Background Briefing: March 18, 2024

An Alarming Poll on the Rise of the “Duel Haters” Who Want Neither Trump nor Biden 

We begin with the findings from a veteran pollster that “duel haters”, voters who don’t want either Trump or Biden were 18% of the voters in 2016, but are now at 23% of the electorate, with 91% saying that the country is on the wrong track and 67% citing inflation and the cost of living as the main problem. Joining us is Stanley Greenberg, who was a pollster to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, South African President Nelson Mandela, and more. He is a founding partner of Greenberg Research and the co-author with James Carville of the New York Times bestseller It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! His latest book is RIP GOP: How the New America Is Dooming the Republicans and we discuss his article at The American Prospect, “They Don’t Want Trump OR Biden. Here’s How They Still Can Elect Biden.”


The Fate of the Russian Opposition Now That Putin Has Awarded Himself a Blowout Election Victory

Then we look into the fate of the Russian opposition and how the Russian people can get information in spite of the Kremlin’s control of truth and reality now that Putin has awarded himself a blowout victory in the phony election he just ran. Joining us is Michael Gorham, Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Florida, and currently Archie K. Davis Fellow at the National Humanities Center. He is the author of two award-winning books on language culture and politics: After Newspeak: Language Culture and Politics in Russia from Gorbachev to Putin and Speaking in Soviet Tongues: Language Culture and the Politics of Voice in Revolutionary Russia. He’s currently completing his third book, Networking Putinism: The Rhetoric of Power in the Digital Age, devoted to the impact of digital media on Russian political rhetoric.


Concerns Inside the Intelligence Community Over Trump’s Bromance With Putin and Orban

Then finally we assess concerns inside the Intelligence Community about Trump’s bromance with Putin and Orban, and how the Republican resistance to aiding Ukraine can be overcome, and speak with David Satter, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies who has been one of the world’s leading commentators on Russian affairs for more than four decades. He was the Moscow correspondent of the Financial Times and has written several books about Russia including Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union and The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep: Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin. In December, 2013, he was expelled from Russia where he had been accredited as a Radio Liberty correspondent, becoming the first U.S. journalist to be barred from Russia since the Cold War.