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Twitter cuts workforce in search of profit 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Twitter is one of social media’s definitive institutions — crucial to all kinds of discourse in the US and around the world, but it's not making a profit. Today it announced its quarterly earnings — along with a staff layoff of nine percent. Sarah Frier, tech reporter for Bloomberg in San Francisco, broke the story.

Guests:
Sarah Frier, Bloomberg News (@sarahfrier)

Confused by political polling? You're not alone. 33 MIN, 57 SEC

On the average, national polls show that Hillary Clinton will likely defeat Donald Trump in next month's election. Trump's response is familiar. "They are phony polls put out by phony media and I'll tell you what all of us are affected by this stuff and what they do they try and suppress the vote that way people don't go out and vote but we're winning this race. I really believe we are winning" But, from time to time, polls show Trump doing better. Some news media report there's a close race, and Trump can claim he'll be the eventual winner. So how's a prospective voter to know how the election is really going? Is political polling an art or a science? We talk to some leading practitioners about how they come up with numbers that can influence the ultimate outcome — whether they're right or wrong.

Guests:
Sam Wang, Princeton Election Consortium (@SamWangPhD)
Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight (@ForecasterEnten)
Whit Ayres, North Star Opinion Research (@whitayres)
Richard Shenkman, George Mason University (@rickshenkman)

More:
BusinessWeek on polling from inside the Trump campaign
Pollster on all polls show Clinton leading
Wang's interview with Shenkman on politics and polling
Wang on the hardened divide in American politics
FiveThirtyEight on the tightening presidential race
Ayres Washington Post op-ed on the GOP and a Trump nomination
Shenkman on whether voters are easily manipulated
Achen-Bartels' book, 'Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government'
Bishop's book, 'The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart '

Political Animals

Rick Shenkman

Behind the political success of Iceland's 'Pirate Party' 9 MIN, 28 SEC

 

Iceland may seem remote to most Americans, but it’s subject to political forces just like the rest of Europe — and to social media, just like the rest of the world.  That’s one reason for the rise of the Pirate Party, whose 49-year old leader, Birgitta Jonsdottir, speaks a familiar populist language. “It is a people’s movement. Ordinary people can change the world being able to go into parliament to change laws that give more people more power. It’s a message of hope.” 

The Pirate Party is expected to do well in this week’s parliamentary election, as we hear from Paul Fontaine, news editor at Iceland’s Reykjavik Grapevine.

Guests:
Paul Fontaine, Reykjavik Grapevine (@pauldfontaine)

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