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Best Podcasts

Best Political Podcasts

Best Politics Podcasts

Staying informed about the ever-evolving world of politics can be both enlightening and essential. But let’s face it, politics, the world-over, is, to put it kindly, a complete mess. One of the best ways to get your fix of political news and debate is found in the world of podcasts.

Whether you’re a seasoned political junkie or just looking to stay updated on the latest developments, these top political podcasts provide a wealth of knowledge and thought-provoking commentary. Tune in to enhance your understanding of the political landscape and enjoy some of the most insightful voices in the field.

Hacks on Tap

Hacks on Tap

Listen to Hacks on Tap

When seasoned political operatives convene to dissect the world of politics, their discourse is far from theoretical. Drawing upon their collective experience spanning countless campaigns, from local government to the highest echelons of national leadership, they offer unparalleled insider perspectives. For those eager to glimpse the inner workings of political machinations and strategic decision-making, “Veteran Strategists Uncorked” provides a virtual seat at the table.

Political Gab Fest

Listen to Political Gab Fest

The Political Gabfest is a weekly podcast that offers incisive analysis and spirited debate on current political events and issues. Hosted by a trio of seasoned journalists and commentators – Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz – the show delivers a blend of in-depth discussion and witty banter. Each episode typically covers three major topics from the week’s political news, with the hosts sharing their unique perspectives and engaging in lively exchanges. 

Rational Security

Listen to Rational Security

“Rational Security” is a weekly podcast that offers an in-depth analysis of national security, foreign policy, and law. Hosted by a group of experienced journalists and former government officials, the show provides listeners with expert insights into complex geopolitical issues and current events. Each episode typically features a roundtable discussion of the week’s most significant national security stories, ranging from international conflicts and diplomatic developments to cybersecurity threats and intelligence matters.

Citations Needed

Listen to Citations Needed

“Citations Needed” is an incisive media criticism podcast hosted by journalists Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi. This thought-provoking show examines how the media shapes public discourse and political narratives, often focusing on the language, framing, and sources used in news coverage. 

Skepticrat

Listen to Skepticrat

“The Skepticrat” is a weekly podcast that offers a satirical and skeptical take on current political events and social issues. Hosted by Noah Lugeons, Heath Enwright, and Eli Bosnick, the show combines sharp wit, irreverent humor, and critical analysis to dissect the week’s news. The hosts, known for their work on other skeptic-oriented podcasts, bring a blend of comedic timing and informed commentary to their discussions. 

The Gist

Listen to The Gist

Each day for thirty minutes, Mike Pesca engages himself and his listeners in a thought-provoking yet responsible manner, breaking through rigidity and dogma. The Gist is both surprising and sensible, open to critiquing the left, the right, any political party, or any idea.

The Al Franken Podcast

The Al Franken Podcast

Listen to The Al Franken Podcast

The “Al Franken Podcast” is a witty and thought-provoking show hosted by former U.S. Senator, comedian, and writer Al Franken. Known for his sharp humor and keen political insight, Franken dives into pressing issues of the day, offering in-depth discussions with a variety of guests including politicians, authors, and experts. 

The Bulwark

The Bulwark

Listen to The Bulwark

Tim Miller, along with various guests, explores the latest political developments in the flagship podcast of the Never Trump movement and the reality-based community. Each weekday, the podcast offers perceptive analysis, bold political commentary, a strong defense of liberal democracy, and in-depth interviews that reject the “both-sides” narrative.

Red Scare

Listen to Red Scare

“Red Scare” is a cultural and political commentary podcast hosted by Anna Khachiyan and Dasha Nekrasova. Known for their contrarian viewpoints and sharp wit, the hosts discuss a wide array of topics, from contemporary politics and media to art and philosophy. With a blend of humor and critical analysis, “Red Scare” offers a refreshing and often provocative take on modern societal issues. 

