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The Run-Up

Author: The New York Times

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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.

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Going into the Iowa caucuses, there were a handful of key things we were watching for: Would the frigid weather hamper turnout? Would his overwhelming dominance in the polls translate to a decisive victory for Donald Trump? And finally, could the other candidates muster enough of a showing to keep the race alive?Today: Through conversations with Iowa caucus goers — especially those who preferred another candidate to Trump — we get answers to our questions. And we check in with our colleague Nick Corasaniti in New Hampshire about how the state’s independents are approaching the primary next week — and how confident Trump is of a second early state victory.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
Finally. More than a year after Donald Trump first announced his 2024 presidential run, six months after Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida refocused his campaign strategy to be all-in on Iowa, and right in the midst of debilitating winter weather, the Iowa caucuses are upon us.And “The Run-Up” has everything you need to know to understand what might happen today — and what it will mean for the race going forward.What’s at stake is clear: Anyone who is going to slow Mr. Trump on his path to clinching the nomination has to get started in Iowa, with at least a close second-place finish. Going into the caucus, Mr. Trump has a dominant polling lead. But now it’s up to the voters.Iowa voters tend to care more about candidates who can speak more to small-town and religious values. The state’s evangelical leaders have largely backed Mr. DeSantis, but evangelical voters themselves — including people coming out to Trump events in freezing temperatures in the last week — have largely backed Mr. Trump.There are three big questions going into caucus day. One, will people come out and participate despite the weather? Two, are the campaigns organized enough to have made a successful last-minute push, to turn interest into actual votes? And three, will any of it matter, or will the freezing temperatures and snowdrifts mean that no matter the result, campaigns will excuse it away?We’ll know the answers later this week.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
At the start of the 2024 Republican primary campaign, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida was considered by many in his party to be the biggest threat to Donald Trump. He was seen as someone who could win over the voters who were tired of Trump’s antics, and also bring along the MAGA movement. But it didn’t work out that way. And as Mr. DeSantis has struggled, one main opponent, former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, has seen her star — and her standing in the polls — rise.Still, as the Trump alternatives crisscross Iowa and New Hampshire trying to appeal to voters, polling averages put the former president ahead by an average of 35 points.Now, with just days to go until the Iowa caucuses, we ask: Did anti-Trump Republicans rally around the wrong candidates? And have they run out of time to fix it?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
It’s the start of the actual election year — and a new chapter in the campaign.Voting in early states is less than two weeks away. But, amid the crunchtime campaigning, another story line is unfolding.Two states are saying that Donald Trump can’t be on the ballot … at all.Officials in Colorado and Maine are basing this on a clause of the 14th Amendment, which bars candidates from holding office if they have engaged in insurrection.The Trump campaign is appealing. And other states, like California and Michigan, have ruled the opposite way on the same issue. But with more than a dozen similar cases pending, the question is almost certainly headed to the Supreme Court.We speak to Maine’s secretary of state, Shenna Bellows, about her decision to disqualify Trump from the 2024 primary ballot and to Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times.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
Last summer, politics, country music and cultural grievance collided with the growing popularity of a new song from recording artist Jason Aldean.Sucker punch somebody on a sidewalkCarjack an old lady at a red lightPull a gun on the owner of a liquor storeYa think it’s cool, well, act a fool if ya likeIn the lyrics, Aldean lists behaviors he associates with cities, like lawlessness and disrespect for the flag or the police. And then he warns listeners of the consequences if they “try that in a small town.”The song quickly hit the country music charts. Then, the music video was released.In it, images of Aldean singing alternate with newsreel footage of looting, violence and scenes from the racial justice protests that took place during the summer of 2020.The video was quietly edited to remove some of the more contested footage, but the battle lines had already been drawn. The song quickly gained popularity on the political right. And Republican primary candidates, including Donald Trump, began praising Aldean and playing the song at their events.And so as we were thinking about how to understand the G.O.P. presidential primary, we saw that Jason Aldean would be performing at the Iowa state fair. And we knew we had to go.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
Iowa was supposed to be fertile ground for Donald Trump’s primary challengers. Its population is disproportionately evangelical, and voters were expected to coalesce around a more faith-driven alternative. But that’s not what’s happened.This past summer, Trump was polling at around 42 percent in the state, a lead that has only continued to grow. Increasingly, it looks like Iowa is on track to coronate the former president.So when we visited the state fair in August, it was less to follow around a bunch of the candidates while they were milking a cow or flipping a pork chop, but rather to ask Iowa’s voters: What’s different this time?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
