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What The Latest Debate Over Voting Rights Means For American Democracy

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, we assess the state of American democracy with the help of a new survey from Bright Line Watch, a group of political scientists who monitor threats to our democratic systems.

Former President Donald Trump’s false message that American elections are fraudulent has permeated much of the Republican Party, particularly at the state level, where candidates are running on those ideas and lawmakers are passing laws they say are designed to prevent fraud.

On Monday, dozens of Texas House Democrats left the state to try to prevent the passage of voting restrictions there. And on Tuesday, President Biden gave a speech urging the U.S. Congress to pass bills designed to protect and expand voting rights. Activists have called on Senate Democrats to end the filibuster to do so.

Bright Line Watch has surveyed Americans and experts alike on what they think about Republican and Democratic efforts. One of the organization’s co-founders, Dartmouth College professor of government Brendan Nyhan, discusses the results with Galen Druke.


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Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.

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