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Wake Up To Politics

At only 18-years-old, Gabe Fleisher made quite a name for himself. When he was 9-years-old, Gabe started getting up at the crack of dawn to send out a daily email newsletter with his analysis of the political news cycle. He called it Wake Up To Politics, and it slowly developed a large readership.

In 2020, in partnership with St. Louis Public Radio, Fleisher extended his popular newsletter with a podcast that explained the inner workings of American politics. And just like his newsletter, episodes are short, sweet and to the point.

Ways To Subscribe
  • The Mailbag Episode
    For the final episode of 2020, Gabe answers your questions. He’ll weigh in on questions about the Electoral College, ranked-choice voting, motivating young voters and more.
  • Why Transitions Matter
    As the Trump administration blocks Joe Biden from kicking off his presidential transition, Gabe is joined by Martha Joynt Kumar, the director of the White House Transition Project, to explain what goes on in a presidential transition and why they matter. Gabe and Professor Kumar draw on past examples from history to show the potential consequences of Biden’s delayed transition. Plus, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies offers her perspective on transitions and the early signs of what a Biden Administration might look like.
  • Election Night Viewer’s Guide
    Have you ever wondered how TV networks call the presidency on Election Night? In this episode, Gabe gets the inside scoop from Arnon Mishkin, the head of the Fox News Decision Desk. Arnon will explain how his team works to carefully project each state, even with the complicating factors of the 2020 race. Then, Gabe will talk to a fellow teenage election watcher, Niles Francis of Decision Desk HQ, who will offer a rundown of the key races to watch as returns roll in.
  • Who Actually Picks The President?
    The Electoral College is one of the most controversial parts of the American political system. But it’s also one of the least understood. In this episode, Gabe is joined by Professor Rob Alexander to explain why the Founders created the Electoral College, how it works in practice, and who the electors that compose it actually are.
  • Inside the “Judicial Wars”
    How did Supreme Court confirmation battles become so toxic? Gabe is joined by Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim and High School SCOTUS founder Anna Salvatore to explain the origins of the “judicial wars,” where they might be headed next, and why it matters.
  • Presidential Debates Through the Decades
    Gabe is joined by two debate experts — Alan Schroeder of Northeastern University and Ed Lee of Emory University — to dive into the history of presidential debates. They’ll recap some of the best moments from the past six decades of televised debates and offer a preview of what to expect when Donald Trump and Joe Biden face off next week.
  • How Mail-in Voting Works
    Gabe is joined by NPR's Miles Parks and Business Insider's Grace Panetta to break down mail-in voting in the 2020 election. They'll offer helpful tips to keep in mind when casting your ballot, and answer questions sent in by Wake Up To Politics listeners.
  • The 26 Words That Created the Internet
    Donald Trump and Twitter are sparring over what users can say on social media. But the fight is one that goes back decades, to the very dawn of the Internet. Gabe talks to Protocol reporter Issie Lapowsky about Section 230, a key provision granting social media companies immunity for posts on their platform. Then, veteran journalist Sanford Ungar places the battle over regulating social media in the broader context of America’s long-running debate about free speech and the First Amendment.
  • How To Pick A VP
    It’s the question on everyone’s mind right now: who will Joe Biden pick as his vice president? While unconventional promise made by Joe Biden and public campaigning by some contenders has shaken up his search, Biden is also following the tried-and-true vetting process that decades of presidential candidates have conducted before him. In this episode, we speak to vice presidential scholar Joel Goldstein and New York Times reporter Astead Herndon to gain insights into Biden’s shortlist and the VP selection process throughout history.
  • The future of the two-party system
    Is the two-party system on its last legs? Or is it too big to fail? In this episode of Wake Up To Politics, Gabe delves into the past and future of political parties in America. Lee Drutman, author of “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America,” gives a history lesson in how we ended up with Democrats and Republicans, and why he believes American democracy would be healthier with a few more parties thrown in. Then, Politico’s chief political correspondent, Tim Alberta, will offer insight into third-party candidates in 2020, and share how he sees the two-party system evolving in the coming years: perhaps not with more viable third parties, but with new parties forming inside the current ones.