Weekly Roundup: November 25, 2022
(SOUNDBITE OF THE BIG TOP ORCHESTRA'S "TEETER BOARD: FOLIES BERGERE (MARCH AND TWO-STEP)")
MILES PARKS, HOST:
Hey there. It's the NPR POLITICS PODCAST. I'm Miles Parks. I cover voting.
SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: I'm Susan Davis. I cover politics.
DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, BYLINE: I'm Danielle Kurtzleben. I also cover politics.
DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: And I'm Domenico Montanaro, senior political editor and correspondent.
PARKS: And the 2022 election season is drawing to a close. And while Republicans, as many folks predicted, did end up winning control of the House of Representatives, their majority is going to be a narrow one. In the Senate, no matter which way next month's runoff in Georgia goes, Democrats will control it. And I cannot think of a better group of political correspondents and reporters to talk through all of the results of this year's midterms and help me understand what we're looking at looking ahead to 2024 than you guys.
KURTZLEBEN: Oh, stop.
DAVIS: Go on.
MONTANARO: We finally have a little sleep now, so...
PARKS: Yeah, we might actually get some clear thoughts. So, Domenico, I do want to start with you. As I mentioned, a lot of people were predicting ahead of this year's midterms that we would see a Republican red wave. Democrats every month have been looking at those inflation numbers, being terrified of what that would mean come voting time. We didn't really see that. I mean, what's your takeaway for why Republicans didn't kind of romp away with victory?
MONTANARO: You know, one of the first things I want to point out is the Senate I think everybody thought was going to be a toss-up no matter what. You know, I don't know that anybody really knew what was going to happen, and if they did tell you that they knew what was going to happen, they were probably lying or wrong or overconfident. So that's first there.
Secondly, you know, the House, Republicans are only going to have - looks like a four-seat majority. They would be plus nine as far as flips go overall, with seats that they took over. The predictions were anywhere from 10 to 20 and 12 to 25 toward the end there. A lot of very close races that could have tipped that into that sort of range, but really, for me, the key was all of these Trump candidates up and down the ballot, election-denying candidates who lost, really made the difference between, you know, what is now a narrow majority and going to make Kevin McCarthy, if he's speaker, make his life pretty difficult versus what would have been a much wider majority.
DAVIS: I mean, I think this is one of those things that we're going to be talking a lot on the pod over the next two years. Obviously, Trump has already announced that he's running for president again, but I'll admit that I was surprised that the Trump-backed candidates did as poorly as they did in this election. I'm not sure I can draw any conclusions from that because, you know, it's still possible Trump could go on to be the nominee and go on to win. But, you know, up and down the ballot in local offices, House, Senate, they just did really poorly. And even Trump-backed candidates who won - I think of a guy like J.D. Vance in the Ohio Senate race - he still really underperformed the top of the ticket with Governor Mike DeWine, who won the state by, like, 10 points more than J.D. Vance did.
And voters are really telling us something here, right? It might have just been in this election, in this moment, but when you look at how popular Trump - or at least what polls say how popular the former president is still with Republican voters, there also is - there's some drama here. And I think, you know, whether Trump can maintain himself as the leader of the party, whether this election did prove, like, a guy like Ron DeSantis, the governor from Florida, is going to be in this path for the presidency, it was fascinating. And I know we hesitate to talk about the next election, but these elections kind of tell us where we're going - right? - and where we're headed. And I thought 2022 was fascinating in that regard.
KURTZLEBEN: I mean, I don't hesitate because I've been - I've asked a lot of those voters out there, Republican voters in particular, how do you feel about Trump, even while I was asking them about the 2022 elections, and they all got at something that Sue just talked about, which is I did not run across many Republicans - very, very few - who said, you know, I dislike Trump; I really just can't stand the guy. Instead, I got a very respectful thanks, but no thanks about him. A lot of Republicans who said, I like him, and I liked how he did as president, but, you know, he's divisive. So something is happening. There is a change happening. It's just a question of how deep.
DAVIS: He also changed the dynamics of this midterm that we say - the sort of conventional wisdom is that midterms are a referendum on the president. And to some degree they are. But because Donald Trump made it so clear he wanted to run in 2024, because he injected himself so much in these elections, there was an element to this midterm that it was a choice, right? Like, there was sort of a Biden-Trump dynamic in 2022, and voters once again still, you know, kind of lean towards Biden, which I think, you know, might tell us something, too, about how the president might be thinking about running for reelection as well.
