FiveThirtyEight Elections and Pantsuit Politics: Guest Reviews from Christine Hollins ★★★★
Hey everyone! Here’s another great guest review from Christine Hollins. I may or may not have mentioned in the past that I love statistics and I personally enjoy FiveThirtyEight’s What’s the Point. Christine is as much of a stats nerd as me so you’ll see how she satiates her appetite for politics and stats by listening to FiveThirtyEight’s Elections podcast. She also reviews Pantsuit Politics, and she’ll be back for more reviews soon. You can find more of her past reviews by clicking on her tag at the very bottom of this post or searching for “Christine” in the search box on the right! Enjoy!
Politics, Politics, Politics…………
I came to you all last month raving about the NPR Politics podcast, which is still a favorite for me. In fact, when a new episode comes up I often put it at the top of my list which means I have a growing backlog. If you haven’t checked it out, try it – they will have daily episodes from Monday, October 24, 2016 all the way up until the election. I hope this podcast continues after the election and covers fun things like policy and congress – here’s hoping. “Hey y’all!”
So I have some additional recommendations for those of you who can’t get enough political coverage or who just want to learn something new so you can impress folks at the watercooler. My latest recommendations are Pantsuit Politics and FiveThirtyEight Elections.
Let’s start with FiveThirtyEight Elections from our friends over at FiveThirtyEight. The podcast is hosted by Nate Silver and other members of the FiveThirtyEight team. What I love about this podcast is that it allows me to geek out on statistics and political news at the same time. Take the episode from Friday, October 21 – where there was a listener question about confidence intervals in the polls. If you don’t know what that is – seek out your favorite statistical or math nerd to explain it to you. They talk about models which predict who will win the Presidency, Senate, and House. It’s quite titillating from a mathematical perspective.
Looking for a little less numbers and more dialogue? Check out the special series within the series: The Voters, featuring Asma Khalid from NPR Politics and Farai Chideya. This was a three-part series that examines who generally votes Republican, Democrat, and Undecided. Even if you think you know the answer to who tends to be in these groups, I challenge you to listen – I guarantee you will learn something you didn’t know before. FiveThirtyEight Elections will have dailly episodes starting today, October 25th, through Election Day.
Now onto one of my new favorites, Pantsuit Politics, where the theme is “No shouting, no insults, plenty of nuance.” This show is co-hosted by Sarah from the left and Beth from the right. There are generally two shows a week on Tuesday and Friday, with an occasional special episode thrown in. I like how they incorporate the complete pantsuit look into the show, with segments like the pearls and the briefcase.
One of the things I enjoy about this podcast is that Beth and Sarah feel like old friends and that we are sitting down at the table having an honest, open, and nuanced discussion. We like to believe everything is black and white, but the truth is that we live in a world of grey. Another plus is in this show we finally get an all-female take on the issues. They aren’t afraid of discussing the sexism in politics, abortion, health care, everything. I also like that they make shorter primer episodes to bring listeners up to speed before the main event. For example, they recently had a discussion about the Supreme Court which was preceded by a 20-minute primer on the court (what is it, who’s on it, what they do, etc.).
I know it sounds simple, but I really like how they lay the groundwork so you can be a part of the discussion even if it is in your car on your daily commute. Beth and Sarah are also very active on social media and love interacting with their fans – I think that’s how I found them: a tweet to Sam Sanders from the NPR Politics podcast (Hey Sam!!). Check their website for a primer to get you acclimated to the discussion and their blog for insightful comments and commentary. Beth’s recent blog post on why she is supporting Independent Evan McMullin was challenging to me personally. She made me want to learn more about him and his platform and pointed the reader to additional resources some of which are more podcasts (more on those later).
Knowledge is power and for me these three podcasts have been my starting points for growing my knowledge base. In a season of political chaos, extremes, and bombshell after bombshell, I have found that these three podcasts have kept me sane and honest. They have provided objective, factual, and nuanced perspectives for this voter. I encourage you to check them out and sincerely hope that we will benefit from their analysis and reviews for many years to come.
We’re almost there America! Take Care!
What do you think of these podcasts? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss! Also subscribe to my twice-monthly newsletter!
Audible Feast Ratings
Educational Value (5 / 5)
Pop Culture Value (2 / 5)
Host Listen-ability (4 / 5)
Flow & Production Value (4 / 5)
Humor (3 / 5)
Investigation (5 / 5)
Makes Me a Better Person (5 / 5)
Overall Audible Feast Rating: (3.5 / 5)
Educational Value (5 / 5)
Pop Culture Value (0 / 5)
Flow & Production Value (5 / 5)
Humor (4 / 5)
Investigation (3 / 5)
Storytelling (4 / 5)
The hosts often relay personal feelings and stories in their dialogue.
Makes Me a Better Person (5 / 5)
Keeping it nuanced.
Overall Audible Feast Rating: (5 / 5)
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