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Politics & Polls #73: Why You Should Care about Gerrymandering
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January 11, 2018 11:56 AM PST
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A panel of federal judges rejected a congressional district map in North Carolina, calling it a partisan gerrymander. Never before has a court overturned a Congressional districting plan on grounds of partisanship. The panel ordered the state legislature to redraw the map.

Gerrymandering, a practice which manipulates district boundaries for political gains, is a much-debated topic in the political sphere. In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss what’s next for North Carolina and the practice of gerrymandering in general.

Politics & Polls #72: Social Research in the Digital Age
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January 04, 2018 11:32 AM PST
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From smart phones to social media, digital technology has changed the way we live —allowing for new explorations of human behavior. Big data now enables scientists to process data about human behavior on a scale never before imaginable.

In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Matt Salganik, a professor of sociology at Princeton University. Salgnik’s new book, “Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age,” explores these concepts, detailing how the digital revolution is transforming how social scientists observe behavior, ask questions, run experiments and engage in mass collaborations.

Salganik is also affiliated with the Center for Information Technology Policy and the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning at Princeton University. His research has been funded by Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, and has been featured on NPR and in such publications as the New Yorker, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Politics & Polls #71: Inside the Mind of Donald Trump
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December 21, 2017 10:04 AM PST
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What’s going on in the mind of President Donald Trump? Journalist Ellis Henican provides a humorous, illustrated look into the president’s psyche in a new book, “Trumpitude.” He discusses this and more with professor Julian Zelizer in this episode.

Politics & Polls #70: Alabama’s Senate Race
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December 14, 2017 06:08 AM PST
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Democrat Doug Jones won a pivotal Alabama Senate seat Dec. 12, a victory carrying with it significant national consequences. Jones, a former U.S. attorney, defeated Republican Roy S. Moore, a former chief justice who’s been ensnarled in claims of sexual harassment.

Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the race results in this episode of Politics & Polls.

Politics & Polls #69: How the Media Covers Race
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December 07, 2017 09:39 AM PST
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How the media covers race remains a palpable concern in today’s America. In this episode, award-winning journalist Tanzina Vega chats with Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang about the many issues related to race and the media.

Vega is speaker on issues of race, media and inequality in the United States as well as a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University and an Eisner Fellow at the Nation Institute. Her forthcoming book is titled, “Uppity: Women, Race and Class in America.”

Vega has worked for and contributed to CNN, CNNMoney, WNYC Radio, Reuters, Billboard magazine and The New York Times, where she won an Emmy award for outstanding new approaches in documentary media and various awards from the National Press Photographers Association. NPR’s Code Switch included her in their “Journalists — Of Color! — To Watch” list and The Huffington Post listed her as one on of the 40 top Latinos in American media.

Politics & Polls #68: Captivity and Survival in Syria
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November 30, 2017 08:00 AM PST
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Photographers are often on the front lines of war, risking their lives to document deadly conflict zones. One such photojournalist is Jonathan Alpeyrie, a French-American photographer who was captured and held hostage by Syrian rebels in 2013.

In this episode, Alpeyrie describes his 81 days of being bound, blindfolded and beaten — an experience that forced him to question the value and risks of his career. He explains why, despite the violence thrust upon him, he chose to see the humanity in his captors, immersing himself in their culture, language and traditions.

This and more is explored in his new book, "The Shattered Lens: A War Photographer's True Story of Captivity and Survival in Syria,” published by Simon & Schuster in October 2017.

Politics & Polls #67: The Day the Donkey Roared
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November 16, 2017 09:28 AM PST
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Democrats triumphed in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races Nov. 7, which some say is a strong rebuke to Republican President Donald Trump. Are the democratic victories a predictor of what’s to come in the midterm results next year?

Joining this episode are Larry Sabato and Geoffrey Skelley of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a website run by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics known for being a leader in the field of political predictions. The Crystal Ball keeps tabs on presidential elections, along with every Senate and gubernatorial race, as well as the tightest campaigns for the House.

Politics & Polls #66: A Year of Donald Trump
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November 09, 2017 08:51 AM PST
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In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang take a look back at the past year and analyze all that has unfolded since Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.

Politics & Polls #65: Alaskan Politics with Rep. Bryce Edgmon
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November 02, 2017 08:47 AM PDT
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Given the news consistently coming out of Washington, it can be easy to forget what’s happening at the local level. In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang turn their attention toward Alaska, a state whose budget has been especially affected by steep drops in oil prices. They discuss this and more with state Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham), Speaker of the Alaskan House of Representatives.

An Alaskan native, Edgmon represents the 37th District since 2006. He is the first Alaskan native to hold the position. He is currently serving as co-chair of the Health & Social Services Committee and chair of the Committee on Committees. He is also a member of the Commerce, Community & Economic Development; Legislative Council; Arctic Policy; and Economic Development, & Tourism committees for the 30th Legislature.

Politics & Polls #64: Congressional Races in 2018
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October 26, 2017 08:19 AM PDT
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There are 468 seats up for grabs in Congress for the 2018 election, with the Republican Party currently holding a majority in both the Senate and the House. But will this hold after election day?
 
Joining today’s episode to discuss the congressional races is Levi Tillemann, the democratic candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. Tillemann is a Colorado native and expert on technology policy, renewable energy and autonomous cars.

Raised in a working-class Latino community in North Denver, Tillemann has kept in touch with his roots over the years by tutoring math, english and ESL in public schools and community centers.
 
While in graduate school, Tilleman founded IRIS Engines, Inc. to develop a more efficient engine -- a design for which he holds multiple patents. Later he shifted his focus to electric vehicles as a better solution to climate change.
 
He has served as a policy advisor to the Department of Energy under President Barack Obama and is currently managing partner at Valence Strategic. Tillemann’s commentary appears regularly in national publications including the New Yorker, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times and on national and international radio and TV outlets.
 
He has bachelor’s degree in history from Yale and an master’s degree and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
 
Levi is the author of “The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future,” published by Simon and Schuster in 2015, and he speaks Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese. Last, but not least, he has a dog named Tesla.

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