PARKS: I do want to stop for a second because I know we're going to get into talking about Trump. I feel like after he announced, I feel like it's so tempting to paint everything through this Trump lens, but I want to focus specifically on some of the issues. And, like, I'm really curious, when you guys think about this midterm election five, 10 years down in the future and we look back on this, I think going into this election, my assumption was this was going to be the inflation midterms, that we would look back at this at - this is a historically very, very high-inflation year, and that was going to be kind of the defining word that I would think of when we think about this election. I don't know that that is the takeaway. Danielle, looking ahead to the future, what do we think is going to be the defining way we think about this midterms?
KURTZLEBEN: Abortion, hands-down. Like, no question. I mean, look; yes, inflation is a thing that stares everybody in the face when they go get gas or when they go to the grocery store, and that - so this is not to downplay that. But we had a seismic event happen earlier this year with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We saw, first of all, that immediately after the overturning of Roe, a whole bunch of women in particular go out and register to vote. You saw a whole bunch of Americans look at that and say, wow, 50 years of precedent have changed. That is huge.
And we can get into this a bit more, but one thing that is really interesting is it is hard to know how much abortion affected this election, and I would argue that it is easy to underestimate because, first of all, polls. Poll - we asked so many people, what is your top issue in this election? And that's just not how voters think, right? When I was out talking to voters, yes, there are plenty of voters who have some sort of personal connection to the topic of abortion who would say, yes, I am voting because of that; that is top of mind.
But one thing that a Democratic strategist talked to me about was his view that the overturning of Roe really crystallized a lot of other issues for a lot of Democrats that perhaps January 6 wasn't breaking through or any of the other number of ways that Democrats try to paint Republicans as extreme. But Dobbs was a very simple example for Democrats to point to and say, see, look; they really are extreme, and they really are going to change this country in huge ways. Don't you want to vote against that? And I think that is a very plausible explanation for how even voters who might not think a lot about abortion or even care a lot about it, that might have made them get up and go, oh, well, I had better vote. I had really better vote for Democrats.
MONTANARO: And there's a lot of data to back up what Danielle's talking about in the exit polls, for example. You would think if you saw inflation as the top issue in the exit polls, which it was, and Republicans overwhelmingly favored on inflation to handle it, that we're in a president's first midterm, that that would be a wipeout, generally, for the party in power. But what we also saw in that is that there were overwhelming majorities of people who said they thought the Supreme Court went too far in their decision to overturn Roe. We saw in multiple states, Arizona, for example, 40% of the electorate said that the Roe decision made them angry. And that is motivating. I mean, anger, we know, is one of the top motivators overall.
And when - you know, there was one bipartisan poll that had come out commissioned for the AARP. And what people saw was that, you know, before the Dobbs decision, for example, women 65 and older said they favored Republicans by two points. And then after the survey was conducted, it was 14 - plus 14 for Democrats. In other words, they had shifted 16 points in favor of Democrats. And it's really hard not to chalk that up to what happened at the Supreme Court.
PARKS: All right. Let's take a quick break, and then we'll get more on all of this in just a moment.
And we're back. And another key issue that we haven't talked about yet is just the role of democracy and this feeling that - people kept saying democracy is on the ballot this year. And one of the things I've been, as voting reporter, been looking at in all of this data, specifically in races that were going to oversee voting, these secretary of state races, we saw election deniers in all of these swing states underperform other Republicans on the ballot, whereas in places like Georgia and Colorado, where non-election deniers were running, they did fine. I mean, they almost ran equal to other Republicans at the top of the ticket. Sue, what did we learn this midterm cycle about how this election denial plays with voters?
DAVIS: I mean, I think there's a lot of overlap here between the Trumpiest (ph) candidates and election deniers, right? But yeah, you're right. I mean, one of the things I've said to people about this midterm is I actually find this to be sort of uplifting about this election in that I was - I'll admit that I was a bit skeptical that election denialism, with everything that's going on in the country, would still resonate. And this was the first election after the attack on the Capitol of January 6. And I do think, again, voters across the country were sending a message on this. Would this be an election where election denialism was a cancer that sort of metastasized, or was it cut out? And I think that voters tried to cut it out. And the loudest election deniers, if you think of people like Doug Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial nominee from Pennsylvania, who was in D.C. on January 6, he lost big. I don't think that's an accident, right? I don't think that's an accident.
