I am not surprised you are on the search for the best political podcasts.
Because Aristotle once said:
“Man is by nature a political animal.”
Well, good news for you and Aristotle.
I have put together a list of my favorite political ramblers.
Be prepared to agree, disagree, love and hate these prominent political podders.
If you are sick and tired of partisan podcasts overloaded with party hacks from either side of the aisle, The More Perfect Union is the podcast for you!
The hosts (Kevin Kelton, Greg Matusak, DJ McGuire, Rebekah Kuschmider and Cliff Dunn) are not your political professionals. Instead, all of them have an active interest (obsession) in debating daily political news.
The motto for this podcast is “real debate without the hate.” That is perfect for folks that are tired of the over-the-top rhetoric that is so common these days.
A relatively new and influential voice for conservatives, Ben Shapiro, has skyrocketed into the public consciousness almost overnight.
This is not a podcast shy about putting forward Ben’s conservative and right-leaning beliefs.
You won’t find a lot of rhetoric here, though. Ben does his research and always backs up what he has to say with a mountain of info. He’s always bringing on guests from across the aisle for debate. These episodes can get a little heated at times, but there’s still a bedrock of mutual respect that mellows things out at the end of the day.
Make no mistake about it; this is a podcast for those on the right and those with right-leaning tendencies. But it’s not a podcast that those on the left would feel alienated listening to, either.
Dan Carlin is best known for his legendary history podcast Hardcore History, one of the most popular podcasts on the planet.
But he also has a modern-day podcast that he frequently updates, tracking the political goings on in America. Dan finds a way to link our modern political world to ancient historical challenges, obstacles, and successes in a unique way that only he can.
Admittedly leaning a little bit more to the left than anything else, Dan does his level best to hit the sweet spot in the center. Unlike other centrists that feel like they are sitting on the fence, Dan gets his point across with little bias. He’s able to convey his message in a way that today’s hyper-partisan mainstream media is almost never able to pull off.
Dan’s enthusiasm pours through the same way that it does on Hardcore History. It isn’t hard to get swept up in the excitement and the emotion that he pours into this podcast, either!
Helmed by members of the Obama press corps, Pod Save America is very much a left-leaning podcast and makes no bones about it.
Jon Favreau (speechwriter for Obama, and one of Time’s Most Influential People on the Planet), is flanked by fellow Obama Admin aides Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor on every episode of this podcast.
They track every movement of the current administration, comparing and contrasting it to administrations of the of the past, but also look at the cultural changes that have been happening in America ever since the 2016 Election.
Very much for those with a left bent when it comes to politics, folks on the right probably won’t get a lot out of Pod Save America.
This is the official podcast of the conservative opinion website, Townhall. This podcast follows the same local townhall format, giving voice to conservatives that don’t feel they are as well represented today as they were in the past.
Every episode has a new host, bringing on different conservative talking heads from the Townhall community. Editorial control over each episode is up to the host, which can make these episodes feel a little disjointed at times.
Of course, the diversity of the hosts that lead the Townhall Review are also the strength of this platform.
Each host has an area of expertise (one might be a former politician, another a world-famous economist, and another yet a small town select board member or mayor). It’s that varied expertise that makes each new episode of Townhall so enlightening.
FiveThirtyEight had their credibility take a little bit of a nosedive in the aftermath of the 2016 election (after guaranteeing that there was zero chance Hillary Clinton could lose the election), but they have been working overtime to earn the trust of their listeners ever since.
With a podcast like this, they are back to being a trusted voice in the political community again.
Certainly still leaning a bit to the left, this podcast has become more centrist over the last two years. The partisan attacks have been shelved for the most part. Instead, they have been replaced with data-driven viewpoints and analysis that you likely aren’t going to find anywhere else in the political podcasts spectrum.
Numbers, data, and verifiable information is the name of the game with the FiveThirtyEight podcast, more than any other political podcasts out there. If you want the numbers and the data more than an opinion from talking heads with an agenda, this is where you’re going to want to listen.
Tim Young is the host of No Things Considered, a young conservative comedian that brings a lot of happiness and humor to the outrageousness of our modern political environment.
A quick listen (the episodes are 20 minutes long or so), Tim isn’t afraid of skewering those on both sides of the aisle. Think of it as a right-leaning version of John Oliver’s show on HBO.
Tim does a great job of shining a bright light on the absurd “always outraged, everything is awful” world our mainstream media peddles these days.
NPR is one of the most trusted names in American media, and this political podcast from them plays no favorites.
The podcast does such a good job giving both sides of the aisle a fair shake that they get attacked from the Left and the Right – often about the same coverage!
Regardless of your political leanings, if you want the truth (and nothing but it), NPR is the way to go. The entertainment value might not be the same here, and you won’t deal with shouting hosts with hot takes, but the educational value is through the roof.
If you’re looking to become a better-informed citizen of the US, the NPR politics podcast is for you.
The mainstream media – on both sides – is laughably tribal right now.
