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The Horse Race


A weekly podcast on Massachusetts politics, policy and elections. Hosted by Steve Koczela, Jennifer Smith, and Lisa Kashinsky.


United States


A weekly podcast on Massachusetts politics, policy and elections. Hosted by Steve Koczela, Jennifer Smith, and Lisa Kashinsky.




Episode 260: Shots Shots Shots

This week on The Horse Race, the push to bring back happy hour gets another shot on Beacon Hill and plans for the machine gun range on Cape Cod draw fire from residents and the Environmental Protection Agency.


Episode 259: Meet the Parents

This week on The Horse Race, we've got two new MPG polls to discuss and two new MPG polling experts to introduce to our listening audience! Research Manager Zayna Basma tells us about a new statewide parent poll that highlights ongoing concerns for students' mental health and academic development. Then, MPG Research Director Olivia Wine dives into a new survey on parents' questions about the Covid vaccine.


Episode 258: The Rollins Reports

This week on The Horse Race, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins calls it quits amid federal investigations into her conduct. We’re looking at it from every angle: the report, the background and what happens next.


Episode 257: Masks Off?

This week on The Horse Race, we’ve got chaos in the council chambers and a new 56 billion dollar spending plan at the State House. All that, plus we’ll mark the end of the Covid public health emergency in Massachusetts with GBH News reporter Katie Lannan.


Episode 256: One Horse State

This week on The Horse Race, we’re looking at elections. They weren’t races so much, but they were elections as strictly defined. We'll also sift through a new survey of Boston Public School parents by MassINC Polling Group and The Shah Family Foundation. Some of the findings may surprise you. Finally, Jennifer Smith tells us about legislation that would allow undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.


Episode 255: Devils in the T Tales

This week on The Horse Race, it’s buses and trains the whole way through! We’ve got transit on the brain and political shenanigans in New Hampshire on the menu. TransitMatters' Jarred Johnson stops by to talk all things MBTA, then we discuss the new RTA survey from MassINC Polling Group with MPG Senior Research Director Rich Parr.


Episode 254: Make it Make Cents

This week on The Horse Race, it’s money money money season on Beacon Hill. We’ll look at the House’s new tax cut proposal and their fiscal year 2024 budget with State House News Service reporter Chris Lisinski. Also, Steve Koczela delves into the new poll from UMassAmherst/WCVB.


Episode 253: It's Fun to Work at the M-B-T-A!

This week on The Horse Race, the federal court case challenging the legality of Boston’s new voting map is underway, we’ll look at what both sides want with reporter Sean Phillip Cotter. And then, the MBTA needs to bolster its workforce but will more workers mean fewer problems for the Tee? MassLive's Chris Van Buskirk stops by to take a closer look at all things MBTA.


Episode 252: Secretariat

This week on The Horse Race, Elizabeth Warren makes it official; she’s running for a third term. Lisa Kashinsky and Steve Koczela look at what that means for the state’s restless bench of ambitious Democrats. Then, Governor Healey pushes for her proposed Secretary of Housing on Beacon Hill. SHNS reporter Sam Drysdale brings us an update.


Episode 251: Fire in the Poll

This week on The Horse Race, what happened to #mapoli Twitter? Also, we dive into the state of polling, nationwide and here in Massachusetts. Then, the gig worker debate is picking up steam at the State House. Lisa Kashinsky and Jennifer Smith look at what both sides want.


Episode 250: Calling an Auditable

This week on The Horse Race, what's the local impact of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in California and Signature Bank in New York? Then, we’ll have an in-depth conversation with State Auditor Diana DiZoglio, who recently announced a wide-ranging review of the Massachusetts House and Senate.


Episode 249: YOU Get an Audit and YOU Get an Audit and YOU Get an Audit!

This week on The Horse Race, three major announcements from the state auditor’s office all within the past few days. The Supreme Judicial Court wrestles with wrongful death restrictions in cigarette suits, and we’ll look at the dilemma black business owners face after landing a big contract with Boston Globe Development Fellow, Julian Sorapuru.


Episode 248: All Elections Are Special

This week on The Horse Race, it’s special election season. We’ll tell you who’s running, and who’s thinking about it. Governor Healey released her tax relief package this week, Lisa Kashinsky gives us the breakdown. Then, Boston Globe reporter Diti Kohli joins us to look at the city's resurgence after COVID and how some neighborhoods are coming back more quickly than others.


Episode 247: Mass. Exodus

This week on The Horse Race, people are leaving Massachusetts in droves since the start of the pandemic. Why are they leaving? Where are they going? Also, Lisa Kashinsky gives us an update on the cash-strapped MassGOP. Then, we’ll take a closer look at Governor Healey’s early track record on transparency with Boston Globe political reporter Samantha Gross.


Episode 246: A Galentine's Gallop

This week on The Horse Race, the chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party steps down, who’ll step up to take his place? Then, GBH's Saraya Wintersmith and The Boston Herald's Sean Phillip Cotter help us take a closer look at the Boston City Council’s complex relationship with Mayor Michelle Wu. And we'll highlight a new Galentine's Day tradition that kicked off this week, thanks to Senate President Karen Spilka.


Episode 245: Term Limits of Endearment

This week on The Horse Race, Marty Walsh is shipping back to Boston to run the NHLPA. A new poll of Massachusetts voters from MassINC Polling Group shows some concerning numbers for top Democratic leaders. And a key lawmaker looks to end term limits for the state’s Senate President.


Episode 244: Reaching the End of the Lyons

This week on The Horse Race, sports betting is now live in Massachusetts! Then, Lisa Kashinsky joins us to talk about the change in leadership at the top of the MassGOP. Finally, we’ll take a closer look at the MBTA Communities law with MassINC President and CEO, Joe Kriesberg.


Episode 243: Latinos in Massachusetts

This week on The Horse Race, municipal elections are coming and that means an interesting choice on mail-in ballots. Also, we have a new poll from MassINC Polling Group and Amplify Latinx on the challenges facing Latino residents in Massachusetts. Then Steve sits down with Amplify Latinx President and CEO Eneida Román to talk about the findings. And oh yeah, The Bachelor is back!


Episode 242: Off the Rails

01/19/23-- This week on The Horse Race, we’ve got trains and transitions. We’re diving into a dysfunctional MBTA car factory in Springfield with Boston Globe reporter Taylor Dolven. But first, Lisa Kashinsky walks us through her recent conversation with newly sworn in Governor, Maura Healey.


Episode 241: Tea Leaves and Oatmeal Cookies

This week on The Horse Race, we have a new state-wide poll about the challenges facing parents and students as they try to recover academically after COVID. The poll was conducted by MassINC Polling Group for EdTrust and The Barr Foundation. Then, we’ll preview the year ahead in Massachusetts politics with two local reporters; Mike Deehan from Axios Boston and Katie Lannan from GBH.