About the show
Unfiltered, uncompromising, unexpected—The Focus Group is a look into what the average voter thinks about politics, policy, and current events. Sarah Longwell, publisher of The Bulwark, has conducted hundreds of hours of focus groups all across the country. She and a series of special guests will take you behind the glass to hear what real focus group participants have to say.
The Focus Group with Sarah Longwell on social media
Bonus Episode with Charlie Sykes
November 1st, 2021 | 57 secs
Season 1 of the Focus Group is over. Or is it?
“It’s kind of an ‘oh s**t’ moment”: James Carville on the Virginia Governor's Race
October 25th, 2021 | 43 mins 56 secs
Legendary political consultant James Carville joins Sarah to discuss a focus group with undecided independent voters ahead of the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election. Sarah and James also discuss the Democratic Party’s messaging problem, Trump, and the craziest Republican members of Congress. What candidate will these voters choose and how will the race wind up according to the voters on the ground? Listen to find out.
Where is the Democratic Party going? (with David Shor)
October 18th, 2021 | 49 mins 12 secs
David Shor, Data Scientist at Blue Rose Research, joins Sarah to take a deeper dive into what is happening within the Democratic Party. Sarah and David discuss how voters have shifted in recent presidential elections, the Biden presidency, 2022 midterms, and more. Listen for what Democrats need to think about if they want the best outcome in 2022.
Malaise 2.0: Democrats grade Biden (with Jonathan V. Last)
October 11th, 2021 | 36 mins 17 secs
They voted for Biden in 2020, but how do they think he is doing as President nine months in?
Miller versus MAGA (with Tim Miller)
October 4th, 2021 | 41 mins 24 secs
Tim Miller, writer-at-large at The Bulwark, joins Sarah to discuss focus groups with Trump supporters in Ohio and Georgia, two states that feature crucial 2022 Senate races with Trump-endorsed candidates. Hear what they’re thinking about Josh Mandel, Herschel Walker, and more.
The Republican Triangle of Doom (with Bill Kristol)
September 27th, 2021 | 43 mins 4 secs
Bill Kristol, Director of Defending Democracy Together and conservative political commentator, joins Sarah for a focus group with conservative, yet reluctant, 2020 Trump and third-party voters in swing states across the country.
Episode 1: Political Unicorns (with Amy Walter)
September 17th, 2021 | 48 mins 9 secs
Amy Walter sits in with Sarah on a focus group with the unicorns of persuasion politics -- swing state voters who switched from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020.