Watching the Republican primary debates can feel like a study in self sabotage. In the latest one, which Donald Trump skipped, the candidates spent most of their time attacking one another — not the guy who is 50 points ahead in the polls.But there is a logic to it. Candidates are trying to position themselves as the party’s alternative to the former president. And to do that, they have to push one another aside and unite the roughly 40 percent of Republicans who are still up for grabs.This week, we ask anti-Trump Republicans: What’s stopping their coalition from getting on the same page? And with the early contests fast approaching, is it too late? We travel to a debate night watch party for Nikki Haley in New Hampshire and check in with Bob Vander Plaats, an influential Iowa evangelical and supporter of Ron DeSantis.
There was a moment in early 2023 when Donald Trump seemed like a politician in decline.And it wasn’t just his political opponents who thought so. National Republicans, who blamed Mr. Trump for the party’s run of bad results in the midterms, largely agreed.But now it’s starting to set in: It appears the former president’s staying power was underestimated … again. Mr. Trump is the overwhelming favorite to be the Republican presidential nominee — and his supporters remain the most influential force in the party’s politics.This week, through conversations at an event with South Carolina Republicans, we try to understand why the party continues to back an embattled Mr. Trump — and how it came to feel as though this primary ended before it even began. Then, Astead talks with Jonathan Swan, a New York Times political reporter, about how the Trump team has approached this campaign with discipline and strategy, and what it is planning should he win back the White House.
The former president’s legal status is one of the biggest wild cards heading into 2024.Even as he dominates the Republican primary and his party, Trump has been indicted on 91 felony charges, across four criminal cases in state and federal courts.We spent a day talking to our colleagues in The Times’s newsroom, trying to get answers to questions it’s surreal to even be asking.Among them: Are Republicans coalescing around a man who may soon be a convicted felon? And how much will Trump’s legal troubles collide with an election cycle that is unlike any we’ve seen before?Guests:Jonah BromwichRichard FaussetAlan FeuerMaggie Haberman
Polls suggest that they are – and that Black voters’ support for Donald Trump, especially among men, is rising. Astead W. Herndon convened a special "Run-Up" Thanksgiving focus group to explore what might be behind those numbers. He spoke with family, friends and, parishioners from his father’s church, community members and people he grew up with. It’s a lively conversation with real implications for what might happen if the 2024 presidential election is a Biden-Trump rematch.Because where better to talk politics than over turkey and an ample dessert spread?
Vice President Harris believes that democracy is once again on the line in November. She is key to the Biden campaign’s strategy for getting that message to its skeptical base — and winning over groups of voters that Democrats can't afford to lose.In a wide-ranging conversation recorded in Chicago in August, Astead Herndon sat down with the vice president to discuss her life and work before Washington, and the fight ahead for her party.This interview was conducted as part of the reporting process for a New York Times Magazine cover story on Ms. Harris, which you can read here.
Yes, President Biden’s team has seen the polls that show him struggling in a 2024 rematch with Donald Trump. But it says it’s focused on other things — like how well Democrats are doing at the ballot box.
Out of more than 3,000 counties in the United States, Clallam County, Wash. is the only one that has voted for the winner of the presidential race every year since 1980. It earned this distinction in 2020, the election that broke everyone else’s streak.We’re a year out from the 2024 presidential election and despite a robust Republican primary field, the race is looking like it could easily be a 2020 rematch. So we thought Clallam County could give us something resembling a prediction. Here’s how the people there are feeling — and how they think this is going to go.To see photographs from our reporting trip to Washington, click here. 
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Comments (11)

Myyk Seok

What did he say about Bytedance at the end? it was all cut up sounding.

Feb 16th
Reply

baby rock

the barber shop interview gag

Feb 6th
Reply

Annakaye Bennett

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Jan 13th
Reply

Darcie Harris

I absolutely love your podcast! This one was particularly meaningful, as my son lives in a small town in Texas & his cultural/ political views would be similar to many of the people you interviewed. Listening to this episode helps me understand and not judge. Thank you!

Dec 28th
Reply

rom

Unbelievable

Nov 18th
Reply

Ida Rødsand

jesus f'ing Christ. this crowd is awfully scary.

Apr 21st
Reply

Ida Rødsand

wow, Rochelle, such a powerful interview. she had some powerful points.

Nov 5th
Reply

Ida Rødsand

all hope for humanity and logical thinking, gone with this episode. :(

Oct 28th
Reply

Erica Champion

that was the most upsetting set of interviews I've ever heard.

Oct 27th
Reply

Dasha McCoy

I will have a great day ahead and I have to be in the morning and I was just need rules we eyes w

Feb 10th
Reply

Dasha McCoy

I will have a great day ahead and I have to be in the morning and I was just need rules we eyes w

Feb 10th
Reply
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