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At the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future, veteran strategists Bob Shrum and Mike Murphy regularly talk with top operatives on both sides of the 2020 contest and the journalists who are covering it. The conversations get behind the curtain -- because what seems to be happening in the campaign is often different than what really is. What are the calculations in the war rooms of 2020? How is the media covering the race, and how is the coverage shaping the outcome? Hear from those who’ve known success and setbacks in presidential races. And laugh, too, at their stories of the inside maneuvers and blunders that shape the outcome. Every exchange is guided by standards central to the Center’s mission: Respect each other and respect the truth. Opponents are adversaries, not enemies. And if you lose, don’t burn down the stadium. Election R&D will be there from the primary debates to election day, and then to a post-election, in depth analysis of the driving forces that led to victory and defeat.

Oct 19, 2020

Center Director Bob Shrum is joined by political strategist Doug Thornell and journalists Ronald Brownstein and Asma Khalid to discuss President Trump and Joe Biden's dueling Town Halls, following Trump's refusal to participate in a virtual presidential debate originally scheduled for the same day.

Brownstein is a Senior Political Analyst at CNN and serves as Atlantic Media's Editorial Director for Strategic Partnerships in charge of long-term editorial strategy. Khalid is a political correspondent for NPR who co-hosts The NPR Politics Podcast. Thornell is Partner and Head of SKDKPolitical, having served as a media strategist to the Democratic National Committee, Congressional Black Caucus, and various House, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns.