The Odd Years

The Odd Years

In political parlance, the “odd year” is the year in which there is no national election; that is: any odd-numbered year. Odd can also refer to something that is unusual or unpredictable. Like an interview with a writer or actor or athlete that highlights a topic or trend that isn’t normally associated with traditional political discourse. The Odd Years is designed for everyone who is multidimensional. Yes, it’s going to focus on politics (because this is brought to you by the Cook Political braintrust and host, Amy Walter); but, ultimately, The Odd Years will expand the definition of a ‘political program.’ We think you can learn stuff — and have fun at the same time. Let’s do this, shall we? #OddPod

Episodes

April 16, 2024 33 mins

Amy sits down with her Cook Political Report colleague, Senior Editor & Elections Analyst David Wasserman, for a walk down memory lane. In honor of The Cook Political Report's 40th Anniversary, David selected the defining House races of every cycle since 1984. Amy and Dave reminisce about the names, faces, issues, and districts that have shaped congressional politics over the past 40 years.

Read Dave's full report here.

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The Odd Years is back with season two. It is a big election year, and we know you have many questions for the team at The Cook Political Report. We are opening season 2 with a listener mailbag.

In this episode, Amy answers questions about swing states to watch in 2024 and what to make of Robert Kennedy Jr.'s support.

Ask us your questions here or by calling 202-739-8520 (press 8). Remember to say your name and where you are calling ...

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In 2020, Donald Trump's considerable margin of victory among white working-class voters was expected, but his success in winning a larger share of the Latino and black vote was not. Amy's latest guest, Republican Pollster Patrick Ruffini, argues that Trump's advances with these voters is part of a more significant realignment in our politics. Amy talks to Patrick about his fascinating new book, "Party of the People: Inside the Mult...

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Host Amy Walter confesses her love of Apple TV's For All Mankind and the magic of its decade-spanning montages and storytelling to none other than the show's Executive Producers and writers, Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert. As season 4 of the show launches, the trio goes deep into the show's origin [03:28]; whether we should consider the show science or fiction [06:57]; taking a closer look at Gary Hart, Al Gore, and Ellen Wilson's jou...

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Amy Walter talks with Mark Z. Barabak, a political columnist for the Los Angeles Times, focusing on California and the West. They discuss his new series, "The New West," which explores the forces and factors that led once-reliable Republican states like Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada to turn from red to purple and blue. Amy and Mark also delve into the state of the 'Reid Machine' in Nevada, the importance of Latinos to Democrats' su...

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Amy Walter chats with Astead Herndon, a national politics reporter for the New York Times and the host of the "The Run-Up" podcast. Amy and Astead grapple with the fact that while voters are overwhelmingly against a Trump-Biden rematch in 2024, it still appears to be the inevitable outcome. Astead notes that we are "careening towards a rematch very fast." The pair discuss the lack of enthusiasm around Biden. Astead makes the point ...

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Amy Walter catches up with Republican strategist Sarah Longwell, publisher of the Bulwark and founder of the Republican Accountability Project. Sarah also hosts The Focus Group podcast, which brings listeners into wide-ranging conversations with voters.

Sarah and Amy discuss where Donald Trump is already showing his potential strength in a general election [6:16]. Sarah also reflects on what she’s heard in focus groups to explain w...

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Amy Walter talks with Josh Putnam, a political scientist and consultant known for his expertise on the presidential nominating process. You can read more about it in his blog, frontloadinghq.com.

Amy and Josh discuss the implications of some states’ winner-take-all delegate rules in the Republican primary [6:00] and Democrats’ primary calendar shake-up [12:00], including how much of the changes made to the 2024 calendar stick in 202...

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Amy Walter talks to the one and only Kara Swisher, a highly respected and deeply sourced technology reporter. Kara is currently the host of the podcast On with Kara Swisher, the co-host of the Pivot podcast and an editor-at-large at New York Magazine. Amy and Kara discussed AI's role in the 2024 campaign season. Kara gives some much-needed perspective on the future of AI and whether Washington can or will be able to regulate it. Sh...

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Amy Walter interviews two political science professors, Lynn Vavreck, the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA, and John Sides, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. Their books, "Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America" and "The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challen...

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Amy Walter talks to Judy Woodruff, renowned journalist and former anchor of the PBS News Hour. Woodruff discusses her new series, America at a Crossroads, which aims to explore the deep divisions in American politics. She talks about her long and distinguished career in journalism, starting with covering Jimmy Carter's campaign for governor of Georgia in 1970. Amy and Judy discuss whether there can be a solution to America's polari...

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Amy talked with Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson. Kristen is the founding partner of Echelon Insights, an opinion research and analytics firm. You've likely seen her on CNN, Fox, ABC News or many other political programs. She hosts her Sirius XM program, The Trendline with Kristen Soltis Anderson.

Amy and Kristen started their conversation with the day's current events, the arraignment of former President Trump in a Manh...

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On March 31, The Cook Political Report and National Journal invited its premium subscribers to attend an exclusive event in Washington, DC. That morning, following the news of former president Trump’s indictment in New York, National Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Dufour, their White House reporter, George Condon, and Cook Political Report Editor-in-Chief Amy Walter shared their thoughts on the impact on the 2024 race, challenges ...

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In this bonus episode of The Odd Years, Editor-in-Chief of the Cook Political Report, Amy Walter (@amyewalter), chats with the Senior Editor of the US House of Representatives, David Wasserman (@Redistrict), about the release of the historic Cook PVI℠ and what the Partisan Voting Index — first developed by Charlie Cook in 1997 — tells us about how each state and district performs at the presidential level compared to the nation as ...

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Amy talked with Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg. Anna is a senior partner of the polling firm GQR. In 2022, she polled for several high-profile House and Senate campaigns, including Senator Mark Kelly from Arizona, Senator Michael Bennett from Colorado, and Congresswoman Kim Schrier from suburban Seattle.

Amy and Anna started with a conversation about why some polls, including some by Democrats, overestimated Republican strength ...

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Often described as “laboratories of democracy,” state legislatures have often produced legislation or ideas that eventually make their way to Washington. And, of course, many of these state executives also find their way into national political office. Helping us dig through the trends, priorities and personalities in state capitols is Reid Wilson, founder and editor of Pluribus News, a new digital media outlet offering the most co...

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On the first episode of The Odd Years, Amy Walter and Andy Laperriere (Head of US Policy Research for Piper Sandler) dig into the challenges and opportunities for Republicans & Democrats as they navigate a divided government and continued narrow margins.

Cook Political Report subscribers can view the full original recording with subscriber Q&A here.

This episode was originally filmed on January 18, 2023.

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February 14, 2023 1 min

The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter introduces a new podcast for 2023. Amy Walter and the team will interview political professionals and other leaders in their fields highlighting topics & trends that aren’t normally associated with traditional political discourse, and expanding the definition of a “political program.” #OddPod

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