Weekend Reading is written by Michael Podhorzer and edited by Emily Crockett, with research and editing assistance from Andrea Evans and Thomas Mande, as well as data-wrangling from Alison Collins, Trevor Smith and Spencer Brown (BlueLabs).

About Mike

Michael Podhorzer is the former political director of the AFL-CIO. He founded the Analyst Institute, the Independent Strategic Research Collaborative (ISRC), the Defend Democracy Project, and the Polling Consortium, and helped found America Votes, Working America, For Our Future, and Catalist.

In 2020, Podhorzer played a pivotal organizing role in the effort to prevent Trump from overturning the election results, and his early leadership in evidence-driven politics was documented in the 2013 book The Victory Lab.

He is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

About Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading began in March 2017 as an off-the-record email newsletter to a group of leading election practitioners. On Sundays, Mike would share his insights on election data, political strategy, and how to respond to the ongoing democratic crises in the Trump era. Over the years, the readership grew more than tenfold. Since retiring from the AFL-CIO, he was able to start this public Substack to share his work more broadly.

Podcast Features

The Ezra Klein Show: If Biden Is So Unpopular, Why Do Democrats Keep Winning?

Playbook Deep Dive, with Ryan Lizza: The strategist who didn't believe in the red wave - POLITICO

Amicus, with Dahlia Lithwick: Lessons from The Trump Years for SCOTUS (transcript)

Defending Democracy Podcast, with Marc Elias: Labor, Democracy and Building Power for All

Pod Save America: "Evening Joe." | Crooked Media

That Trippi Show: "How to save democracy", with Mike Podhorzer on Apple Podcasts

Fast Politics, with Molly Jong-Fast: Howard Dean, Felix Salmon & Mike Podhorzer

Talking Feds, with Harry Litman (1-On-1): Why polls tell us little or nothing about who will win the November Election

Is This Democracy, with Thomas Zimmer and Lily Mason: Mad Poll Disease and the Folly of Popularism — with Michael Podhorzer

Theory of Change, with Matthew Sheffield: Democrats haven’t realized they must do more than attack Donald Trump

How to Save a Country, with Felicia Wong and Michael Tomasky: “Red Nation, Blue Nation” (with Michael Podhorzer) - Roosevelt Institute

Second Request, from Capitol Forum: 2024 Presidential Election Outlook with Michael Podhorzer

A Moment with Erik Fleming: The Current State of Israel and The Resurgence of Labor Featuring Anat Sultan-Dadon and Mike Podhorzer

Strategy Session - Why We Need Biden, and Why He’s Going to Win

Deadline Strike Talk: Week 17: Billy Ray Explores Path To End Stalemate On Global Level

The Great Battlefield: Labor, Polling, Analytics and Progressive Politics with Mike Podhorzer

Heartland Pod: Let's Have A Chat: Mike Podhorzer and his post 2020 election work to save democracy

Daily Detroit: The growing strength of America’s labor movement (ft. Mike Podhorzer)

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Michael Podhorzer on politics, economics, and democratic crises.


Former political director of the AFL-CIO. Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Founder: Analyst Institute, Research Collaborative (RC), Co-founder: Working America, Catalist. He publishes Weekend Reading. (weekendreading.net)
Editing Michael Podhorzer's "Weekend Reading" Substack. Freelance writer/editor, former staff writer at Vox and Rewire, former senior editor at The American Independent.