This week, The Politics Guys lead off with the state of the Republican presidential nomination contest. The math says Trump might just barely get the delegates he needs. If he doesn’t, it should make for an interesting convention. Mike and Jay look at what good John Kasich thinks he’s actually doing by staying in the race, and whether or not his continued candidacy is helping Trump. On the Democratic side, the Guys once again pronounce Bernie’s campaign dead, though they think he might be able to keep his message alive. Finally, Mike and Jay discuss whether or not Judge Merrick Garland, who President Obama nominated to take Justice Scalia’s place on the Supreme Court, stands a chance of being confirmed by the Republican Senate.
This week’s Ask the Politics Guys question has come up a bunch of times from listeners. How do we keep up with political news, and what do we recommend for listeners trying to get a better big-picture understanding of American politics. (We’ll be posting links to all of the recommendations mentioned in this episode on politicsguys.com.)
The primary races are once again the top story of the week. Mike and Jay start by looking at the state of the Republican race: Trump’s chances in Ohio and Florida, what happened to Rubio, and whether Cruz or Kasich have a real shot at the nomination. They also get into how a contested convention would work, and who might come out of it as the Republican nominee. On the Democratic side, they explain why Bernie Sanders’ win in Michigan – stunning as it was – doesn’t really change the race. After that, it’s a brief foray into the state visit of the highly photogenic Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Jay’s discovery of feminist glaciology.
This week’s Ask The Politics Guys question comes from Alexx, in Hastings, Minnesota.
Dear Politics Guys, Do you think our system would be more efficient if it were parliamentary system with proportional representation instead of a presidential system with winner-take-all elections?
This week, Mike and Jay start out by looking at where things stand after Super Tuesday. On the Democratic side, they agree that Bernie Sanders is effectively done, though they expect he’ll stay in the race until the bitter end. On the Republican side, they think it’s very unlikely that anyone other than Trump can get a majority of the delegates. It’s still possible that nobody will have a majority going into the GOP convention, and it seems that the last hope for the Republican establishment is a contested convention. The Guys also talk about a big abortion case out of Texas heard last week by a now Scalia-less Supreme Court.
This week’s Ask The Politics Guys question comes comes from Janet, in Silver City, NM.
Dear Politics Guys, Are current social safety net programs a sort of disguised socialism? Are these programs consistent with capitalism?
This week’s episode starts with a look at Hillary Clinton’s obliteration of Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary. The win itself was no surprise, but the margin of victory suggests that Clinton might effectively wrap up the Democratic nomination before too much longer. Next, the Guys reflect on a year of podcasting and beg for money (though they hope it doesn’t come off as, you know, desperate or anything). After that, they turn to the GOP race: Trump’s latest victory, the ongoing fiasco that is the GOP debates, Super Tuesday predictions, Chris Christie’s surprise endorsement of Trump (which really wasn’t all *that* surprising), and what might be motivating John Kasich to stay in the race. Finally, they talk about the plan President Obama sent Congress to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
This week’s Ask The Politics Guys question comes comes from Wasan, currently a student in Palo Alto, California, but originally from Riyadh, Saudia Arabia.
Dear Politics Guys, When it comes to foreign policy, how doomed are we if Bernie Sanders wins? (We expand on Wasan’s question by asking the same question of Donald Trump’s foreign policy – and come to a somewhat similar answer.)
This week, The Politics Guys start by looking at Donald Trump’s (expected) big win in South Carolina, and Jeb Bush’s somewhat unexpected self-mercy-killing after a dismal showing. Next, they turn to the Democratic side, where Hillary Clinton beat out Bernie Sanders in Nevada’s caucus. The Guys look at the upcoming challenges for both sides – South Carolina for the Democrats and the 11-state ‘Super Tuesday’ mega-primary. After that, they discuss what’s likely to happen to the Supreme Court and talk about the possibility of term-limits for Justices as well as whether or not an eight-person Court is really such a bad thing. Finally, they get into Apple’s battle with the Department of Justice over the tech giant’s refusal to help the F.B.I unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino mass-shooting terrorists.
This week’s question It comes from Jonathan in Agawa-gun, Kochi, Japan. Dear Politics Guys, Why do minorities seem to support Clinton over Sanders? On the Republican side, two Latinos (Cruz and Rubio) are amongst the three front runners and an African-American (Ben Carson) and – until very recently – a woman (Carly Fiorina) are still in the GOP race, as was an ethnic Indian (Bobby Jindal). In 2012 the GOP nominated a Mormon, and in 2008 they nominated a woman for Vice President. Why doesn’t the GOP get more credit for having such diversity in its presidential candidates?