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The Focus Group Podcast

Author: The Bulwark

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What are American voters really thinking?
16 Episodes
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We're wrapping up this election cycle in Georgia with voters who voted for Herschel Walker in November — but aren't so sure about him going into the December 6 runoff. Atlanta Journal-Constitution political reporter Greg Bluestein joins Sarah for one last focus group in 2022. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.com/subscribe
The midterms have come and gone, and it turns out many of our focus groups were signs of things to come. Amy Walter, Editor-in-Chief of the Cook Political Report, joins Sarah for a look back at this year's groups. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.com/subscribe
Donald Trump announced his 2024 campaign this week. Republican elites would love to move on from him, but will Republican voters? David Drucker, the author of In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP, joins Sarah to listen to Trump voters from the past year and discuss whether they provide clues for how the 2024 Republican primary may unfold. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.com/subscribe
What a Week!

What a Week!

2022-11-1202:16

Sarah has a special message for Focus Group fans as we wait for the remaining election results. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.com/subscribe
Instead of a focus group this week, Sarah sits down with four political super-nerds to get their read on Tuesday's election and beyond. She's joined by Jon Ralston to talk Nevada, Brahm Resnik — political reporter for Phoenix’s local NBC affiliate — to talk Arizona, along with Bill Kristol, and Gunner Ramer, the political director of the Republican Accountability PAC.Leave a comment, here. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.com/subscribe
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.comJohn Fetterman had a bad night in the Pennsylvania Senate debate, and an even worse night in our focus group — though this group wasn't inclined to like him anyway. Legendary Democratic operative James Carville joins Sarah to break down the Pennsylvania Senate race, and James shares his thoughts on how the Democratic Party needs to shape up.The Focus Group podcast is now exclusively for Bulwark+ members.
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.comArizona is ground-zero for the Big Lie about the 2020 election. The Republican nominees for Governor and Secretary of State, Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, are avowed election deniers, and Democrats may or may not rise to the occasion to beat them. But our guest HAS risen to the occasion: Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer joins Sarah to listen to Arizona swing voters and talk about his job running elections for 60% of Arizona voters.
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.comGeorgia is a closely divided state, but we're likely to see a lot of ticket splitters there this year - specifically a lot of people voting for arch-conservative Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. Partly because they think Kemp is doing a good job, and partly because Warnock's opponent, Herschel Walker, is a total mess. TIME Magazine national political correspondent Molly Ball joins Sarah to discuss her reporting out of Georgia and listen to a group of Georgia swing voters. The Focus Group is now exclusively part of Bulwark+. To listen to this episode in full and to get future editions, upgrade to a Bulwark+ membership now and the next two weeks are on us—Free. Go to TheBulwark.com/FocusGroup to claim this free trial offer. 
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.comThe Pennsylvania governor's race is a bit of a political science experiment: what happens if one candidate barely runs any ads? Turns out, swing voters still really don't like that guy. POLITICO's in-house Pennsylvania expert Holly Otterbein once again joins Sarah on the pod. They discuss how swing voters are feeling about the Pennsylvania governor's race, as well as how these same voters may be starting to sour on John Fetterman in the Senate race.The Focus Group is now exclusively part of Bulwark+. To listen to this episode in full and to get future editions, upgrade to a Bulwark+ membership now and the next two weeks are on us—Free. Go to TheBulwark.com/FocusGroup to claim this free trial offer. 
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.comTo listen to this episode in full and to get future editions, upgrade to a Bulwark+ membership now and the next two weeks are on us—Free. Go to TheBulwark.com/FocusGroup to claim this free trial offer. America's Dairyland is becoming America's Election Land. Wisconsin has major races for governor and for U.S. Senate...and how are the Trump-to-Biden voters that delivered Wisconsin for Joe Biden feeling about them? The Bulwark's own Charlie Sykes joins Sarah to talk about what the voters (and Charlie) are thinking. Listen to the end for the most laugh-out-loud funny moment Sarah's ever heard in a focus group.The Focus Group is now exclusively part of Bulwark+.
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.comRepublicans may be losing one of their best pickup opportunities in the Senate after they nominated a MAGA weirdo to run against an astronaut in Arizona. POLITICO Senate campaigns reporter Natalie Allison joins Sarah to listen to a group of Arizona swing voters and what they think of their choices.Go the TheBulwark.com/FocusGroup to get the next two weeks on us—Free.
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.comNevada's economy was hit especially hard by COVID. Now, the Democratic governor and senator are paying the price in their re-election campaigns...or are they? The dean of the Nevada press corps, Jon Ralston, joins Sarah to talk about a Nevada focus group...and whether voters in the Secretary of State race are playing Russian roulette with American democracy.The Focus Group podcast is now exclusively for Bulwark+ members. Become a member today and get the next two weeks on us—FREE.
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.comThe Atlantic’s Tim Alberta joins Sarah to discuss whether Ohio is really more Trump+8 than R+8 — and to debate Tim Ryan's chances against J.D. Vance. Meanwhile, in Michigan's governor's race, Gretchen Whitmer hits Tudor Dixon on her biggest vulnerability — abortion — while facing lingering resentment over her Covid response.The Focus Group podcast is exclusively for Bulwark+ members. Become a member today and the next two weeks are on us for FREE. Go to TheBulwark.com/FocusGroup.
On this week's episode, we're sharing a director's cut of a recent focus group, featuring swing state suburban women. These voters from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Georgia backed Trump in 2016, but flipped in 2020. Hear what they have to say about the big races in their states, their desire for things to be "normal" again, and how the end of Roe is influencing their vote this November.  This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.com/subscribe
As primary season winds down, Democrats are gaining ground in what was supposed to be a wave year for Republicans. Tim Miller joins Sarah to discuss the anti-abortion extremists endorsed by Trump, how Democrats are making Dobbs a game-changer, and the weirdo theory of politics.The Focus Group Podcast is exclusively available to Bulwark+ members. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.com/subscribe
Florida is the center of Republican politics these days — and it's getting redder all the time. Trump lives there, and his political understudy is the governor. Marc Caputo of NBC News — the best Florida Man in the political press corps — joins Sarah to listen to a group of Florida reverse flipper voters (not Trump 2016/ yes Trump 2020). They also discuss Trump, DeSantis, 2024, and how the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago could impact it all.The Focus Group Podcast is exclusively available to Bulwark+ members. This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thefocusgroup.thebulwark.com/subscribe
Comments (2)

Tim Dall

I know this isn't the way focus groups work, but I just wanted to jump into the podcast to press these people to articulate just exactly how they would enumerate "Trump policies" and "Republican principles". All I heard was "this is your brain on Fox", aped talking point after aped talking point.

May 10th
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Tim Dall

I'm curious - is there any kind of sociological study that shows the overlap between GOP voters and irrational/conspiratorial thought? just seems that when a Democrat loses an election, Democratic voters are not anywhere near as predestined to default to this argument of a rigged election.

Mar 29th
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