Know Your Enemy

Know Your Enemy

Listen to Know Your Enemy

Join co-hosts Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell as they provide a leftist perspective on the conservative movement, exploring it one podcast episode at a time.

The Necessary Conversation

The Necessary Conversation

Listen to The Necessary Conversation

“The Necessary Conversation” is a podcast where co-hosts talk about essential and often challenging topics that shape our society and our families. 

The Ezra Klein Show

The Ezra Klein Show

Listen to The Ezra Klein Show

Ezra Klein extends an invitation to listeners to engage in a discourse on consequential subjects. The podcast explores a diverse array of pressing questions: How might society tackle environmental crises when political institutions falter? Has economic reasoning permeated excessively into various facets of human existence? What trajectory awaits the GOP? What insights do hallucinogenic substances offer regarding human consciousness? And more!

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

Listen to The Axe Files with David Axelrod

The Axe Files is a collaborative effort between CNN and David Axelrod is the mastermind behind the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and a former Obama staffer. This podcast presents an array of illuminating conversations with pivotal figures in the realm of politics. 

The NPR Politics Podcast

The NPR Politics Podcast

Listen to The NPR Politics Podcast

Monday through Friday, NPR’s top-tier political correspondents offer their expertise to elucidate the significant developments emerging from the nation’s capital and electoral campaigns. These journalists go beyond merely reporting events; they provide context and analysis to highlight the broader implications and significance of the news.

The Fifth Column

The Fifth Column

Listen to The Fifth Column

A recurring verbal onslaught targeting the current events cycle, its architects, and at times, the hosts themselves. Kmele Foster of Freethink, Michael Moynihan from Vice, and Matt Welch representing Reason engage in discourse, share laughter, and imbibe in pursuit of at least partial lucidity amidst a world seemingly bereft of reason.

Head in the Office

Head in the Office

Listen to Head in the Office

On this podcast a pair of seasoned political analysts, Jeremy and Gage, scrutinize current affairs and provide a progressive perspective on recent developments. As society appears to teeter on the brink of authoritarianism, exacerbate economic disparities, and shield the elite, “Head in the Office” aims to investigate the persistent dysfunction and inadequacies of our political institutions. 

FiveThirtyEight Politics

FiveThirtyEight Politics

Listen to FiveThirtyEight Politics

The numerical forecasters crew at FiveThirtyEight examines contemporary political developments, monitoring key topics and pivotal moments on a weekly basis.

Left, Right & Center

Left, Right & Center

Listen to Left, Right & Center

This podcast is a weekly refined yet stimulating debate on KCRW, exploring governmental issues, policy matters, and cultural phenomena from diverse ideological perspectives.

Checks and Balances from The Economist

Checks and Balances from The Economist

Listen to Checks and Balances from The Economist

Checks and Balances decodes the intricacies of the American political landscape by examining a significant topic each week, exploring the statistics, concepts, and historical context that shape the nation. 

The Josh Marshall Podcast

The Josh Marshall Podcast

Listen to The Josh Marshall Podcast

Talking Points Memo chief and founder Josh Marshall offers analysis on major current political narratives. He is accompanied by members of the journal’s team and invited specialists.

Ones and Tooze

Ones and Tooze

Listen to Ones and Tooze

In this podcast, renowned economic commentator and academic historian Adam Tooze joins forces with the deputy editor of a prominent international affairs publication, Cameron Abadi. Known for his comprehensive knowledge spanning diverse topics – from global health crises to environmental challenges, and even culinary trivia – Tooze brings his expansive expertise to the table. 

Pod Save America

Pod Save America

Listen to Pod Save America

Pod Save America is an unvarnished dialogue on current affairs, led by four former advisors to President Obama: Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor. This podcast sifts through the clutter to distill the week’s most significant developments, guiding listeners on what’s truly important and how to take action. 

