June 1, 2012 Mitt Romney gets enough delegates, in some counts, to go over the top in his bid for the GOP nomination. But his celebration is upstaged by Donald Trump. Plus: The Texas GOP goes into overtime to find a Senate nominee, Rep. Thad McCotter plans a write-in campaign, and a look ahead to Wisconsin.
May 25, 2012 This week, Ken Rudin and Ron Elving discuss Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker criticizing the president's tactics on Bain Capital, the Tea Party's goals in next week's Texas Senate primary, and general dysfunction in D.C. In other words, it's the Booker "Tea" Washington edition of the podcast.
May 18, 2012 It's the 300th episode of the podcast! We hear from Ron Elving and Ken Rudin — and from The Listener, too. Plus: an anti-Obama group wavers on hearing more from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Nebraska Republicans say they've had enough mudslinging, and Americans Elect fails to find a candidate it can promote.
May 11, 2012 Gay marriage gets an advocate in the White House, but only after Biden has his say. Obama's announcement came a day after N.C. voters rejected the concept. Dick Lugar's Senate career comes to an end in Indiana. And in the W. Va. primary, Obama defeats a jailed felon from Texas, 59-41 percent.
May 4, 2012 With Washington abuzz over the president's trip to Afghanistan, this week's podcast focuses on stuff outside the Beltway: Sen. Dick Lugar's tough Republican primary contest in Indiana, and Wisconsin Democrats' selection of a candidate to take on GOP Gov. Scott Walker in the June recall election.
April 27, 2012 Mitt Romney sweeps five primaries and all but locks up the GOP nomination. Even Newt Gingrich agrees Romney will be the nominee. More veepstakes speculation on Sens. Marco Rubio and Rob Portman. Two centrist House Democrats fall in Pa., while Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch lives to fight another day.
April 20, 2012 With pre-buttals, rebuttals and a "bracketing strategy" unleashed by GOP front-runner Mitt Romney targeting President Obama, the campaign trail is starting to resemble a made-for-TV debate tournament. And a trivia round: We invite you to guess the GOP V.P. pick.
April 13, 2012 And then there were three. We're convinced Rick Santorum pulled out of the race not because NPR's Ron Elving boldly predicted it in last week's podcast but simply to show up Ken Rudin. Plus: Eric Cantor's controversial campaign contribution. And the war of words continues over Ann Romney's career.
April 6, 2012 Mitt Romney's sweep in Tuesday's GOP primaries essentially signals the beginning of the general election campaign. President Obama joins the fray, attacking Romney by name; Romney returns the favor a day later. Paul Ryan draws attention from the president as well as those speculating on the GOP ticket.
March 30, 2012 The GOP starts to coalesce behind Romney, but don't tell Santorum just yet. And Gingrich has a new way to get to the nomination. Meanwhile, new calculations on President Obama this week, based on the Court taking up health care and the reaction to the Trayvon Martin killing.
March 23, 2012 Mitt Romney has an impressive victory in Illinois, gets Jeb Bush's backing, revives the inevitability argument and then gets bogged down in an Etch A Sketch distraction. Plus: Illinois primary results, and Barbara Mikulski breaks a record. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving have this week's roundup.
March 16, 2012 Is the battle for the GOP presidential nomination about history? Or is it about math? Santorum may be getting big headlines with his primary wins, but it's Romney who is advancing further to the magic 1,144 number. And more defeats mean more pressure on Gingrich to pull out.
March 9, 2012 It was Super Tuesday all right, but super for whom? Mitt Romney, who won the most states (including Ohio) and the most delegates? Rick Santorum, who carried three contests and remains the primary conservative alternative to Romney? Plus: Olympia Snowe's retirement in Maine may not necessarily be good news for the Democrats. And two House incumbents lose in the Buckeye State.
March 2, 2012 On the political horizon — ten states, four candidates and one Super Tuesday. Can we expect the GOP delegate puzzle to gain clarity following Super Tuesday or will it remain muddled? NPR's Ron Elving and Neal Carruth dissect the momentum each candidate has going into next week's primaries.
February 24, 2012 Was the shootout in Mesa the last debate of the primary season? We're already suffering from withdrawal! This week we recap the debate, and look ahead to Michigan, Arizona and Super Tuesday. And — wait for it — Buddy Roemer leaves the GOP race for president to run as an independent.