And the other thing I would say is that 2020 was a free and fair election that was actually conducted quite well, and I believe we can say the same about 2022. But criticism about the election is states need to get their acts together to count ballots a little bit faster. I think that most Americans would like to see that happen in places like California and New York. But our elections are safe. They are secure. And voters were not trifling with candidates who were trying to suggest otherwise. And I think in, like, this macro-democracy conversation we're having, that is a good thing, and that is something that, like, everyone in this country should feel good about, even as we continue to be as, you know, polarized and all those things that we are.
KURTZLEBEN: On election denialism also, having been out in a bunch of states talking to a bunch of voters and hearing a bunch of candidates on the stump, there was a really big intensity differential in terms of - Democratic voters were very, very worried and very upset, and Democratic candidates really, really hammered on the issue of, yes, we know Joe Biden won in 2020. Don't you want to protect democracy? On the Republican side, it wasn't often that I heard - I say wasn't often. I'm trying to remember when I heard a candidate get up on the stump and say, no, Trump won in 2020 or something to that effect, about, like, we're not sure about elections in Ohio or whatever state I happened to be in.
And furthermore, Republican voters, when I asked them about the 2020 election or how worried they were about the fairness of the 2022 election, Republican voters rarely seemed that worried. Now, it's possible that they were talking to a reporter and perhaps they didn't want to talk about it. But it is also quite possible that, yeah, a lot of Republican voters just - that didn't sink in much with them and that that is no longer a huge worry for them.
PARKS: Yeah, it's not nearly the drumbeat that it was when former President Trump is not on the ballot, right?
KURTZLEBEN: Most definitely.
MONTANARO: Miles, I have a pop quiz for you.
PARKS: Oh, God.
MONTANARO: You probably know the answer for this, but in statewide races this year in Arizona, do you know which Republican candidate got the most votes?
PARKS: Oh, I do know this, actually. I think it's state treasurer. Is that right?
MONTANARO: Yes, that's right.
MONTANARO: Kimberly Yee, OK? And we're talking about over all of the other ones with competitive races, Kimberly Yee wound up with 1.39 million votes; Masters - Blake Masters, 1.2 million; Kari Lake, the Republican who ran for governor, 1.27; Mark Finchem, who threw a fit about this, by the way, 1.2 million. And I think that that tells you a lot of people just left these kind of election deniers off their ballot. They just didn't check the box. They just went down the list. Maybe they picked a Republican for treasurer. They picked a, you know, Republican and something else, but they're not going to pick the election denier. And I think that's really, really fascinating that people left that box unchecked.
PARKS: Yeah. The reason I know that is 'cause had Finchem had the same amount of votes or even gotten close, even just was 1- or 2% behind the state treasurer candidate, he would have won his race. He would be the next secretary of state of Arizona. But he underperformed by that massive margin.
MONTANARO: And Finchem, of course, was the Republican secretary of state candidate who really was one of the loudest election deniers all throughout this campaign.
PARKS: Yeah. So I don't want to do this too much, but I'm also so tempted to just look ahead at 2024.
KURTZLEBEN: Just do it.
DAVIS: Just do it.
PARKS: And - right.
DAVIS: That's what we're here for.
PARKS: And so we're thinking about how is election denial going to play in this campaign. But I do - I want to go back to abortion for a second and something I was thinking about because Roe was overturned so recently that this is, like, you know, really at the front of voters' mind because it happened this past summer. Danielle, look ahead at 2024. Is abortion still such a key issue for voters as it was in this midterms, do you think?
KURTZLEBEN: I certainly think so. It's going to look different than it has in the past. I mean, prior to the overturn of Roe, when I was out talking to voters and I would ask Democrats, Republicans, whoever, what's your top issue, abortion came up with Republicans way more often than with Democrats. Now, the absolute opposite is true. And I think that this is going to become a phenomenon where Democratic candidates and voters talk about abortion much more. Republicans have some wrestling to do because this year on the campaign trail, they avoided the topic a lot, in some cases as much as possible.
And I have been talking to strategists and pollsters and asking them what do they think Republicans should do, and it's mixed, right? Like, should they push for some sort of a 15-week ban? Should they push for some other type of measure that they see as consensus? Should they just not talk about it because voters seem to want a certain amount of abortion protections? We don't know. But I would certainly bet that the intensity will be among Democrats going ahead.
