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Cover image of Checks and Balance from The Economist

Checks and Balance from The Economist

Checks and Balance unlocks American politics by taking a big theme each week and digging into the data, the ideas, and the history shaping the country.Join John Prideaux, Charlotte Howard, Idrees Kahloon and Jon Fasman as they talk to politicians, pollsters, academics and people across the country about the great experiment of American democracy.For more from Checks and Balance, sign up at https://www.economist.com/newsletters/checks-and-balance to receive our weekly newsletter. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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Checks and Balance: State of the heartland

Twice recently an eruption in middle America has shocked the world. Four years ago voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were decisive in putting Donald Trump in the White House. Two months ago, George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis prompted debate on racism everywhere. In a special episode on the Midwest, the region’s role in the 2020 election and America’s future, we hear from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, her predecessor Rahm Emmanuel, and get the latest from the Economist election forecast.Charlotte Howard, The Economist's New York bureau chief, hosts with Washington correspondent Jon Fasman and Midwest correspondent Adam Roberts. For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

38mins

31 Jul 2020

Rank #1

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Checks and Balance: Boomers KO’d

Baby-boomers have dominated American politics since the 1990s, but this election may be their last stand. Shifting demographics do not favour Donald Trump, the boomer-in-chief. Younger Americans are more diverse, more educated, more likely to vote Democrat. Is the boomer era over?We speak to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, look back to what Barack Obama called the “psychodrama” of boomer politics, and ahead to what might replace it. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

34mins

11 Sep 2020

Rank #2

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Checks and Balance: When I’m 46

Joe Biden is set to score a rare victory against an incumbent to become America’s 46th president. A Biden White House will set a new tone for the country. Yet the unexpected closeness of the vote - and the president’s refusal to go quietly - means the Trump brand of populism will live on. In this episode we decode the message the voters sent and what it means for America with The Economist’s data journalist Elliott Morris and Beijing bureau chief David Rennie.John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

45mins

6 Nov 2020

Rank #3

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Checks and Balance: Mike drop

Michael Bloomberg is trying to transform the Democrat presidential field through the sheer weight of his cash. But does politics in America really work that way? John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, Jon Fasman, and Charlotte Howard assess whether Bloomberg’s advertising campaign matches his mayoral record, why a legal case from the Watergate era has been crucial to the billionaire’s campaign, and how South Carolina’s minority voters are reassessing the moderate field. Listen to The Economist Asks: Michael BloombergSubscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions: www.economist.com/pod2020 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

34mins

21 Feb 2020

Rank #4

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Checks and Balance: What Don’s done

“Promises made, promises kept” is one of President Trump’s campaign slogans. His main achievements on tax, deregulation, or appointing new judges would be hallmarks of any Republican administration. How has Donald Trump changed the country in ways no other president would have? What will linger even if he loses?  Adam Roberts, The Economist’s Midwest correspondent, looks at the president’s record on immigration. Trade and globalisation editor Soumaya Keynes tells us how effective Trump’s trade policy has been. And healthcare correspondent Slavea Chankova assesses his response to covid-19. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.1843 Magazine: Movie Night at the White HouseFor access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

42mins

23 Oct 2020

Rank #5

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Checks and Balance: The invisible enemy

Californians have been ordered to stay home. The border with Canada is closed to non-essential traffic. Donald Trump says he now considers himself a “wartime president”. But, for now, the enemy remains invisible. Only 4% of Americans report knowing someone who has tested positive for covid-19. Is the US healthcare system prepared for the coming offensive?John Prideaux, our US editor, talks to Alok Jha, The Economist’s science correspondent, former CDC head Dr Tom Frieden, and Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief. Washington correspondent Jon Fasman asks what lessons the rest of the US can learn from New Rochelle, NY, one of the first communities to experience an outbreak. Read The Economist’s full coverage of the coronavirus. For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: www.economist.com/pod202 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

37mins

20 Mar 2020

Rank #6

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Checks and Balance: Sedate expectations

Policymaker, father figure and stand-in king - the Olympian job description sets an impossible standard for any new president. But expectations of Joe Biden are more modest than for most. Solid picks for the top spots in his administration only confirm his ordinariness. What makes an ideal president and how might Biden match up?James Astill, The Economist’s Washington bureau chief, assesses how Barack Obama dealt with high expectations, columnist Lane Greene argues Biden’s plain speech is his secret weapon, and writer and producer Michael Oates Palmer tells us what makes a great president on screen.John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.1843 Magazine profiles ex-presidentsFor access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

44mins

27 Nov 2020

Rank #7

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Checks and Balance: Not going gentle

Donald Trump’s long-held aversion to admitting defeat leaves America with an unprecedented scenario: an incumbent president thwarting the transition to a new administration. How harmful is Donald Trump’s refusal to concede?In this episode we find out how a presidential transition is meant to work, how the current upheaval falls short, and how Richard Nixon dealt with a disputed election. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

40mins

20 Nov 2020

Rank #8

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Checks and Balance: Reality wreck

The president’s tweet announcing his positive coronavirus test was his most shared ever - a shocking fact amid a mire of misinformation. This week’s angry TV debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden highlighted how even the truth has become a partisan issue. Can reality be reclaimed?We speak to MIT’s Sinan Aral, author of The Hype Machine, and Adam Roberts, The Economist’s Midwest correspondent reports from Iowa. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod The Economist is seeking applicants for two paid fellowships in America. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

39mins

2 Oct 2020

Rank #9

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Checks and Balance: On my mind

