A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!

US Presidential Elections Series Episodes

December 31, 2020

S008 – Transition Gone Wrong

Year(s) Discussed: 1875-1877 Though the US takes pride in the regular practice of peaceful transitions of power from one presidency to the next, sometimes the transition is not quite so peaceful, especially when the results are in dispute. Such was the case in the aftermath of the presidential election of 1876 where, for months, allegations flew back and forth, political leaders across the nation exerted their influence in favor of their chosen candidate, members of both parties prepared for armed confrontation, and no one could predict whether Samuel J Tilden or Rutherford B Hayes would end up being the nineteenth president of the United States.

US Presidential Elections Series

November 02, 2020

S007 – Unprecedented Part III: 1968

Year(s) Discussed: 1907-1968 In a year of domestic unrest, social strife, and uncertainty at home and abroad, the United States prepared for a presidential election in 1968. Little did they know that it would be a contest unlike any other. In the midst of a turbulent campaign, political norms were challenged, rivalries were intensified, and the only guarantee was that a new chapter in American history would emerge after all the votes were in.

US Presidential Elections Series

August 02, 2020

S006 – It’s Convention Time!

Year(s) Discussed: 1824-1992 Since the first national party convention in the United States in September 1831, party conventions have played a key role in American politics. In this episode, we explore the role of these gatherings in determining presidential nominees as well as setting agendas through the party platform and examine a few notable conventions in detail.

US Presidential Elections Series

June 21, 2020

S005 – Unprecedented Part II

Year(s) Discussed: 1936-1944 With increasing uncertainty in the global situation and continued instability in the domestic economy, candidates lined up on both the Democratic and Republican sides to succeed Franklin Roosevelt at the end of his second term. However, 1940 found the President considering what was previously unthinkable: running for a third term of office. In this special episode, we explore this unprecedented election conducted under the looming threat of being drawn into a war waging abroad.

US Presidential Elections Series

April 19, 2020

S004 – Unprecedented Part I

Year(s) Discussed: 1800-1801, 1816-1825, 1860-1864 While some presidential elections function in much the same way as others of the time, there are those select few that reshape the process or are noteworthy for being unique in some way. In the next two episodes of the special series, I will be examining four presidential elections that stand out to me as unprecedented. In this episode, I start with the election of 1824 which saw a four way match up between Secretary of State John Adams, Secretary of the Treasury William Crawford, Speaker of the House Henry Clay, and Senator Andrew Jackson. The remainder of the episode is devoted to the election of 1864 which saw President Abraham Lincoln running for reelection against his challenger, General George McClellan.

US Presidential Elections Series

March 01, 2020

S003 – The Super Tuesday Spectacular

Year(s) Discussed: 1976-1988 Super Tuesday happens at least once every four years in the modern US presidential election cycle, but how much does anyone really know about this date on the campaign calendar? In this episode, I explore the history of Super Tuesday and how it impacted numerous presidential elections in the past.

US Presidential Elections Series

February 01, 2020

S002 – Primaries vs Caucuses

Year(s) Discussed: 1901-2008 What is the difference between a primary and a caucus anyway? Listen as I explore that question and discuss the various permutations of both as well as how the presidential primary calendar came to have Iowa and New Hampshire as the first contests in this episode.

US Presidential Elections Series

January 05, 2020

S001 – A History of Primaries

Year(s) Discussed: 1816-1976 Did you know that presidential primaries in the United States are a rather modern innovation and that for a long time, presidential primary winners often didn’t end up as the party’s nominee? Learn how the primary system came to be what it is today, the varying impacts it has had on presidential campaigns since its inception, and why it took so long to play a key role in choosing presidential nominees.

US Presidential Elections Series