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The Run-Up

The New York Times

“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. Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at read less

Our Editor's Take

How strong is the Americans' commitment to democracy? The Run-Up podcast starts by asking this question. Taking place between September and November of 2022, the series followed the events leading to the US midterm elections. This time, unlike previous years, it felt like there was much more concern for the outcome.

The Run-Up podcast is about this specific moment in time. The midterm elections are a referendum on the president and the party in power. Looking at past elections, this is also when they lose House seats most of the time. And in 2022, Democrats were in such a fragile state that they risked losing control of both chambers. Making way for the Republican Party meant that certain laws might not go through. There was important legislation about healthcare, immigration, and more. Supreme Court nominations from the Democrats may also fail. The midterms that year also became a referendum on abortion rights. This was following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Astead Herndon hosts The Run-Up podcast. He is also a New York Times political reporter. He wanted to make sense of the political landscape ahead of the elections. His goal was to give people the language to understand everything that was going on. He wanted to educate them on the situation before they arrived at the voting polls. While the voting has passed, the podcast remains a time capsule for that period. Many find it a well-researched, informative, and compelling piece of history.

Herndon is a seasoned reporter. He was on the election trail for the 2018 midterms. He also reported on the 2020 presidential elections. Before that, he wrote about politics for The Boston Globe. Herndon is no stranger to election coverage. But this time, he tried to find a different way to explore the story. Instead of looking at the candidates and their polling results, he examined the democratic system as a whole. Why has politics become so fraught? What forces were threatening democracy at that moment and why? The Run-Up podcast explains it.

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