Political hacks and Z List celebrities spout off attack after attack against “the other side” more often than not, and civil debate has gone out the window. When all you hear is “FAKE NEWS” and “RUSSIAN BOT” on one side or the other, it’s impossible to reach across the aisle and see one another’s position.
Left, Right, and Center looks to bridge that gap and rebuild these kinds of conversations.
Hosts (Josh Barro – Center, Rich Lowry – Right, and a guest host – Left) debate the past week’s news in the world of US politics without things ever getting out of hand. Most of each hour-long episode (published once a week) is spent debating the news, but at the end of each episode, all three hosts have a chance to plead their case directly to the audience.
It’s a handy way to get their points across, and it’s been able to bring a little bit of civility back into the national discourse. You won’t find a lot of political bloodsports here, just friends and professionals debating their positions respectfully.
This podcast is led by longtime political news talk show host Dave Rubin.
Identifying himself as a classical liberal with libertarian leanings, Rubin frequently invites authors, comedians, activists, journalists, actors – and everyday folks as well – to talk about the current political climate in the US today.
While sometimes going off after both the right side of the aisle as well as the “progressive left,” this is a pretty levelheaded podcast that doesn’t get too crazy with the rhetoric and name-calling.
Regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum, the odds are VERY good that you have heard of Glenn Beck before.
A self-proclaimed “Never Trumper,” Beck represents more conservative ideas on his podcast for sure. He has slid into more of a libertarian role than anything else these days, but that right-wing backbone is still in place.
He has the same personality he had while hosting shows on Fox News and uses the same amount of research, data, and facts to back up his arguments, too.
Not for everyone (and sometimes a bit of an acquired taste), it’s impossible to call Beck’s podcast episodes anything but engaging.
We’re all familiar with the idea of history repeating itself over and over again, but most don’t buy into the idea.
Well, this podcast aims to prove that time and events are little more than a flat circle.
Finding fun and entertaining ways to tie today’s political environment into events throughout the past, the energy level of this podcast is absolutely through the roof.
You aren’t going to find a lot of policy wonks or political hacks cluttering up the episodes of this show, just a lot of history and political buffs talking about the past and present in ways most people aren’t right now.
Things are crazy out there, for sure – but they’ve been crazier. The folks at My History Can Beat Up Your Politics are proving that out with every single episode they publish.
A regular contributor to both CNN as well as Fox News, this podcast is hosted by a political expert and strategist that lives outside of the beltway – with viewpoints to match.
While Eric Erickson is as connected and plugged into the world of politics and the DC community as anyone else, this show is not for insiders.
Instead, the show is about offering a fresher perspective on what the “Regular American Conservative” is thinking – folks that live in flyover states, small towns, and little communities across the US.
Erickson always adds his perspective in a way that is very honest and real. Shows touch on hot topics of the day rather than macro or global events, the kinds of issues that your everyday American is worried about more than anything else. Policy talk is almost always blanketed with real-life stories of Americans impacted by these decisions.
Even those that do not agree with his particular viewpoints or beliefs cannot walk away from this show feeling that they are anything but authentic.
The Congressional Dish podcast is unique in that it steps away from both sides of the aisle and examines the actual issues at hand. This is a lot easier to pull off for The Congressional Dish, as episodes only come out twice a month.
This is not a podcast where bias is present, not a podcast for those looking for opinions. It’s instead an outlet for information, a chance to educate those that are listening without any crazy injection of personal feelings.
Think of this as the kind of podcast Cronkite and other legendary newspeople would have hosted if they were still around. Stories are covered in as dispassionate a way as possible. You won’t find a lot of fearmongering or hyperbole here.
The Congressional Dish is a refreshing voice in a sea of sensationalism.
Published by the New York Times, this podcast is a 20-minute recap of everything going on in the political world that day, released five days a week.
The legendary journalism of the New York Times forms the backbone of this podcast. There is a little bit of a left-leaning bias to this podcast, but that’s to be expected from a newspaper that sits smack dab in the middle of New York City.
The NYT has always been a proponent of more liberal policies than anything else, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
But even if you sit on the right, it’s not a bad idea to listen to The Daily. The daily breakdown of that day’s political news guarantees you’re always up to date, even if you don’t love the conclusions that The Daily reaches.
The WSJ Potomac Watch podcast is another quick daily podcast similar to The Daily. Focusing almost exclusively on the epicenter of US politics in DC and the rest of the beltway. Holding up a mirror to The Daily, the WSJ leans to the right more than anything else.
Published five days a week, listening to the WSJ Potomac Watch and The Daily podcasts back to back will give you a well-rounded idea of what’s happening in the world of American politics.
Jonah Goldberg (from the National Review) has a unique take on President Trump, the cultural shift going on since 2016, and the issues we as Americans have to face– not only today but years into the future.
The National Review has a distinct tone and personality, perfectly mirrored here by Goldberg. Quick-witted and unafraid to skewer the absurdity on either side of the political spectrum, this is fast-paced, snarky, and always brutally honest look at American politics today.
Those on the left will feel like they are the victim of his punches more than the right, but everybody gets their fair share. A bit of an acquired taste, you’ll either love or hate Goldberg – but you’ll keep listening.