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Watch videos and listen to podcasts about the key issues from the 2020 election.

Voter Vitals Videos

Watch Brookings scholars and other experts explain the issues shaping the 2020 election. For more information, read all the Voter Vitals.
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How can we improve police accountability in the US?

Rashawn Ray explains why standard procedures for holding police accountable have failed and presents two policies to help improve them.

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How does vote-by-mail work and does it increase election fraud?

Darrell West explains the different vote-by-mail systems and addresses fears over the political consequences of mail voting and potential for fraud.

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The ABCs of the post-coronavirus economy

An alphabet soup describes how economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic could play out: L-, V-, W-, or Z-shaped, or even a “Nike swoosh.” What do these mean? David Wessel explains the scenarios and their likelihood.
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What are charter schools and do they deliver?

Jon Valant explains the controversies around charter schools and why it’s difficult to reach consensus on their efficiency.

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How can government make housing more affordable?

Jenny Schuetz explains the current housing affordability crisis and how the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are proposing to fix it.

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What to do about climate change and why?

Samantha Gross discusses effective policies to combat climate change given the widespread dependence on fossil fuels in the American and global economies.

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Who are the rich and how might we tax them more?

David Wessel presents the pros and cons of raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

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What to consider when proposing a wealth tax

Bill Gale explains the limitations of a wealth tax and shares other options for curbing income inequality.
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The pros of a wealth tax

Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman explain how a wealth tax could reduce the concentration of wealth and political influence amongst the ultra-rich in the United States.

Ask an Expert

Listen to Brookings experts answer podcast listeners’ questions about the 2020 election. Have a question for an expert? Send it to and we may answer your question in a Brookings podcast episode.
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Combating political partisanship

Jonathan Rauch talks about public policy options for combatting partisanship.
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Elaine Kamarck responds to whether Donald Trump’s impeachment is likely to impact the election.
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Sexism and the election

Elaine Kamarck talks about how sexism affects elections, and whether or not America will ever elect a female president.
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Wealth tax

Gary Burtless explains the different tax proposals in the Democratic campaign, especially a wealth tax.
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The Iowa caucus

Elaine Kamarck explains both the structural differences between primaries and caucuses and why the Iowa caucus is traditionally so important.
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The Senate filibuster

Molly Reynolds explains the origin of the Senate filibuster, how it became a tool for obstruction, and the arguments for reforming or eliminating it.
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Risks of Facebook and data mining

Chris Meserole describes the variety of ways personal Facebook data is used and some of the potential reforms to regulate Facebook and similar platforms.
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Free college and student loan debt

Mike Hansen provides an overview of the proposals to make college more affordable and what effect they may have on the U.S. economy.
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How will coronavirus affect the presidential election?

Darrell West explains how the coronavirus pandemic may affect the U.S. presidential election.

Our Nation of Immigrants Podcast Series

Senior Fellow John Hudak tackles common myths about the U.S. immigration system and highlights the potential for reform through interviews with immigrants, activists, and elected officials.
podcast episode

Our nation of immigrants

Who are the immigrants that we hear so much about? Where are they coming from, why are they coming to the United States and where are they going once they arrive?
podcast episode

On the border

Exploring the connections—social and economic—that span communities along the US-Mexico border, and getting a better understanding of issues from and rhetoric about border towns, such as crime and jobs.
podcast episode

The economics of immigration

The economics of immigration, including the important role immigrants play in both developing and sustaining the American economy.
podcast episode

The search for belonging

A deeper dive into the immigrant experience and the idea of belonging: what it means to uproot your life from one country and to try to build a home in the United States.
podcast episode

Solving the immigration challenge

America’s immigration system is badly in need of reform. This episode explores the real opportunity for bipartisan solutions to the immigration challenges.

