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  • Tom Davis: A Republican Perspective on Next Week's Primaries

    13 JUN 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: This week, Michael is joined by Tom Davis, a former Republican Congressman and former Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, to break down the statewide and local primary races now underway. Who are the Republicans vying to challenge Tim Kaine, and will they have a chance in November? How is the Good vs. McGuire race affected by the switch to a primary system over conventions? Could Virginia be in play for the presidential race in November?
    32m 14s
  • Executive Overreach, Texting Voters, and Hot Economy Summer

    10 JUN 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: IN THE NEWS: Don't California My Virginia--that was the platform Republicans ran on last year, and now the governor is following through by ditching California emission standards, even though Democrats who control the General Assembly don't agree. Members of the General Assembly are also clashing with the governor about whether Virginia should be part of two multi-state groups, one to combat climate change and another to update voter information. A text ding might be the sound of modern campaigning in Virginia. Campaigns for everything from Congress to your local City Council are increasingly embracing a new way to reach potential voters. But does this kind of campaigning get too personal? Virginia's unemployment rate is 2.8 percent, and inflation is going down. But are ordinary people actually feeling these economic trends? TRIVIA: Who was the first member of Congress to represent the 10th Congressional District? At the Watercooler: - Jonathan Haidt's Anxious Generation and the effect of cell phones and technology on younger Americans - Major news for friend of the show Sarah Taylor--congratulations on her new job at Capitol Square Strategies! Learn more at
    34m 5s
  • Teo Armus: The Candidates in Arlington and Alexandria

    6 JUN 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: This week, Michael is joined by the Washington Post's Northern Virginia reporter, Teo Armus, to break down the candidates in Arlington and Alexandria's Democratic primaries for Mayor and City Council—with the winners all but guaranteed to win the general. With housing as a key issue (the Missing Middle and Housing for All) and the fallout of the Arena Deal, which candidates will differentiate themselves? First up, for Alexandria Mayor: up Alyia Gaskins, Amy Jackson, and Steve Peterson For Alexandria's City Council (6 seats total): John Taylor Chapman, Kirk McPike, Jesse O'Connell, Abdel Elnoubi, Canek Aguirre, Jimmy Lewis, Sarah Bagley, Jacinta Greene, Jonathan Huskey, and Charlotte Scherer For Arlington County Board: Natalie Roy, J.D. Spain, Tenley Peterson, Julie Farnam, and James DeVita
    39m 28s
  • Presidential Deadlock, MAGA Appeal, and the Bullying Breakdown

    3 JUN 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: IN THE NEWS:  A new poll from Roanoke College has the presidential election tied in Virginia, with Biden at 42 percent and Trump also at 42 percent. The poll was conducted right before the guilty verdict in the New York hush money trail, but points to a murky presidential year ahead. The poll also shows that Democrats are not all that positive about the Biden years, but nine out of ten Republicans view the Trump years as mostly good. Former President Donald Trump lost Virginia in 2016 and in 2020,  but Republicans across the state are clamoring for his endorsement. Now two candidates are receiving just that from the leading Republican candidate for president. One is Hung Cao, a Republican running in the U-S Senate primary against four other candidates; the other is state Senator John McGuire, who is running against incumbent Congressman Bob Good in the 5th Congressional District. Are some students bullied more than others? Delegate Joshua Cole wanted to change the definition of bullying to protect the most vulnerable--students with disabilities, Black and brown students, and LGBTQIA+ students--but Governor Youngkin vetoed the bill, saying it might cause confusion. TRIVIA: Who was the New Deal Democrat who defeated Congressman Colgate Darden in the 1936 Democratic primary? (Hint: he was the publisher of the Portsmouth Star) At the Watercooler: - Biden's Black Voter Engagement event...that almost nobody heard about. So what's the plan for Black voters in Virginia? - Can you run for President from prison? Socialist Eugene V. Debs managed it in 1920, getting 3% of the vote. Learn more at
    34m 57s
  • Sam Shirazi: The 1st District Primary to Unseat Rob Wittman

    30 MAY 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: This week, Pod Virginia favorite Sam Shirazi joins Michael to break down the Democratic primary in Virginia's 1st Congressional Distict, a longtime Republican seat that includes the Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Democrats Leslie Mehta and Herb Jones are facing off to see who will face incumbent Republican Rob Wittman in November. Who are these candidates, and how will the presidential race factor into their chances for the general election and beyond?
    23m 4s
  • AI Voices, Predatory Lenders, and Confederate-Favoring Vetoes

