Will Election Deniers Win in the Midterms? (with CNN’s John King, Part 1)

Subscribe to Lemonada Premium for Bonus Content

With less than a month until Election Day, CNN’s Chief National Correspondent John King returns to the bubble to dig deep into the key themes and dynamics unique to this midterm. Andy asks which issues are galvanizing voters, what the polls tell us (and if we should believe them), and whether a swarm of election deniers will win state races. Tune in Friday for part two of this conversation, when John and Andy pick apart the key House and Senate races.

Keep up with Andy on Twitter @ASlavitt.

Follow John King on Twitter @JohnKingCNN.

Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium.

Support the show by checking out our sponsors!

  • CVS Health helps people navigate the healthcare system and their personal healthcare by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. At CVS Health, healthier happens together. Learn more at cvshealth.com.
  • Click this link for a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows: https://lemonadamedia.com/sponsors/

Check out these resources from today’s episode: 

Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.

For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit lemonadamedia.com/show/inthebubble.



Andy Slavitt, John King

Andy Slavitt  00:00

This is IN THE BUBBLE with Andy Slavitt. So today’s episode, and the one on Friday are parts one and two of our midterm election preview and in the bubble, my friend John King from CNN will join me, and he’ll break everything down for us. And give you my perspective, as we get into this conversation. I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of elections, as has John who’s been working on them for decades, breaking down the numbers of the trans county by county. You know, these days elections do seem to have a bit more at stake than they did in the past. You know, the patterns are becoming more complicated to follow to as the evidence on how divided the country is. And how little ticket splitting there is in voting in the longer means that there are fewer competitive districts. And as much as people might like or not like a candidate, they’re attending this table in their own camps, regardless of candidate. There are some exceptions that I’m going to mention those in a second. This cycle, like everyone has some unique characteristics or their own. If there are two people who loom large over the election, it’s two people that aren’t on the ballot, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Republicans will press the point on Biden, tying him to high gas prices, pointed economic anxiety and inflation and trying to tie every Democratic candidate to that whole lot. And those are traditionally a very powerful set of issues, and the party out of power in an off year, the one who can run against a bad economy, and a president with low popularity numbers usually wins big in the midterms. But other things are happening to pull the lever for Republican candidate. Democrats want you to know that the Republican Party in this election in particular is filled with extremist candidates. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin downplays January 6, half of all Republicans for Senator, Attorney General and Secretary of State are hardcore election deniers. And the party of the nationwide abortion ban proposed in the Senate, while Democrats are proposing a bill protecting abortion rights and state by state. Women are getting denied access to basic medical decisions. And this is a stance which I think offends not only liberals and women as you’d expect. But middle of the road, small government people aren’t thrilled with it either. So there’s a few groups of people that are getting a lot of attention. Start with women, suburban women, over the last few election cycles, they’ve been a core area. And younger women are also a critical constituency. Hispanics, particularly men are also critical, particularly in a few key states like Nevada, non-college educated women may move to the left Hispanic men to the right. These changes alone could make the difference in who controls the House and the Senate. Why? Well, it’s because the numbers are so close. We’ve got a 5050 Senate where basically six key races, three held by Democrats, we hope and Republicans are going to decide who controls the Senate and look at a very, very close house. But with enough retirements that even a slight over performance in 2022 Compared to 2020. And the Republicans can take it over. And interestingly, if they do the margin matters a lot. In a narrow Republican majority, you can imagine, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan would have tremendous power and influence. And they could use it in all kinds of ways. So the most extreme elements of the Trump agenda could actually dominate depending on how the house turns out. But if I step back and you ask me what this election is really about, it’s not about any of that. It’s not about Herschel Walker, it’s not about McCarthy. It’s not even entirely about the economy. The salient issue in this election is the component of it that may define how the election works in 2024. Should Republicans win the key state offices in Arizona and Pennsylvania and other presidential battleground states. It sets up exactly what Trump won is to try to stay in power in 2020. A court legislatures and state officers willing to defy the law and keep him in office.

