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Podcast: What US midterms tell us about the state of US democracy

Listen: Remember when the US midterms were boring? As the dust settles on the most surprising US midterm elections in decades, ‘what’ happened is becoming clearer, but ‘why’ it happened is a harder question to answer.

On the GZERO World podcast, Ian Bremmer tries to make sense of the outcome with NPR's White House correspondent, Tamara Keith. They break down the reasons for the election results that no one predicted and analyze the issues that led more voters to support Democrats. They discuss the power struggles in the GOP and look at the road ahead to 2024 for both parties.

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US Voters Think GOP Can Fix Economy, But Can They? Not Likely | US Politics in :60 | GZERO Media

US voters think GOP can fix the economy, but can they? Not likely

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics.

What are the top issues for voters ahead of the 2022 midterm elections?

30 years since James Carville quipped that "it's the economy, stupid", which became the winning mantra for Bill Clinton's political campaign, it looks like the economy is once again the primary concern of US voters. There is way more public opinion polling than there was in 1992, and all of it shows that voters have one issue at the top of their mind, inflation. 49% of registered voters told Gallup that the economy is extremely important to their vote, the highest level during a midterm election since the middle of the financial crisis in 2010 when it hit 63%. Other polls show a similar trend with the economy dominating the pack among a diverse range of issues including abortion, crime, gun policy, and immigration.

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Ian Explains: US Midterms: Biden, Trump, or Abortion/Guns/Race? | GZERO World

US midterms: Biden, Trump, or abortion/guns/race?

US midterm elections have traditionally been a referendum on the president, now Joe Biden. That's one option, Ian Bremmer explains in a special episode of GZERO World in front of a live studio audience.

Yet, even Biden wants the vote to be all about his predecessor, Donald Trump, who still dominates the GOP. Option No. 2.
There's a third option: culture wars. Yes, things like abortion rights or CRT.

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An Ethiopian woman who fled war in Tigray region carries a child on her back as she walks at the Um-Rakoba camp on the Sudan-Ethiopia border.

REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Hard Numbers: Violence in Tigray, Russia hits Ukraine station, cops raid Bolsonaro loyalists, abortion motivates US voters, Albo chugs a beer

12: Intense fighting has resumed between Ethiopian forces and combatants in the northern Tigray region for the first time in 12 months. Addis Ababa says it has launched a “large-scale offensive” in response to regrouping efforts by the Tigray People's Liberation Front – a further blow for ongoing mediation efforts led by the African Union.

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The Political Machine That Took Down Roe v. Wade | GZERO World

The political machine that took down Roe v. Wade

50 years ago, when the Supreme Court granted the constitutional right to abortion, the country was far less divided than is it today. Now with that Roe v. Wade decision overturned, roughly half the states have "trigger laws" on the books restricting abortion, New York Times columnist Emily Bazelon tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

From a constitutional perspective, Bazelon says that abortion decisions today depend "on what you think of the idea that abortion is fundamental to women's liberty and equality" — a hard sell for what she calls a "maximalist" conservative majority on the court.

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The SCOTUS Politics of Guns & Abortion | GZERO World

Interpreting SCOTUS: guns, abortion, history, tradition & constitutional law

The day before the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion, it affirmed the right to carry guns.


New York Times columnist Emily Bazelon explains that the justices think that the right to bear arms is enshrined in the 2nd Amendment is individual and rooted in the nation's history and tradition, while abortion is neither.

The thing is, she tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, "the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that they claim is rooted in the nation's history and tradition is actually correct."

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Ian Explains: The US Is a Global Outlier on Abortion Rights | GZERO World

Abortion rights are expanding around the world while the US is an outlier

Almost 50 years ago, the wife of a Republican US president came out in favor of abortion. Good luck with that happening today.
We now live in a much more divided country — as has been on full display after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and removed the constitutional right to an abortion, Ian Bremmer tells GZERO World.

Interestingly, much of the rest of the world has been moving in the opposite direction. Largely Catholic countries in Latin America and Europe have legalized abortion in recent years, while African nations have rolled back or are rethinking colonial-era abortion bans.

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What Abortion Will Look Like in Different US States | GZERO World

Why permitting some abortion is smart politics

Since the SCOTUS Roe v. Wade ruling was leaked a couple of months ago, the GOP has refrained from putting Republican-led states on an abortion "purity test," says New York Times columnist Emily Bazelon.

Why? Because the majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in some cases — but not all.

"Everything depends on where you draw the line," Bazelon tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

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