    27 MAY 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: IN THE NEWS: In his final round of record-breaking vetoes, Governor Glenn Youngkin is taking action against contraception and in favor of Confederates. He vetoed a bill that would have allowed slot machine style games at convenience stores and truck stops.  He also vetoed two bills that were opposed by Confederate groups: one would have eliminated tax breaks for the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the other that would have eliminated two state-issued license plates, one celebrating Robert E. Lee and another celebrating the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Some predatory lenders advance cash to grieving relatives about to gain an inheritence while trying to claim the money isn't a loan--but a new bill signed by the Governor would help fight those practices. Did Sam Altman steal the voice of Scarlett Johansson? That's a question that's troubling for Congressman Don Beyer, who introduced the AI Foundation Model Transparency Act. The idea is that OpenAI should share the identity behind "Sky” – the now-suspended voice of artificial intelligence bot ChatGPT. Beyer is focused on building trust in an era of deep fakes. TRIVIA: What Virginia county claims to be the birthplace of Father's Day? At the Watercooler: - Eileen Filler-Corn's response to progressive attacks in the race for the 10th Congressional district -- and why responding to criticism might increasingly be the right move - Voting has opened for the June primary! An Arlington Democratic candidate forum on Wednesday, June 5 at Innovation Elementary School, and an Alexandria Mayoral forum for on Saturday, June 8th at Taqueria Picoso Learn more at
    37m 42s
  • Trevor Baratko: Inside NoVa's 7th Congressional District Race

    23 MAY 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: This week, Trevor Baratko, editor of and joins Michael to break down the dozen or so candidates for Virginia's 7th Congressional District and the race to replace Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. The Democratic primary is being led by Eugene Vindman, but with plenty of other candidates including Margaret Franklin, Andrea Bailey, Elizabeth Guzman, Brianna Sewell, Carl Bedell, and Clifford Heinzer; while the Republican race is led by Derrick Anderson, with Cameron Hamilton, Maria Martin, Jonathon Myers, John Prabhudoss, and Terris Todd. What differentiates the candidates, and what will the truly competitive general election race look like?
    46m 37s
  • Remembering Massive Resistance, Budget Compromise, and the Endless Special Session

    20 MAY 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: IN THE NEWS: After failing to pass a budget before they left town, the General Assembly returned for a special session last week to strike a deal. No new taxes, skill games remain unresolved, and several Democratic priorities were cut--but both sides call it a win.  On last week's game show, Senator Scott Surovell pointed out that the General Assembly never really adjourned, so we're in a sort of neverending special session--a common practice to prevent the Governor from being able to appoint judges. This month is the 70th anniversary of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v Board. And so it’s worth remembering how Virginia responded. TRIVIA: What town was once located where Dulles Airport is now? At the Watercooler: - Senator Lucas' observation that the Washington Post's endorsements in the 7th and 10th district oppose the 13 total women and minority candidates for both races - The controversy over Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's upside-down American flag stunt--and journalistic confusion when it comes to Fairfax County and Alexandria   Learn more at
    58m 55s
  • Buy, Sell, or Hold? Special Session Edition with Sarah Taylor, Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Delegate Marcus Simon, and Senator Scott Surovell

    16 MAY 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: On this week's live-to-tape game show, Michael sits down with Senator Scott Surovell, Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Delegate Marcus Simon, and Alexandria Assistant City Manager Sarah Taylor to get their takes on Governor Youngkin's legacy budget, student protests, invasive plants, and Jeff Ryer on Pod Virginia.
    53m 59s
  • Budget Compromise, Protest Crackdowns, and Lawmaker Investments

    13 MAY 2024 · SPONSOR: LINKS: IN THE NEWS: Virginia's budget is still a work-in-progress, but a deal was announced late last week--there's likely to be no RGGI, no ERIC, and no tax increases, but pay raises for Virginia teachers and state employees. Police officers in riot gear cracked down on student protestors at the University of Virginia last week, pushing students on the ground and using pepper sprays. More than 2300 have been arrested in protests nationwide so far, and support for Palestinians doesn't seem to be decreasing. What kinds of investments do members of the General Assembly make? The folks at VPAP made a chart--Democrats are likely to invest in Microsoft, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson, while Republicans tend to be invested in Dominion, Tesla, and Amazon.  TRIVIA: Which two presidential elections did Virginia not participate in? At the Watercooler: - Will Trump actually try to contest Virginia, or is his stated plan a head-fake? - The race in the 5th Congressional District between Bob Good and John McGuire--which type of leader do Virginia Republicans want?   Learn more at
    48m 1s
Get smarter about Virginia politics every week with Journalist Michael Lee Pope and Strategic Consultant Thomas Bowman so you can engage like a political insider.

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