Brookings Podcasts

Listen to podcast episodes on the candidates and issues shaping the 2020 election.
podcast episode
October 23, 2020

State and local issues in the 2020 election

Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, discusses the 2020 election from a state and local perspective.
podcast episode
October 16, 2020

Economic issues in the 2020 election, and beyond

David Wessel discusses key economic issues during the lead up to the 2020 election and looks ahead to how the economy can recover after the COVID-19 pandemic.
podcast episode
October 9, 2020

Foreign policy’s role in the 2020 presidential election

Does foreign policy matter in the U.S. presidential election? Thomas Wright provides his perspective and explains what American foreign policy might look like in a second Trump term or under a Biden administration.
podcast episode
October 6, 2020

The 2020 election in blue metros and red states

Authors of a new book, “Blue Metros, Red States: The Shifting Urban-Rural Divide in America’s Swing States,” explore America’s political divisions from demographic and geographic perspectives.
podcast episode
October 2, 2020

Will the 2020 presidential election be safe and secure?

Darrell West interviews Elaine Kamarck and Chris Meserole about whether the U.S. presidential election will be safe from foreign, and domestic, interference.
podcast episode
August 12, 2020

What does VP pick Kamala Harris bring to the Democratic ticket?

Senior Fellow Camille Busette examines Harris’ significance as a biracial Black woman VP candidate, her personal appeal and policy credentials, and momentum in politics for progress on racial equity and justice.
podcast episode
July 24, 2020

What’s in Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan?

Joseph Kane lays out the range of priorities in Joe Biden’s $2 trillion climate plan from physical and digital infrastructure to worker training and unionization, environmental justice, and federal-state-local coordination.
podcast episode
May 12, 2020

The case for reparations for Black Americans

Rashawn Ray and Andre Perry discuss their Big Ideas paper for the Policy 2020 initiative titled “Why we need reparations for Black Americans.
podcast episode
February 7, 2020

24 hours in New Hampshire

Brookings Senior Fellow Elaine Kamarck and podcast producer Chris McKenna discuss the New Hampshire primary, and share their interviews with key players in the Granite State.
podcast episode
January 10, 2020

What America’s slow-growing population means for immigration, the Electoral College, and more

William Frey discusses the latest Census data on U.S. population change, and what they mean for immigration, the Electoral College, and more. Also, Molly Reynolds on what’s happening in Congress.
podcast episode
November 15, 2019

The biggest health care issues of the 2020 election

In this episode of the Brookings Cafeteria podcast, health policy experts discuss the presidential candidates’ health proposals, and also look at what to do about surprise medical billing.
podcast episode
October 18, 2019

Policy 2020, your guide to the presidential election

David Wessel interviews Elaine Kamarck and Stuart Butler about the new Policy 2020 project and resource at Brookings. Policy 2020 empowers voters with fact-based, data-driven, non-partisan information to better understand the policy matters discussed by candidates running for office in 2020.
podcast episode
August 30, 2019

Will foreign aid matter in the 2020 election?

Will foreign assistance and foreign policy matter to voters in the 2020 elections? At the 16th Annual Brookings-Blum Roundtable, Merrell Tuck-Primdahl hosts a discussion with E.J. Dionne, Jr., Liz Schrayer, and former US Rep. Charlie Dent.
podcast episode
August 2, 2019

Where do the Democratic candidates stand on trade?

David Wessel and David Dollar lay out the trade policies of the Democratic candidates running for president.
podcast episode
August 2, 2019

Protecting American elections from foreign interference

Darrell West, the vice president and director of Governance Studies and Founding Director of the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, addresses cybersecurity and election interference.
podcast episode
July 5, 2019

What does the debate over school segregation reveal about the Democratic primary field?

Brookings Fellow Jon Valant explains how the debate between Sen. Kamala Harris and former VP Joe Biden showcases divisions within the Democratic Party, and explores federal policy options to improve school integration that don’t involve forced busing.
podcast episode
January 18, 2019

How America’s presidential primaries work and what to expect in 2020

Elaine Kamarck talks with Brookings Institution Press Director Bill Finan about the third edition of her book, “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates.” Also, meet Alina Polyakova.

Elections 101

Brookings experts explain the nuts and bolts of campaigns and elections.
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How do convention delegates work?

Elaine Kamarck explains how delegates are chosen and the difference between pledged and unpledged delegates.
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Do campaign ground games matter?

John Hudak describes what makes a campaign ground game effective and how it can help a presidential candidate win the election.
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Elections 101: Should you believe the polls?

E.J. Dionne explains recent trends in polling and what to look out for in a poll to determine its accuracy.