The Vital Center

The Vital Center

Listen to The Vital Center

This audio series examines contemporary political events through the lens of American historical context and the personal backgrounds of key figures. It showcases policy proposals from independent research organizations and institutions, while incorporating insights from recent academic studies and influential political writings of previous eras.

PBS Washington Week with The Atlantic

PBS Washington Week with The Atlantic

Listen to PBS Washington Week with The Atlantic

For half a century, Washington Week has provided the most astute and current dialogue regarding the week’s crucial news developments. As the longest-running current affairs show on public television, Washington Week showcases professional reporters – rather than partisan commentators – offering their expertise and insights on significant events shaping the nation.

The Smerconish Podcast

The Smerconish Podcast

Listen to The Smerconish Podcast

Lively debates on government, politics, and current events without the usual left or right bias. The Smerconish Podcast caters to independent thinkers.

American Prestige

American Prestige

Listen to American Prestige

A podcast by Daniel Bessner and Derek Davison that offers listeners all the essential updates on global events.

The Political Scene | The New Yorker

The Political Scene | The New Yorker

Listen to The Political Scene | The New Yorker

Join The New Yorker’s team for in-depth reporting and analysis on pressing political issues. On Mondays, editor David Remnick hosts conversations and feature stories on current events. Wednesdays, senior editor Tyler Foggatt delves into significant political stories with insightful interviews. Fridays, writers Susan B. Glasser, Jane Mayer, and Evan Osnos discuss the latest in Washington and beyond, providing a comprehensive view of American politics.

This Day in Esoteric Political History

This Day in Esoteric Political History

Listen to This Day in Esoteric Political History

We might be living in extraordinary times. In this show, Jody Avirgan (538, 30for30, TED) and historians Nicole Hemmer (Vanderbilt) and Kellie Carter Jackson (Wellesley) examine a significant or minor moment from that day in U.S. political history and discuss its relevance to today’s world – all in roughly fifteen minutes.

The Political Orphanage

The Political Orphanage

Listen to The Political Orphanage

Comedian and proud independent Andrew Heaton chats with authors and thought leaders about policy and intellectual topics.

The Daily Punch

The Daily Punch

Listen to The Daily Punch

Each weekday morning, The Daily Punch takes you behind the scenes on Capitol Hill, inside the White House, and throughout Washington, providing an unfiltered view of the major players and critical issues. Power. People. Politics. Hosted by Punchbowl News founders, journalists, and best-selling authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman.

Matter of Opinion

Matter of Opinion

Listen to Matter of Opinion

Voices, shared. Hosted by Michelle Cottle, Ross Douthat, Carlos Lozada, and Lydia Polgreen. Every Friday, from New York Times Opinion.

Chapo Trap House

Chapo Trap House

Listen to Chapo Trap House

The “Chapo Trap House” podcast is a popular and provocative political commentary show known for its irreverent humor and sharp critiques of contemporary politics. Hosted by a group of comedians and writers including Will Menaker, Matt Christman, and Felix Biederman, the podcast delivers unapologetically left-wing perspectives on current events, culture, and media. 

The Weeds

The Weeds

Listen to The Weeds

Politics is the pursuit of power, while policy is the use of that power. On The Weeds, host Jonquilyn Hill and guests dissect the policies that impact our lives, covering topics from abortion and financial regulations to affirmative action and housing.

All In with Chris Hayes

All In with Chris Hayes

Listen to All in with Chris Hayes

The day’s most significant news and political stories, featuring thorough reporting dedicated to holding our leaders accountable.

Breaking Battlegrounds

Breaking Battlegrounds

Listen to Breaking Battlegrounds

Breaking Battlegrounds is a political podcast that features interviews with global opinion leaders to discuss the politics, culture, and policies influencing our daily lives.

The Purple Principle

The Purple Principle

Listen to The Purple Principle

A nonpartisan podcast for independent-minded Americans, examining the dangers of partisanship in U.S. politics, society, and everyday life.

Do you know of another podcast about politics that you think should be on this list? Let me know.

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