Andy Slavitt  04:52

That’s what’s at stake. Now, what happens there may very well be how we will remember this election. And as much as anything else, one more thing that I thought about that will come out in the selection that doesn’t necessarily meet the eye, and probably won’t influence a lot of votes, but could be very vital to our future. And that is the pro Russia, pro Putin movement in the Republican Party. And it’s not small. Watch an hour of Tucker Carlson if you don’t believe me, and you can listen to our in the bubble episodes last week on the war, and Putin and Trump to get a rundown on this. But what I’m really saying is paving the way for Trump is paving the way for Neville Chamberlain. Imagine in 2020, for stopping the military and economic aid and intelligence support for Ukraine. Imagine NATO dissipating. Imagine all of Europe being abandoned by Trump. And imagine what Putin would then do. In fact, all Putin really has to do now is prolong the war for two more years. And his best bet is to interfere in the US elections like he did in 2016. When all said and done, I think this is what the election is about. It’s about our democracy. It’s about giving up on Ukraine and the war in Europe. And it’s about the most extreme elements of the Republican Party dominating the next few years. There’s no one better to walk us through all this. And to have this discussion, in my opinion, the John King, John is THE CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT at CNN, you know, his voice, you know, his rapid fire thinking and talking, you know, his honest and balanced opinions. You see how he uses data, and also his gut. Today, we’re gonna lay out the election, the themes, the issues, the dynamics, and what the polls tell us. And if we can believe them, then we’re going to dig into the dynamics and key state races. When it comes back on Friday, John, and I will dig deep into the house and the key Senate races, and go candidate by candidate poll by poll, what’s shifting the race, and how it’s gonna turn out all of it. So let’s welcome John. John King, welcome back to the bubble.

John King  07:27

Glad to be here. It’s a busy time.

Andy Slavitt  07:30

It’s a busy time for you, my friend. Give us a cheat sheet on the midterms, like frame the issues and things that are the context of this particular midterm election.

John King  07:42

Well, any first midterm election is about the President and the party in power. Obviously, we’ve learned that throughout modern history, and we can go back even the pre internet age, if you want to call it that. So it’s always largely the North Star is always the President’s approval rating or the President’s performance. But then you do have other issues that bubble up. And I think that’s the great competition in what is a really unpredictable midterm year, in the sense that the economy inflation are when you look at state by state polling, we look at most of the national polls, they are by far issue number one, the question is, and for the most part, even though or another robust jobs report, a lot of economic data that should be encouraging to people. But that gets overwhelmed when you drive past or you pull in to the gas station every day that gets overwhelmed when you pop into the grocery store once or twice a week. So inflation is clouding what could be a lot of pretty good economic news for the Democrats and the President right now. And that’s part of the tug of war. Can the Democrats in the final 30 days can the President in the final 30 days banned the psychology of the American voter, which is still exhausted by COVID punished by inflation and thinking why things aren’t going so great? Are there are numbers to support that the economy is actually pretty strong, but you can’t tell voters they’re wrong. So you got to find a place to meet them in the middle and say, We know times are tough, but actually the fundamentals are pretty good. So your cheat sheet, as you head into the final couple of weeks here, the safe money would be on Republicans taking the house because they only need a net gain of five seats. Does that mean it’s impossible for Democrats to hold the house? No. But when you look at where the key races are, how the redistricting lines were redrawn, it would be defined history for Democrats to somehow hold the house. It’s possible but out there, the Senate and it’s just fascinating. It is just fascinating in that if we went back six months, Republicans were very confident they were not only going to get 51, but maybe 52 or 53. If you went back to July, right after the doctor’s decision, Democrats got suddenly optimistic they saw an increase in participation in registration by women. They saw the polling change in the suburbs. They saw common sense conservative voters in Kansas say no way to amending the state constitution to allow abortion restrictions and Democrats are thinking wow, we suddenly have a wind on our back. As we move now though, into October mid-October into the final stretch into November, you do see more evidence that that democratic momentum has added up minimum plateaued, and that maybe Republicans actually have a little juice right now. Some of that is gas prices ticking up again. Some of that is Democrats had a huge spending advantage over the summer and early fall. And Republicans are coming in with a boatload of money now in these key Senate races, but still, still the Senate to me, anyone who tells you they know who’s going to have 51 or 52. The day or the week after the election when we’re done counting votes, is making it up because you have so many close races inside the margin of error. We had a big pull out of Arizona the other day, Mark Kelly, the Democratic incumbent, he’s up but he’s up just five. If you look at the Nevada Senate race, it’s a dead heat. Pennsylvania Senate race, a dead heat, Georgia Senate race, a dead heat. We’ll see if the Herschel Walker controversy hurts. Wisconsin Senate race very close. So the Senate is still a jump ball. And then there are a number of critically important governor’s races that you know, people in Washington often forget about the governor’s in the state legislative races because we cover Congress and we want to know who’s going to control the House and the Senate. But in this world we live in where abortion is now an issue for the state’s election denial is on the rise and the Republican Party races for governor, Secretary of State and legislature they’re always important, and they get underplayed by guys like me and Washington, I would argue they’re all the more important this year.