As 2020 draws to a close, the partisan feud is focused on Georgia. Joe Biden was the first Democrat in 28 years to win the state on the way to the White House. Run-off elections on January 5th will decide who controls the Senate - and Biden’s agenda. They will also test Donald Trump’s hold on his party as he refuses to admit defeat. Will Georgia tip the balance of American politics?Pablo Montagnes of Emory University lays out Georgia’s political geography, Congresswoman-elect Nikema Williams and State Senator Jen Jordan account for the Democrats’ success, and Congressman Tom Graves assesses Republican fortunes. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

38mins

11 Dec 2020

Rank #10

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Checks and Balance: Joe’s job

No candidate challenging a sitting president has had a poll lead bigger than Joe Biden’s this close to election day. His allure owes a lot to who he is not. The Democrats coalesced around the former Vice President only when the more radical Bernie Sanders threatened to nab the nomination. Who is Joe Biden and what does he want? The Economist’s US business editor Vijay Vaitheeswaran explains why Wall St is coming round to Biden and we look back at his foreign policy record and role in the Iraq war. Also, Biden’s former deputy chief of staff Scott Mulhauser tells us what makes him tick.John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

42mins

16 Oct 2020

Rank #11

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Checks and Balance: The art of losing

The Economist's election forecast shows Joe Biden heading for a landslide victory. But August is not November. President Trump has recently shifted focus back to the coronavirus in an attempt to rescue his reelection bid and Republicans have outpaced Democrats in swing-state voter registration. How can fortunes change during a campaign? We ask Stuart Stevens, chief strategist of several Republican campaigns, author and political consultant, and Matt Bennett, Democratic presidential adviser and executive vice-president at Third Way a centrist think-tank.Host John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, with Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent, and Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief. For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

45mins

7 Aug 2020

Rank #12

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Checks and Balance: Left Bern

Might America choose a socialist president? Ahead in the polls for the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders’ grip on the left of the Democratic Party is strengthening. The Senator from Vermont is the American left’s best chance in decades to defy political gravity. John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, looks at the history of socialism in America and James Astill, Lexington columnist, assesses Senator Sanders’ chances. Checks and Balance regulars Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman also consider how Sanders might fare against President Trump and the similarities between the two.Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:www.economist.com/pod2020 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

35mins

7 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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Checks and Balance: Not so great

President Trump’s effect on domestic policy in his first term has been modest and mostly reversible. The real impact of his blow-it-up style has been felt in the corrosion of an already poisonous political culture. How has his brand of anti-politics changed America? Trump supporters at one of his last rallies before election day and his former press secretary Sean Spicer tell us why he deserves re-election. Lilliana Mason of the University of Maryland explains how partisanship has become radicalised.John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

46mins

30 Oct 2020

Rank #14

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Checks and Balance: Florida’s key

A covid-19 outbreak in the White House threatens President Trump’s chances of reelection. Behind in national polls, his path to victory once again goes through the Electoral College. He must win Florida, his adopted home state and the biggest battleground of all. Which way will the sunshine state flip this time?We speak to Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson and look at Florida’s two key demographics: senior citizens and Hispanics. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

36mins

9 Oct 2020

Rank #15

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Checks and balance: Confirmation bias

Economist modelling suggests November's election may end Republican control of the Senate. The Republican leadership plans to push through the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg before then. Democrats are threatening to retaliate by reforming anti-majoritarian Senate rules if they win back control. Should the Senate change?James Astill, The Economist’s Washington bureau chief and data journalist Elliott Morris contribute. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

38mins

25 Sep 2020

Rank #16

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Checks and Balance: Getting a grip

The United States is bracing itself for the spread of covid-19. Sports leagues, universities, and, in some states, schools have shut down. Donald Trump announced a ban on flights from Europe, but investors remain unconvinced he has a grip on the situation. China meanwhile appears to have got over the worst of the outbreak after imposing strict quarantine measures. Will America manage to limit the spread of the coronavirus? How much will the delayed response damage Donald Trump? Charlotte Howard, our New York bureau chief, hosts with Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent, and Midwest correspondent Adam Roberts. David Rennie, Beijing bureau chief, and Idrees Kahloon, US policy correspondent for The Economist, also join.Read The Economist’s full coverage of the coronavirus.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: www.economist.com/pod2020.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

36mins

13 Mar 2020

Rank #17

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Checks and Balance: Flawed enforcement

Plans to abolish the Minneapolis police department after the death of George Floyd are running into opposition, as Jon Fasman reports from the city. Meanwhile, President Trump has promised a surge of federal law enforcement beyond Portland. City commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty says people there will continue to protest the presence of unidentified armed officers. Might this turn into a law-and-order election?John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman. For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

39mins

24 Jul 2020

Rank #18

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Checks and Balance: Voter confidence

November’s election threatens to be ugly. President Trump’s supporters are clashing with Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland. Covid-19 complicates voting. The result may not be clear on election night. Many Americans worry the election could herald violent discord and a constitutional crisis rather than a smooth exercise of democracy. Should they be concerned?We speak to Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center for Justice and Professor Kathleen Hale, who runs the graduate programme in election administration at Auburn University.  John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent, and Idrees Kahloon, US policy correspondent.For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

39mins

4 Sep 2020

Rank #19

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Checks and Balance: Opening shot

Joe Biden’s first move as president-elect was to unveil a pandemic advisory panel staffed by the public-health experts the incumbent likes to mock. News of an effective covid-19 vaccine came the day America passed 10m recorded cases. What difference will the Biden administration make?In this episode we hear from Kavita Patel, a doctor who advised Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, and find out how making a miracle vaccine went wrong once before. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with New York bureau chief Charlotte Howard, and Jon Fasman, Washington correspondent.The Economist charts White House pets For access to The Economist’s print, digital and audio editions subscribe: economist.com/2020electionpod Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

38mins

13 Nov 2020

Rank #20