DAVIS: But, Danielle, one thing I keep thinking about this election - and while I think you're absolutely right, that abortion politics in so many places played to Democrats' advantage - there's a lot of places it didn't. I'm thinking about Texas, Ohio, Georgia, where Republicans, Republican governors signed more restrictive abortion laws following the Dobbs decision and still won pretty big, and even in a place like Georgia, where Governor Kemp won reelection against Stacey Abrams in a purple state. You know, Democrats might still win the Senate runoff there. I don't know what to make of all that, where it seems like in some places, abortion politics played well, but it wasn't universal at all.
KURTZLEBEN: Yeah. And to take that confusion even further, in red states like Kansas and Kentucky this year, ballot measures supporting abortion access passed quite handily. In purple Michigan, same thing happened. I've asked a bunch of Democrats and Republicans about that phenomenon. Why do some of the most notable abortion rights opponents in the country win so easily in a year when abortion rights really drove so many Democratic victories?
And I'll tell you what two of these people said. One was Marjorie Dannenfelser from SBA Pro-Life America. She boiled it down to, look; voters are voting for candidates in the cases of people like Governor Abbott and Governor DeSantis in Texas and Florida, right? And voters know them. They like them. And those are effective politicians who make the argument about opposing abortion, about life, as they put it, effectively. And voters like that, and that - you don't get, like, that kind of personal touch, essentially, in a ballot measure election, right?
Now, I asked Rachel Bitecofer, who is a prominent Democratic strategist, about all this. Her take was, voters like heuristics; that you have a lot of Republican voters who are willing to vote for abortion rights, but when it comes down to seeing an R on the ballot, they say, hey, I am on the Republican team. I'm going to vote Republican, and there are other issues that maybe I care about more that this candidate is talking about more.
DAVIS: I mean, that goes to the thing, Domenico, that we talked about a ton. Like, candidate quality really did matter.
MONTANARO: Yeah, candidates matter. I mean, no question about it. I mean, one of the big takeaways for me I thought that was a little stunning is you hear all this stuff about throw the bums out, Washington's terrible. Democrats and Republicans both get really bad favorability ratings, and yet incumbents up and down the ballot won this year. This is a crazy fact. If Raphael Warnock, the Democrat, wins in Georgia, it will be the first time since the direct election of senators in 1914 that no incumbent senator lost in a general election. I mean, it's just fascinating.
MONTANARO: And in the House, only seven incumbents lost - five Democrats and two Republicans. And, you know, that says something. It really says a lot about, you know, the structure of our politics and the strength of a lot of those candidates.
PARKS: Yeah, there are so many contradictions this election, I feel like, to try to sift through to figure out what the actual story is. Like, we're talking about how Democrats overperformed in all these places, but one of those incumbents who won in Florida, Marco Rubio, DeSantis, I mean, they had one of the biggest wins, right? And one of the things I think coming out of this, as Democrats and Republicans are looking ahead at 2024, is trying to figure out, is Florida still a swing state? Domenico and Sue, what's your read on that?
MONTANARO: Sue and I saw it on election night. As soon as those results came in, we said, yep, it's done. Florida's not a swing state anymore and looks a whole lot more like Ohio. And things are really, really changing. I mean, in the Sunbelt, you know, Florida may be drifting away from Democrats while Georgia...
MONTANARO: ...Arizona and maybe even Texas rising.
DAVIS: Yeah. I mean, the electoral map is always evolving.
DAVIS: I mean, not that long ago, Colorado and Virginia were seen as, like, these really competitive swing states, and I think at least in presidential politics, they tend to be seen as more safe Democratic seats now. But taking Florida off the map for Democrats is huge for Republicans, right? I mean, I don't know. How many electoral votes is it, Domenico? - two-nine - 29?
MONTANARO: Twenty-nine - and with Florida's population only increasing, their importance has continued to increase, going from 29 electoral votes to it's going to be 30 electoral votes in 2024.
DAVIS: And if that's not even a state that Democrats are investing in at all, I mean, that's a structural shift for the Republican Party that I think is very welcome for them going into 2024.
PARKS: All right. Well, let's leave it there. We're going to take a quick break. And when we get back, Can't Let It Go.
And we're back. And it's time to end the show like we do every week with Can't Let It Go, the part of the show where we talk about things from the week that we just can't let go of talking about. Danielle, why don't you start?