Andy Slavitt  11:12

Yeah. And they could be important, the outcome of those state races could be important as we get to 2024. So as I listened to what you’ve said, it sounds like there’s a couple things out of the gate, that would be negative for Democrats, positives for Republicans, namely inflation and fears around the economy. And then Biden’s popularity numbers are low. The one of the things that seems to be happening. And I don’t know if this is unusual, John, but given your experience, maybe you can comment on it is that the Republicans seem to want the race to be about one set of issues, those issues being the economy, immigration, and crime. And maybe, as you say, a referendum on Joe Biden, among people that are that are unfavorable. And the Democrats want the election to be about another set of issues, abortion, the environment, leading climate, democracy and Trump and so forth. And you can imagine that set of people being motivated by one set of issues or the other. So insistent election around how this gets defined, is that an election around who turns the people out? Is there a large middle? Who are those issues are swirling around them, and they’ve got to decide which one matters more.

John King  12:28

I think it’s all of the above, let’s walk through some of that part of is the tug of war to convince voters what should matter most at a time where they’re getting maybe conflicting instincts, right, maybe, maybe you’re mad about inflation, and Joe Biden is in charge, right? You know, Joe Biden could make a case, look around the globe, everybody has inflation, inflation actually isn’t as bad. If you look through some of the European or other Western economies. Okay, you can make that case. voters don’t care about it. Sorry, Mr. President, whether you’re Joe Biden, or republican doesn’t matter your name of your party, voters vote on what happens to them in the mood of the moment. And first midterm elections, especially Obama lost 63 seats, Trump lost 40 Something seats. So the recent history tells us this is a tough year for the incumbent, again, regardless of party. So part of it is normally the instinct in the first midterm is that it’s a referendum. The Democrats are trying and they’ve had to some degree success and the Dobbs decision helped to make it a choice. You may be mad at our guy. But if you put those guys in charge, it will be worse, especially on this issue that matters to you. There’s no question. The abortion issue has helped the Democrats there. The question is, is it enough? And can you sustain the energy? You saw the registration? You saw the activism you saw in July and August? Can you carry that through October into November? Or does it just you know, […] out a little bit or voters get distracted by something else. That’s why Republicans are spending all that money on ads, on crime, on immigration, and on inflation, and they’re on those issues. But if you look at most of those ads, they say, Joe Biden’s president, crime is bad. Senator X voted with him 90% of the time, you know, to get the Democratic incumbent, inflation is bad. Biden’s in charge his spending did it and Senator X voted with Biden, it said so there’s the connection of the three you connect them to a president who is not struggling as much as he was six months ago, but the President’s numbers are still there, right, right around where Obama was where Trump was and where Clinton was in their first midterm election. And all three of those presidents got smoked, shellacked in their first midterm election. So the competition part of this ad spending and the candidates themselves were in debate season, we’re starting to see more debates, you know, which candidate can convince voters there’s a lot going on in your lives right now. This is the thing you should put first put this first. If it’s Biden and inflation, well, then the Republicans are going to have a good night. If you can make it about choice or election integrity, decency, then maybe the Democrats pull that back a little bit. You asked, is there a middle? There’s a shrinking middle in American politics. We’re tribalized for the most part, but in a 5050 race, even if that middle is 5% 10% or 15%. It’s the swing vote, whether it’s just people who are truly independents, whether it’s a growing population, like Latinos in some states or a growing population, like Asian Americans in some states. So there are there are small constituencies, whether they’re the actual raw pure independents, or some of these emerging voter groups, growing voter groups, that could make a difference in some of these close races. So you have your big statewide message if you’re running for governor or Senate. But in these final 30 days or so you’re starting to think what are my little niche arguments that I can make to make a difference with a constituency that may only be 3% of my state population are maybe only 8% of my state population, but in a 50/50 race, that’s the difference. And so I do think, you know, let’s take the Herschel Walker race, for example, he has this enormous controversy right now. Do pro-life Christian conservatives cast a ballot for Herschel Walker just because he’s a Republican? And because Donald Trump supports him? Or do they vote for the Democrat or just not vote, because you have this controversy about, you know, the woman who says he paid for her to have an abortion back in 2009. Now, Walker denies that. But is it enough for Christian conservatives to say evangelicals for whom that’s a defining issue in their lives, say I just can’t do it. I can’t do it. They don’t necessarily have to vote for the Democrat if they just don’t vote for him. They say they vote for governor, they vote for Congress, and they skip the Senate race, it doesn’t take much. So you’re in these 50/50 races, or sometimes they’re 4545, because the third party candidates, but in these very close races, tiny little things matter. Those tiny little things can be different from state to state and race to race. But that’s what I start to obsess about. When you get late, what are the little things that could put this one or that one over the top.

