Keys To The House-logo

Keys To The House

News & Politics Podcasts >

More Information


United States




'Statistically Impossible'?

It seemed on election night that Democrats in California were going to flip perhaps a couple of the seven Republican-held seats they were targeting in the House of Representatives. Three weeks later, the Democrats have flipped all seven — not only turning all of Orange County blue, but also two seats in the Central Valley. In our final Keys To The House episode, Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler talks with political experts about how this happened and what this means for California’s two major...


So What The Heck Just Happened?

Democrats now hold the Keys to the House, but many California races still hang in the balance. In this week’s episode, we discuss what the heck just happened in Tuesday’s midterm election. Did we see a ‘blue wave’ in California? What do the results say about California’s politics? Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler talks with political data analyst Paul Mitchell and Los Angeles Times Politics Reporter Christine Mai-Duc about Democratic enthusiasm, Republican motivation and all the races that...


The O.C., Part 2: Rebellious Republicans

By Sally Schilling For Democrats to win California’s battleground congressional races, turning out their own voters won’t be enough. They’ll also have to convince Republicans disgusted with the president to kick their party out of power. In this episode, CapRadio’s Ben Adler speaks with Orange County voters who show the challenges and opportunities facing Democrats in Tuesday’s midterms.


The O.C., Part 1: Diverse Democrats

By Sally Schilling Republicans have historically been more likely to vote than Democrats — especially in midterm elections. And in the battleground congressional districts of California’s Orange County, there are simply more of them. But the region is becoming more diverse, and younger. Both factors could help Democrats — if they can convince people who don’t usually cast ballots to give it a try this year.


In Play Or Wishful Thinking?

Which California congressional seats should Republicans truly be worrying about losing with control of the House of Representatives at stake in the November election — and which ones are probably just wishful thinking for Democrats? Host Ben Adler gets the national view from NPR's lead political editor, Domenico Montanaro, and the California perspective from Paul Mitchell, Vice President of Political Data, Inc. They’ll also discuss Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, California’s...


Post-Labor Day Reset

The Keys To The House team is sadly saying good-bye to host Ben Bradford. In this episode, Bradford introduces our new host and discusses significant shifts happening in favor of Democrats. He’ll also talk about one congressman who has fallen into legal trouble over campaign spending, including allegedly using funds to fly a pet rabbit across the country.


Do Candidates Matter?

Challenging for seats in this year’s California primary we had a lottery winner, a famous stem cell researcher, a beekeeper, two Marine colonels, multiple once-prominent state politicians looking for a way back into the spotlight. All of which leads to a seemingly simple question we’re exploring today: What makes a good candidate? We’re going to challenge some of the most basic assumptions you may have. We look at a couple of specific candidates, such as Democratic congressional candidate...


The Safest Republican In A Democratic District

Latinos are California’s largest ethnic or racial demographic and have played a major role in the state’s increasingly Democratic votes. But Latinos in California still have some of the lowest turnout of any demographic. That has likely helped some Republicans, such as Central Valley Rep. David Valadao, continue to hold office, despite a major disadvantage in party registration. GOP strategist Mike Madrid and researcher Mindy Romero discuss how “get out the vote” efforts often don’t reach...


Republican Congressman Jeff Denham Pushes For DACA Solution As He Faces Tough Re-Election

Republican Congressman Jeff Denham has become increasingly vulnerable in recent election cycles, as his district has grown more Democratic. But he’s been able to win over his constituents, even as they’ve voted for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Facing possibly his toughest challenge yet, Denham has been pushing Congress to pass immigration legislation that would include a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and billions of dollars in funding for the border wall. One bill that Denham was...


Republicans Hold Back Blue Wave, But Democrats Avoid Shutouts In California Primary

California's contentious congressional races in Southern California brought in millions of dollars in campaign spending from national Democratic organizations that previously ignored these districts. Host Ben Bradford asks political strategists whether the choice to spend big bucks paid off. Experts also talk about the "political chess game" that the parties played in order to succeed under California's "top-two" primary system. And they weigh in on each party’s advantages and challenges...


The Dem-On-Dem Factor

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has earned the nickname "Putin's Favorite Congressman." And it’s put a target on his back, in a district where Democrats outvoted Republicans in the 2016 presidential race. But so many Democrats are running to unseat him that it possible none may make it past the primary, under California's unusual election rules. Host Ben Bradford and guests explain how Rohrabacher's district is a prime example of a problem Democrats face in multiple...


GOP California Convention Post-Mortem

California Republicans are struggling to hold onto key congressional seats in this year's midterm election. In our first roundtable podcast, reporters discuss the state's annual GOP convention, where Republicans aimed to energize their base by targeting California's sanctuary laws and repealing a recently passed gas-tax increase. But when it comes to President Trump, the party is taking a much more delicate approach this year. There's also concern that if Republicans don’t have a...


Republicans On The Ropes

When it comes to national elections, the sad truth for Californians is we don't really matter. But this year, something unusual is happening: A handful of longtime Republican congressional districts are suddenly vulnerable. Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford charts the rise and fall of California's Republican Party, and its prospects going into tough midterm election battles.


Introducing Keys To The House: A Podcast Following California’s Contentious Congressional Races

California's vote often doesn't have an impact on national elections. It's a known commodity in the general election, particularly as it's gotten increasingly Democratic. But this upcoming midterm election is shaping up to be different. Republicans are so on the ropes in the state, and President Donald Trump is so unpopular here, that something unusual is happening. Congressional seats that were once solidly Republican just four years ago are all of a sudden up for grabs. Nationally,...