KURTZLEBEN: All right. I am going to just jump right in and read you the first two paragraphs of an article from The Guardian.
(Reading) A Delaware man was sentenced to jail time for joining the January 6 Capitol attacks after seeing the violence unfold on a Tinder date's television. Jeffrey Schaefer was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine on Friday after prosecutors argued that he participated in the Capitol attacks after watching the rioting happen on TV while at his date's house.
I don't know. If you've ever been out on the dating scene, that's - it's rough. I figure a $2,000 fine is (laughter) a totally good punishment for trying to overthrow democracy while you're on a date, so...
DAVIS: And for being a bad date.
KURTZLEBEN: Well, yes. That - it goes with the territory, yeah. So that's - (laughter) I genuinely can't let go of this. It's just delighted and horrified me.
MONTANARO: Well, at least it didn't take too long to figure out some red flags.
KURTZLEBEN: That's very true.
KURTZLEBEN: This person threw it - this person threw up that flag immediately. You don't have to wait to hear that he loves Quentin Tarantino movies.
PARKS: Oh, gosh.
KURTZLEBEN: You could just...
MONTANARO: Hey, Quentin Tarantino - that's a different situation.
KURTZLEBEN: ...Send him out the door.
PARKS: Move along. Move along.
KURTZLEBEN: I know. I'm sorry.
PARKS: D.C. dating, though, you never know. It's a tough pool out there. Is it a no-go, or is that kind of like a yellow, you know? Are you willing to, like, maybe a second date?
KURTZLEBEN: The terrible...
PARKS: I don't know. It's tough out here.
MONTANARO: Quentin Tarantino or the insurrection, Miles? - what are you talking about?
KURTZLEBEN: This poor person.
PARKS: I'm talking about Tarantino.
MONTANARO: Oh, OK.
KURTZLEBEN: Maybe I'll give them a chance - oh, I see. Oh, that's different. OK. Miles, what can't - (laughter) good lord. I'm too keyed up. Miles, what can't you let go of?
PARKS: OK. So what I can't let go of - and, like, I want you guys to go with me 'cause this is a thought I had a couple days ago, and I want to pitch you on something, OK? You know, there's arguments every year around when Christmas music - when it's OK for Christmas music to begin playing.
DAVIS: The day after Thanksgiving.
PARKS: You would say that.
MONTANARO: It's been before now.
PARKS: Some people say it has to be December. Some people say once we're out of October, like, it's free game. I would like to reframe the conversation. I think we're all talking about this the wrong way. Thinking about the date is wrong because what it's actually about is temperature. And I think that - we've had a very unseasonal - go with me, Danielle. I know you're not going with this. I would argue that we need to create a system where when Christmas music can begin is indexed based on the temperature, where based on your region...
PARKS: ...That I think we had an unseasonably warm November. I was annoyed every time I heard Christmas music this year. So what I am arguing is that the National Weather Service should get involved. They should look at each individual region, and they should decide whether it's OK for that place to play Christmas music today based on the temperature.
MONTANARO: This is too complicated. Are you saying LA is not supposed to ever celebrate Christmas?
PARKS: No. It's based on the average...
PARKS: Exactly. You're with me. I think I have Danielle in.
MONTANARO: But it's always 75 degrees there.
KURTZLEBEN: I was - no, no, but that's the thing. It's like, if you're at 20% or if you're below 30% of your median annual...
PARKS: Exactly, exactly. Or if you're - or you could say if it's 10% hotter than it normally is...
PARKS: ...Then should Christmas music be allowed? I would say no.
KURTZLEBEN: Right. Yeah, no. Because when you first said this, I thought, well, God, the people who live in Duluth are going to be playing Christmas music all year. But no, it's based on...
PARKS: No, it's going to be based - and I've already...
KURTZLEBEN: OK, OK.
PARKS: ...Thought about this. National Weather Service creates a position called the Scientific Arbiter of Noel Temperature Averages, or SANTA. And they're going to decide where it's OK to play Christmas music and when.
KURTZLEBEN: How long did you sit trying to come up with that?
PARKS: One shower. I was in the shower...
MONTANARO: In the shower?
PARKS: I came out of it, and it was - it just came to me - had it.
MONTANARO: Well, I guess Christmas in July in the Arctic, huh?
DAVIS: But what if you have, like, an unseasonably warm December in D.C, and then you're just never allowed to listen to Christmas music?
MONTANARO: No Christmas. No.