Andy Slavitt  17:04

Every issue that we’ve talked about, is an important issue has one thing in common. It’s a domestic issue. And, you know, we are sitting here at a point in time when we have for the first time since you and I were, you know, much younger, the actual threat of nuclear war, facing us in the prospect that people will care enough about what’s going on in Ukraine, that there could be something like that that weighs in here? Or do we pretty much know what’s going to define the race or the issues that will define the race? We just don’t know which way they fall?

John King  17:42

I would say smart people should say I’m not sure we see no evidence to date. That the situation in Ukraine and again, you know, I think I said this last time we spoke, I’ll take the hits if somebody wants to give me the heads, I just having lived through many of these and understanding the way the world is right now, having covered the White House for 10 years, President Biden has done a remarkable job holding this coalition together. At a time when the French have presidential elections this year, you have a new German chancellor, you have the leader of Hungary, who is you know, more inclined to be a Putin friend. You know, the new prime minister in the UK, Boris Johnson there at the beginning and going out, Italy having its elections. It’s just the fact that this group has stayed together for six months plus now is a testament to the group. And the group is led by the President of the United States, that person happens to be a Democrat named Joe Biden. At the moment, I would say that if it were if the situation was the same, and it was Donald Trump or George W. Bush, I would say the same exact thing. It is remarkable that the United States in the lead has able to keep this group together. Does something happen, the president at a fundraiser, you know, talks about not since the Cuban missile crisis has as the world seen the possibility of nuclear Armageddon? That’s scary. You’re right. I’m old enough to remember where we did the drills where you got onto your desk, or we went down to the bomb shelter under your school. I say that to the kids on the show, save some time and they look at me like I am literally T Rex or Brontosaurus. But you know, that’s the world we grew up in. There will be a couple of races, you do have some Republicans who are saying this should not matter. Or you have some Republican commentators who have seemed like they’re pretty pro-Putin. I’ll leave that for another conversation. But I do think watch the debates, you know, is it again? Is it in a very close race? Is there something you can do to say this guy doesn’t think like us? See if that comes up at all, for the some of the Republican candidates who were saying America should have no role in this? I don’t like it. I don’t like Putin, but America should not be spending a dime here. You know, there’s a pretty forceful argument to make about why this is important. Again, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, or does something happen, you know, that’s the other question. Does something happen on the battlefield? In Ukraine, that or, you know, North Korea has been firing missiles again, I when I talked I talked about is there some external event that’s going to happen in the next 30 days? You know, I look at it from largely a domestic perspective. You know, the new jobs report, there’s one more unemployment report. Is that good news or bad news? Could that impact it’s got that comes out the very first week of November just a few days before the election, gas prices, what else could happen at home?

