The Power Of Social Media Influencers, Mexican Elections, Republican’s Strategy In Upcoming Elections

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time
Danielle Bregoli, also known as Bhad Bhabie, arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. After appearing on the show “Dr. Phil” in 2016 for the episode called “I Want To Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried To Frame Me For A Crime” she’s now a rapper and social media personality.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Mexico has chosen a new president. We take a look at what the landslide victory for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador means for U.S-Mexico relations, including with regard to NAFTA and a possible border wall. Plus, last week took a look at the Democrats’ strategies for upcoming elections in 2018 and 2020. On this show we talk with our guest about the Republican’s focus and plans for the approaching election seasons. We also take a look at how online popularity is a money-making investment for some.

Featured in this Show

  • Political Scientist: Wisconsin GOP Candidates In Tricky Position For Midterms

    With their control of the reins of government at both the state and national level, Republicans have found themselves in a somewhat unusual and tricky position for the midterms this fall, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist.

    Eleanor Neff Powell, associate professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and faculty affiliate of the Elections Research Center, said that the upcoming election will present challenges for GOP candidates.

    “Republican candidates are going to face a tough decision … how much do they stay close to a president who’s very popular with their party versus how much to try to distance themselves from a president who might not be as popular with swing voters,” she said.

    One of the strongest empirical regularities with elections is that the president’s party almost always suffers electoral losses in the midterms, Powell said.

    Republican candidates need their base voters to turn up for the election to win, but they also need to appeal to the swing voters who are much less enthusiastic about the president, she said. Therein lies their unique challenge this election season.

    “If they distance themselves too much, the base won’t turn out,” Powell said. “But if they don’t distance themselves, the swing voters will stay home and certainly won’t vote for the Republican.”

    On a state level, while Gov. Scott Walker might not be as polarizing a figure as President Donald Trump, he does inspire strong feelings, she said.

    “How much do they sort of align themselves as sort of Walker Republicans versus sort of try to chart their own path, build their own brand to attract voters within their district, you know, try to appeal to the issues that are of particular concern to their local voters,” Powell said.

    Republicans have geared the conversation towards standard pillars — the economy, jobs and tax cuts, which they hope will appeal to swing voters as well, she said.

    And in Wisconsin, education has proven to be a top campaign issue among voters, Powell said. Walker recently dubbed himself an “education governor.”

    “It’s a somewhat challenging sell I think for voters who’ve been paying attention to education in the state over the last several years, of the larger arc of the Walker administration, given the size of the cuts to education over that time period,” Powell said.

    While the Republican Party is known for its organization of volunteers and fundraising, Democratic enthusiasm is at record levels this year, she said.

    “We’ve seen Democratic enthusiasm levels this year at sort of record levels in terms of voters being excited, in terms of a record breaking number of Democratic candidates running for election,” Powell said. “This may be the year where the Democrats are sort of able to out-organize the Republicans.”

  • What Does It Mean To Work As A Social Media Influencer?

    More people are describing themselves as social media influencers, and many are making a living off of it. But what exactly does it entail? We talk to a social media reporter about where the money flows, what it takes to succeed, and how businesses are responding to the new form of advertising.

  • What Mexico's New President Means For U.S. – And NAFTA

    Voters in Mexico overwhelmingly chose left-wing populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to be their next president. We discuss who he is and what his victory means for the future of NAFTA and U.S-Mexico relations.

  • Wisconsin GOP's Strategy For 2018, 2020

    With the 2018 midterms in six months, we talk to a political scientist about how Wisconsin Republicans are gearing up for this year’s elections and their plan headed into 2020.

Episode Credits

  • Judith Siers-Poisson Host
  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Rachael Vasquez Producer
  • Dean Knetter Producer
  • Bill Martens Producer
  • Eleanor Neff Powell Guest
  • Taylor Lorenz Guest
  • Mark Jones Guest