PARKS: I think that's right. I think people who are listening...
MONTANARO: Scrooge McMiles (ph).
PARKS: I'm sorry. That's just my opinion. I think people are going to go with this.
KURTZLEBEN: Miles has won me over.
DAVIS: This is your most Florida man position.
PARKS: (Laughter) All right. Domenico - I think I won that argument, by the way. I think if you get votes - Danielle, we got a vote? Domenico, yes or no?
MONTANARO: I - this is just out there. I mean, you know, it's not up to us.
DAVIS: I'm a no. We might be tied. We're polarized.
MONTANARO: I'm a no.
PARKS: Darn it. All right. Domenico, what can't you let go of?
MONTANARO: I - you know, I don't know - you have to rephrase this for me as what people won't let me let go of, and that's the turkey pardon, the presidential turkey pardon. I tried to make my peace with this event in 2009. I was really...
DAVIS: You've been working through this for a long time.
MONTANARO: I have been - it's just too long now, and now everybody else wants to talk about it all the time, every year. And I'm just like, guys, I've dealt with it. I've moved on. Like, 2009, I did the story 'cause I was really curious, why do presidents pardon turkeys? They didn't do anything wrong. It doesn't make any sense. And I started going through the history, and presidents have gotten wrong who was the first to pardon a turkey. The Truman Library said they never pardoned a turkey. President Clinton had said they - that Truman did and was the first. I was like, what is going on here?
Went back through history, I think wrote the definitive history on the strange truth behind - and sometimes dark truth behind the turkey pardon. And, you know, people still very curious about this. So you can read it on npr.org. I have another story up about it this year. You know, I...
PARKS: I don't think it's a question that you've written the definitive guide. I think, like, every year, doesn't, like, NPR org, like, blows up on Thanksgiving because people resurface this article so much?
MONTANARO: That's nice of you to say. I think it happened once where it went viral, not after that. But, you know, I think this is the best one. I think it's, like, been rewritten in a kind of casual way. It gives you all the information you need. But, you know, it's really just - the bottom line here is this is the biggest PR stunt of the year for the turkey lobby, and that's a real thing, and that's where this event comes from. The turkeys weren't originally meant to be spared. They were meant to be eaten. They were given as gifts to presidents. And frankly, we don't need to take a vote on this. I think that's where they belong.
PARKS: Begrudging turkey pardon expert Domenico Montanaro.
MONTANARO: (Laughter) Yes, it's true.
KURTZLEBEN: How the turkey pardon sausage is made.
PARKS: All right, Sue, you're up.
DAVIS: I have the receipts to prove this, but this morning, when our producer Elena Moore messaged me and said, hey, do you know what your - you can't let go of this week for the podcast, my response to her - and I will read this verbatim - was, can my Can't Let It Go be how much Domenico hates the turkey pardon?
DAVIS: And this is before I knew that his Can't Let It Go was going to be the turkey pardon, so synergy.
MONTANARO: 'Cause Sue has known me through all of those years, too.
DAVIS: I think I've read all of your turkey pardon stories. And maybe I'll do something for online that's like my ranking - my power rankings of your turkey pardon stories.
MONTANARO: Oh, OK. Well, that'd be fun.
KURTZLEBEN: Each one better than the last.
DAVIS: And maybe it'll go viral.
PARKS: All right. We're going to leave it there for now. And just if anyone wants to send their condolences to Domenico for how just hard his job is...
MONTANARO: That's OK. My life is good. I don't need...
PARKS: ...Feel free to tweet at him.
MONTANARO: I don't need condolences. And it makes me think about turkey, which is delicious.
PARKS: All right. Our executive producer is Muthoni Muturi. Our editor is Eric McDaniel. Our producers are Elena Moore and Casey Morell. Thanks to Brandon Carter, Lexie Schapitl, Juma Sei, Katherine Schwartz and Krishnadev Calamur.
I'm Miles Parks. I cover voting.
DAVIS: I'm Susan Davis. I cover politics.
KURTZLEBEN: I'm Danielle Kurtzleben. I also cover politics.
MONTANARO: And I'm Domenico Montanaro, senior political editor and correspondent.
PARKS: Thanks for listening to the NPR POLITICS PODCAST, and we hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
(SOUNDBITE OF THE BIG TOP ORCHESTRA'S "TEETER BOARD: FOLIES BERGERE (MARCH AND TWO-STEP)")
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.