Andy Slavitt  20:04

[…] Those are influencers

John King  20:06

But there’s no question that they’re you know, there’s the possibility of some, you know, stop in your tracks international events that may reshuffle people’s thinking.

Andy Slavitt  20:14

You know, one thing people look at it’s this thing called the generic ballot, would you vote for a Democratic vote for a Republican generically? And I think you captured, you know, it started out in Republicans favor after Dobbs that had it in Democrats favor. Now it sounds like it’s heading back a little bit towards Republicans favor. So while McCarthy is measuring the drapes for the Speaker’s office, because as you said, there’s a lot of momentum there. Couple questions. One is do you even trust the polls. And if the polls been misleading enough over prior years, that we should look at it with suspicion? or have there been adjustments made to those polls? So you can you do think we can get a better read on it?

John King  20:54

Yeah, I trust the people doing the polls in the sense that and you know, many of them, Andy, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, the people who’ve been the campaign professionals for 20, 30, 40 years, or younger people who maybe have only been on the scene for eight or 10, but came up as interns and junior people in those firms. They’re good people, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, or whether they’re the independent polling groups who do polling for media. They do a lot of polling, most of the groups that poll for media, also poll for corporations who are trying to sell a product. So this is their business. I mean, they’re not you know, they’re not doing this on purpose. There’s no question. There’s been some issues with polling in political races over the past six 6-10 years.

Andy Slavitt  21:28

And one of it being just to call it out it that there have been Trump voters who have been reluctant to either participate in polls, or say that they’re supporting Trump, and unsure if that carries over into Trump supported midterm candidates. But they seem to be shyer than Democrats perhaps is that right, in answering polls?

John King  21:48

No question that they are less likely to participate because they have been told by Donald Trump and told by others that don’t trust any institution. Don’t try. Everything’s rigged. Everything’s rigged, therefore don’t participate. So that there’s no question that’s an issue. And then there’s just the technological change. It’s about people have cell phones now not landlines. So do you do an online poll? What’s the mix right of landlines and cell phones, and the business is trying to figure this out? Like everything that involves technology in our lives? It’s changing. It’s getting better in some ways. But you get questions as you go through this technological revolution, in addition to the political factors you mentioned. So here’s what I would say about polling. Use it as a guideline, do not use it as the AHA, you know, Andy Slavitt, is up 1.2 percentage points in Wisconsin, he’s going to win no, no, Andy Slavitt is up 1.2% now, six months ago, he was down four. So the trajectory is good for Andy. That’s how I would do it. Right? What’s the trajectory? Look back six months ago, look back three months ago, if you have that context, and say, so which ways are we going up? Or are we going down? Or are we flat? I would not take the numbers as gospel.

John King  22:48

But is there a systematic bias is opposed in favor of Democrats? Do you think? Or did they somehow correct that?

John King  22:54

The good ones tried to correct that I’m not going to name names here. But you can go through some polls, you know, there are a bunch of different people who do this, some involve at university, some elsewhere, there are some who consistently, if you look at how they pulled the week before an election in the last two or three election cycles, and how things turned out, seem to be two or three points, the way they waited, and again, they’re doing the best they can. This is who this is who they think is going to turn out. But they have a history of being a little leaning a little bit to the Democrats, if you will, there are some there are a couple I could give you that have a history of leaning toward the Republicans. Now I know that because I’ve been doing this for nearly 40 years. So again, I look for the trajectory, are we going up? Are we going down, I don’t necessarily put a lot of faith in the exact numbers, you can still use them for that. And the best thing to do is take them all and average them. Right take them on average them, their methodologies might be a little different. So that’s not an exact science either. But if you have 20 polls that you can average out, you have a better snapshot of that moment than two or three polls or one poll. So there are places that give you clues about what’s about to happen. And that’s my job on election night, to try to find.

