Podcast: Divisions and decisions – US politics ahead of the 2020 elections

29 May 2020

On this gourmet Second Serve, we speak with US-based Australian analysts, Anne Summers and Jonathan Swan, about the COVID-19 pandemic in the US and what lies ahead this US election year.

Despite a catastrophic COVID-19 death toll, is Trump’s refusal to play ‘mourner-in-chief’ good politics with a presidential election rapidly approaching? How has the president been able to successfully capture the Republican Party while being perhaps the country’s most divisive leader? And is the GOP’s willingness to appeal to their base political suicide, or a ticket to Electoral College success? On this Democracy Sausage Second Serve, Professor Mark Kenny speaks to Jonathan Swan and Anne Summers about the US coronavirus crisis, the upcoming elections, and entrenched politics in a fractured nation. Listen here.

Mark Kenny is a Professor in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.

Jonathan Swan is National Political Reporter for Axios, covering Republican leaders in the United States federal government and the White House.

Anne Summers AO is an Australian writer and columnist, best known as a leading feminist, editor, and publisher. She was formerly First Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Status of Women in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.

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