States of the Union

A Weekly Feature on The Leonard Lopate Show

States of the Union

Why is New York a blue state, Wyoming a red, and Ohio a shade of purple? From now until Election Day 2008, Leonard talks to journalists, scholars, and activists from each of the 50 states to find out what motivates voters from Maine to California. We ask how national trends have been playing locally, and look beyond the White House to find out how the biggest House and Senate state races could tip the balance of power in Congress.

Recently in States of the Union

States of the Union: Colorado

Monday, August 25, 2008

As the Democratic convention gets underway, find out about Colorado. We look at the race for Wayne Allard’s Senate seat; also, a look at why presidential polls in Colorado are virtually tied. Plus: what hosting the Democratic convention has meant within the Centennial State. Lynn Bartels is political and legislative ...

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States of the Union: New York

Monday, August 18, 2008

We look at New York State. Find out about this week’s special legislative session to deal with the projected budget shortfall, how the economic downturn on Wall Street is affecting the rest of the state, and what rising food prices mean for the Empire State’s farmers. Plus: a look at ...


States of the Union: Hawaii

Friday, August 15, 2008

Find out how high gas prices are affecting the Aloha State, the most isolated state in the union – and one that depends on tourism. Plus: why Hawaii has been such a liberal state over the past 40 years. Ira Rohter is professor of politics at the University ...

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States of the Union: Alaska

Friday, August 08, 2008

We find out what voters in the Last Frontier think about the recent indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens – and what it means for his re-election campaign. Also: Gov. Sarah Palin, who has been mentioned as a potential vice-presidential candidate. And look into how Alaskans feel about drilling in the ...

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States of the Union: North Dakota

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Find out which issues matters most to voters in the Peace Garden State and how rising prices for food are affecting the nation’s leading producer of hard red spring wheat. Also: whether the presence of oil in the Western half of the state is generating more interest as oil prices ...

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States of the Union: Connecticut

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We find out whether Senator Joe Lieberman’s support will help John McCain in the Constitution State. Also: a look at the close race in the state’s 4th Congressional District, where Republican Chris Shays is fighting to keep his seat. Christopher Keating, Capitol bureau chief for the Hartford Courant, ...

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States of the Union: Kansas

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hear how rising prices for both food and fuel are affecting this major agricultural state. Plus, the Sunflower State is also home to one of the fall’s most competitive Congressional races and Senator Pat Roberts is running for re-election – we look at what the major issues will be in ...

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States of the Union: Washington

Friday, July 11, 2008

Find out how Washington state, which is home to Boeing’s headquarters, has been affected by the troubled airline industry. Also: hear about the major issues in this year’s race for governor, and why the state has had three different primary election systems in the last ten years. Chris Grygiel is ...

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States of the Union: Alabama

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Find out about the re-election campaign of Jeff Sessions; how state Democrats remain competitive in a state that has become solidly Republican in presidential elections; and what kind of impact the case of convicted former governor Don Siegelman has had on state politics. Joining us to discuss what matters to ...

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States of the Union: Maryland

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Find out about Tuesday's special election in Maryland's 4th District, why Maryland attracts so many biotech firms, and how the state became one of the most reliable for Democrats in presidential elections. Lisa Rein covers Maryland politics for the Washington Post and the paper's Maryland Moments ...

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States of the Union: Kentucky

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Kentucky holds its primary on May 20. Find out what’s on the minds of voters in the Bluegrass State. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is up for re-election; we look at the Democrats who hoping to challenge him in the fall. Al Cross is Director of the Institute ...

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States of the Union: Tennessee

Friday, April 11, 2008

Al Gore was a senator from Tennessee, but he was unable to win his home state in the 2000 presidential elections. We find out whether this is part of a larger rightward trend in Tennessee politics. Also: why the auto industry continues to be a major part of the Volunteer ...


States of the Union: Arizona

Thursday, April 03, 2008

We look at Arizona -- John McCain's homestate -- and find out how illegal immigration shapes the political debate in this border state. Also: why public spending has become a major state-wide issue. Robert Robb is an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic.

States of the Union fact of the ...

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States of the Union: Oklahoma

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Although Oklahoma has been a reliably Republican state in presidential elections in recent years, The Sooner State is home to a lot of registered Democrats. Find out what makes these Democrats vote for Republican candidates; also, a look at how the recent push for alternative fuels has been received in ...

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States of the Union: Delaware

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Find out what issues matter most to voters in Delaware. We look at Senator Joe Biden's re-election campaign, the campaign for governor, and how rising food prices affect a state that produces lots of poultry. Allan Loudell is a (LU-dell) News Anchor--Reporter--Interviewer for WDEL Radio (Delaware's news-intensive station).

States of ...


States of the Union: Mississippi

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mississippi has the second highest unemployment rate in the country and the lowest median income. We find out how the national economic downturn is affecting the Magnolia State as it continues to recover from Hurricane Katrina. Also: we look to the state’s March 11 primary, and the special election in ...

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States of the Union: Rhode Island

Thursday, February 28, 2008

All eyes are on Ohio and Texas for their March 4 primaries, but Rhode Island is voting on that day too. Rhode Island’s biggest industry is health care and we find out whether health care reform is a major issue there. Also: why Rhode Island has the lowest presidential approval ...

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States of the Union: Vermont

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Vermont has the highest number of troop deaths in Iraq per capita. It also one of the lowest approval ratings of President Bush. We find out what other issues matter most to voters in the Green Mountain State, and also look ahead to the state’s March 4 primary. Sam Hemingway ...

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States of the Union: Wisconsin

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

With a tight race for the Democratic nomination, the candidates are beginning to focus their attention on Wisconsin's February 19 primary. We find out which issues are likely to persuade Badger State voters. Also: why the race for Wisconsin was so close in both 2000 and 2004, and then ended ...


States of the Union: Arkansas

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In the last 16 years, Arkansas has produced two major presidential hopefuls with two very different political views. Find out how both Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee succeeded in the Natural State. Also: we look at which issues matter most to voters in one of the country’s poorest states as ...