Andy Slavitt  24:17

Let’s turn to the state races writ large. And if he told me at the end of election night, that the election deniers last got swept? I would probably consider that the headline I’d want to see the most I’m talking about my own personal point of view now, obviously, but obviously not everybody’s. And as evidence of that. They the data shows that of the three major state races Secretary of State AG and Governor which is essentially that apparatus that gets involved in determining how the state’s electoral votes to be processed, certified, etc. 40% to 50% of the Republican candidates are election deniers, so I could see how that could affect the race in either direction, right, I could see that really getting Democrats in states like Arizona and Georgia, and other places where that are going to be very close to 2024. out to vote in a way that says, you know what, this may be a midterm election. But it’s a midterm election, that’s kind of part of the next presidential election. But it’s also possible that, you know, among all the other factors, it just doesn’t loom large enough to make a difference. Anyway, that for to help us think about how these things will play out. And I would also just say one more interesting commentary maybe from you is, this is where I think about the issue of the non-Trump Trump candidate. So Trump isn’t without Trump, and how well that does. A lot of people ready for these offices align themselves with a model and the process of getting elected that Donald Trump showed them. But they don’t have Donald Trump’s whatever it is, they’ve got their own personalities.

John King  26:04

Look, I’m fascinated by this question, as a journalist, and as a citizen, someone who has covered elections for nearly 40 years. Where are we going? If we don’t respect the score, we’re entering baseball playoff season, you know, my guys are out the Red Sox, I respect that they lost. They were a lousy team this year, I’m not going to go to court or find Rudy Giuliani to go to a landscaping company and tell people that the Red Sox should it be in the World Series. They last I saw it with my own eyes. And I trust the people who count the votes. I disagree with the umpire, sometimes they call the balls and strikes. And that’s the way it is when the game is over. That’s what it is. I try to avoid using the sports analogy because I’m frustrated. And I don’t know the way to break through to people who believe Trump won. He didn’t. And good people counted the votes in a lot of those states. They will Republicans counting the votes Republican secretaries of states, poll workers who do we know, there’s gonna be a lot of poll workers in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and Arizona and Nevada who voted Republican and we don’t know, we shouldn’t care. But could they do their job effectively? So how do you break through with people to say, you know, if you have some complaint about the election law in your state, you have every right to bring it up with your you know, your state representative and your governor and your current anybody, anybody, you want to bring it up with who you think can get some attention to you. But at the end of the day, we have to have rules, you stop at red lights, you may not like it, but you stop. And so the campaigns have to end somewhere. And they end with an election, and they end with people counting the votes. And then because this is America, and we’re a great damn country, we allow people to go to court, and we give them a process. And if they have any evidence of it, they get a hearing of 70 plus judges, including a lot of judges appointed by Donald Trump’s head, there’s no here, there’s nothing here. Not only is there not enough here, there’s nothing here. That’s what they said. And so it’s really hard to break through with people. You’re as you know, I was just in Pennsylvania trying to talk to voters, and there’s some Republicans who won’t talk to me. Because I work for CNN, and we say Joe Biden won the election. That’s frustrating. But we can’t let it stop us from trying to have the conversation. But to your point, if these people win, and they’re in charge of the process, whoa, I mean, just Whoa, we need to you know, two plus two is for the guy who gets the most votes wins. The guy or gal who didn’t get the most votes should have a period of time to contest that election, in court, to any other process, have a recount if you were close enough that the state pays for it great. If you weren’t, and you want to pay for it yourself, great. You have the space in the process to give them time we did all that. We did all that Joe Biden is the President of the United States. And so I do think that institutionally and culturally, this is in the bloodstream of the Republican Party. Right now, we need a competitive two party system. There are independents out there saying we need a three party system or a four party system, amen. If other people want to come to the table, and foreign parties and get involved in the process, I’m all for it. But we haven’t we have had a two party system. We need that other party to be competitive, so that we can have interesting debates about climate so we can have interesting debates about health care. So we can have interesting debates about what to do about Ukraine, and so on and so forth. It’s hard to listen to people who don’t agree that two plus two equals four. And so you have Democrats now who refuse to listen to Republicans, because they’re election deniers, and they just can’t you know, they’re it’s like, if you’re lying about that, why am I going to talk to you about anything else that’s not healthy for the system. You have, you know, Liz Cheney and a few other Republicans trying to pull their party back to a fact based reality based process based system, challenge it. But then when you’re done, you’re done. There has to be a final whistle somewhere. And so you have these candidates. Now, Arizona is a great test laboratory of this because of the candidate for governor and Senate and Secretary of State in one of the emerging most competitive important states in our country, because of how we can you know, because the Electoral College is one of the five or six states are going to determine the president for the next, you know, three or four, maybe five or six election cycles. So I’m rambling a bit because I’m both fascinated and frightened by the question and the prospect. And I don’t know how we get back to a place where people trust the basic institutions of our government, we have to do that.

Andy Slavitt  30:12

That’s one thing we’re going to know a lot more about, after the election, whether it’s the day after, as you say, the week after, which is, well, we have silently resoundingly defeated the election deniers, and look, remembering that your point that there are Republicans, for example, in Georgia, who stood up for democracy, this is not necessarily about Democrats or Republicans, that happens to be that it’ll play out that way, because it’s a general election. But, you know, we could be sitting here having a very strange conversation in a couple of months, John, where we’re saying, wow, we’re about to launch at the 2024 election season. And we’re about to launch into it with a set of rules that are very different and very uncertain, relative to where things have been. Well, John, you’ve been as always incredibly generous, insightful, thoughtful. I think you’ve explained a lot to us. And I’m hoping when we’re doing a recap, whatever we’re saying, you know, whatever your own political beliefs are, I hope that there is a fundamental couple of messages out of him and one of them that I hope we’re sitting here at St. Lucia there, well, democracy got a boost in this election cycle, and I feel better about it than I did before. But man, I’m nervous too.

John King  31:29

Yeah, I hope you’re right. I love great policy debates. We should not be debating math. Math is math. Two plus two is four, whether you’re Democrat or Republican or cranky, independent. You know, two plus two is four, and we don’t get back to that trust and respect spot. We’re screwed frankly, that’s not a political statement. That’s just a fact.

Andy Slavitt  32:01

Friday is part two with John King, we got to dig into the House and Senate races. It’s gonna be a great preview. The next week, we’ve got Katelyn Jetelina on to talk about the very probable coming wave of COVID. This winter, what it will look like. They’ll talk about how well the boosters are doing against that. We have Secretary of Health, Javier Becerra on to talk about pandemic and all other things health related. And we’ve got a couple of other really interesting episodes one focusing very specifically on how roe is on the ballot, not just as a concept but literally on the ballot in a number of states. We will look forward to talking to you on Friday. Thank you for tuning in.

CREDITS  32:55

Thanks for listening to IN THE BUBBLE. We’re a production of Lemonada Media. Kathryn Barnes, Jackie Harris and Kyle Shiely produced our show, and they’re great. Our mix is by Noah Smith and James Barber, and they’re great, too. Steve Nelson is the vice president of the weekly content, and he’s okay, too. And of course, the ultimate bosses, Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs, they executive produced the show, we love them dearly. Our theme was composed by Dan Molad and Oliver Hill, with additional music by Ivan Kuraev. You can find out more about our show on social media at @LemonadaMedia where you’ll also get the transcript of the show. And you can find me at @ASlavitt on Twitter. If you like what you heard today, why don’t you tell your friends to listen as well, and get them to write a review. Thanks so much, talk to you next time.

Spoil Your Inbox

Pods, news, special deals… oh my.