James Carville joins Sarah to discuss a focus group with undecided independent voters ahead of the 2021 …

Where is the Democratic Party going? (with David Shor)

October 18th, 2021

50:12

David Shor, Data Scientist at Blue Rose Research, joins Sarah to take a deeper dive into what is happening within the Democratic Party. Sarah and David discuss how voters have shifted in recent presidential …

Malaise 2.0: Democrats grade Biden (with Jonathan V. Last)

October 11th, 2021

37:17

Jonathan V. Last, editor at The Bulwark, joins Sarah to discuss a focus group with progressive and moderate Democrats in Pennsylvania. They …

Miller versus MAGA (with Tim Miller)

October 4th, 2021

42:24

Tim Miller, writer-at-large at The Bulwark, joins Sarah to discuss focus groups with Trump supporters in Ohio and Georgia, two states that …

The Republican Triangle of Doom (with Bill Kristol)

September 27th, 2021

44:04

Bill Kristol, Director of Defending Democracy Together and conservative political commentator, joins Sarah for a focus group with …

Episode 1: Political Unicorns (with Amy Walter)

September 18th, 2021

49:09

Amy Walter, editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report, joins Sarah for a focus group with the most coveted portion of the American …

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