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Pic of The Gray Area with Sean Illing

James Carville unpacks the midterms

November 14, 2022

The Gray Area with Sean Illing


Sean Illing talks with veteran political strategist James Carville about the U.S. midterm elections — and the surprising success for Democrats that was a far cry from the "red wave" of Republican victories widely predicted by pundits. They talk about why the results differed so vastly from these expectations, what lessons both parties should be drawing from the outcomes, and whether or not the Democratic party, despite their victories, still have a systematic problem with political messaging. This conversation took place mid-day on Wednesday, November 9th. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: James Carville (@JamesCarville), political strategist; co-host, Politics War Room podcast References:  Fall 2022 Harvard Youth Poll (Oct. 27) Exit poll data from ABC News and CNN "'Wokeness is a problem and we all know it': James Carville on the state of Democratic politics" by Sean Illing (Vox; Apr. 27, 2021) "GOP to use debt limit to force spending cuts, McCarthy says" by Eugene Robinson (Washington Post; Oct. 18) 2022 abortion-related ballot measures (Ballotpedia) "Democrats' Long Goodbye to the Working Class" by Ruy Teixeira (The Atlantic; Nov. 6) "Is John Fetterman the Future of the Democratic Party?" by Michael Sokolove (New York Times; May 18) On Carville's role in the abortion referendum campaign in Kansas: "The Most Consequential Vote in Recent American History is Happening Today and the News Media Is Ignoring It" by Colby Hall (Mediaite; Aug. 2nd) "How a 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Who Traveled for an Abortion Became Part of a Political Firestorm" by Solcyre Burga (Time; July 15) "Democrats still have a path to keep the House — but it's tough" by Andrew Prokop (Vox; Nov. 10)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit