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FROM THIS EPISODE

Both Democrats and Republicans are campaigning with traditional appeals to "the Middle Class." Is that a phrase that's losing its meaning? Do the party platforms offer credible promises about helping Americans fulfill "the American Dream?" Also, teachers go on strike in Chicago, leaving 350,000 students without school, and President Obama's public opinion "bounce" since the Democratic convention.

Banner image: EN2008/flickr

Producers:
Anna Scott
Frances Anderton
Sonya Geis

Reporter's Notebook President Obama's Post-Convention Bounce in the Polls 7 MIN, 18 SEC

In the aftermath of last week's Democratic convention in Charlotte, did President Obama get what public opinion pollsters call a "bounce?" How did it compare to reaction to Mitt Romney after the GOP convention in Tampa? Frank Newport is Editor-in-Chief of the Gallup Poll, which is still measuring public opinion after the Democratic convention.

Guests:
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@gallup)

Main Topic Republicans, Democrats and 'the Middle Class' 36 MIN, 6 SEC

In both Tampa and Charlotte, speaker after speaker tried to identify with "the Middle Class" and echoed the theme of upward mobility and fulfillment of "the American Dream." That's been a staple of presidential campaigns since the end of World War II. But in recent decades, "the Middle Class" has been shrinking. Do Democrats and Republicans even agree any more on what "Middle Class" really means? Do potential voters still share "the American Dream?" We hear about traditional slogans, contemporary realities and this year's promises from both political parties.

Guests:
Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author
Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center (@paultaylordc)
Samuel Popkin, University of California, San Diego (@SamPopkin)
Clive Crook, Bloomberg View (@clive_crook)

Making News Chicago Teachers Strike Leaves 350,000 Students without School 7 MIN, 36 SEC

Marathon negotiations began last November, but they broke down yesterday and today some 26,000 teachers are on strike in Chicago. Classes have been cancelled for more than 350,000 students. Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former chief of staff, is the Mayor who hand-picked the school board. This is the first strike in America's third largest school system in 25 years. Joel Weisman is host of Chicago Week in Review on public television station WTTW, Channel 11.

Guests:
Joel Weisman, WTTW's 'Chicago Week in Review' (@wttw)

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