Best Podcasts For Politics
In 2020 we are longer limited to NPR or Fox news for our daily dose of politics. The rise of podcasting has brought with it a rise of aspiring political commentators eager to jump in with their two cents. But where can we find the best podcasts for politics?
However given the divisive nature of politics (especially within the current climate) it has never been more important to ensure you are getting your political information from credible sources.
Podcasts for politics have the potential to provide you with bite-sized or comprehensive political knowledge. Still it is important to keep in mind any of the biases or viewpoints these outlets possess.
No matter where you find yourself on the spectrum, there are plenty of podcasts that will reinforce your beliefs. Be that as it may, in politics it is just as important as it is anywhere else to ensure you hear both sides.
For this reason this article is segmented into progressive, conservative, and non-partisan political podcasts. Whether you are looking to strengthen held beliefs or engage new perspectives you will find it here.
Best Progressive Political Podcasts
The NPR Politics Podcast
Despite not being limited to NPR, the NPR politics podcast is still a good option for politics.
Although NPR labels itself as a progressive organization I’ll be the first to admit (as a progressive) that it shows progressive tendencies in it’s reporting. This does not detract from the quality of reporting but is important to keep in mind.
The NPR Politics Podcast is released daily and typically ranges from 15-30 minutes. The show focuses on the biggest political news and controversies of the moment and will do well to keep you informed.
Due to being public broadcasting, you will not find some of the controversial stances present in other podcasts on the list. However, you can be sure that the information you receive has been heavily screened.
Today Explained is Vox’s daily news podcast. Vox is a news organization that takes a “mostly liberal” editing stance and received a “Left” rating from AllSides in 2018.
The podcast releases new episodes daily that typically fall in the 20-30 minute range.
With Today Explained you will find a stronger progressive leaning than most of the other podcasts listed. Many episodes are Trump-related and present a less-than-favorable view of the president.
You will also find a wider variety in the stories on this podcast that do not always revolve around the news of the day. This podcast is perfect for someone looking for a casual bite-sized news story to keep them in the loop.
Check out our recent article for more of the best podcasts for news.
Pod Save America
Pod Save America is a progressive political podcast produced by Crooked Media.
The show is hosted by four former Obama aides and possesses a clear liberal outlook. Episodes of this podcast are very Trump-focused and present many critiques of the president.
Pod Save America serves as an effective roundup for the current happenings from a progressive viewpoint. Episodes tend to go deep on a single topic and show notes typically contain 30+ links to relevant articles on other progressive news sites to look deeper into singular issues.
The podcast gained significant traction in 2018 thanks to multiple prominent features on Apple Podcasts.
New episodes are released on Mondays and Thursdays and typically go about an hour.
If you’re a fan of Stephen Colbert, you’ll probably like Political Gabfest. According to Colbert “Everybody should listen to Political Gabfest”.
The podcast describes itself as the place “where sharp political analysis meets informal and irreverent discussion”. That’s exactly what you’re going to get here.
The hosts approach difficult issues as if they were chatting over drinks and keep the show accessible. No political science degree required.
Political Gabfest will get you hot takes on the week’s news from three highly opinionated Washington journalists.
If you’re looking for the best podcast for politics to keep you company on your commute, Political Gabfest is not it. New episodes release once-a-week on Wednesdays and are typically about an hour.
P.S. This podcast was also voted the “Favorite Political Podcast” by Apple Podcast listeners.
The Rachel Maddow Show
Rachel Maddow is a liberal political commentator and hosts a nightly show on MSNBC. The Rachel Maddow Show is both her nightly show and podcast which are one and the same.
“Rachel Maddow provides in-depth reporting to illuminate the current state of political affairs and reveals the importance of transparency and accountability from our leaders.”
Maddow’s ability to uniquely tell compelling stories makes her podcast all the more engaging no matter your political stance.
If you are a fan of the nightly news and are looking for something similar, you’ll find the Rachel Maddow Show to be one of the best podcasts for politics out there.
New episodes of the Rachel Maddow Show are released on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Episodes typically go anywhere from 45-90 minutes.
The Al Franken Podcast
Al Franken is a five-time Emmy winning SNL comedy writer/producer, a four-time #1 NYT bestselling author, a three-time highest-rated national progressive radio host, a two-time Grammy winning artist, and a former US Senator.
A background like this allows Franken to approach issues from different angles than the mass media outlets.
He self-describes his podcast as “The Daily without the budget of the NYTimes” but The Al Franked Podcast takes a much more conversational approach.
With Guests like Conan O’Brien and Chris Rock, you don’t need a political background to listen in.
Episodes release every Sunday and are about an hour in length.
This podcast is perfect for someone looking for a variety of political conversations with a host of progressive figures.
Trump, Inc. is an investigation more than it is a podcast. This show places immense amounts of scrutiny on the Trump family business and attempts to answer the question Who’s profiting from this administration and at what cost?
Episodes are not released on a consistent basis but there is a backlog of over 50 episodes. Listening through these episodes will present potential conflicts of interest and criticisms of the Trump business.
The show’s purpose is to reveal the nuances of the president’s business that most of the country knows little about.
If you’re looking for a deep dive into Trump this is hands down the best political podcast for the job. It’s all-but-certain that each episode of the show will teach you something new about the president and his business dealings.
The show is created WNYC and Propublica, a non-profit investigative newsroom.
The facts-first approach and the new knowledge on the business of the Trumps sets Trump, Inc. apart as one of the best podcasts for politics.
Best Conservative Political Podcasts
The Ben Shapiro Show
Anyone active in conservative circles will surely be familiar with Shapiro and his conviction on his views.
Ben Shapiro is a public speaker, lawyer, and one of the most well-known conservative political commentators in the United States.
With over 900 episodes of his daily podcast, it’s no wonder that The Ben Shapiro Show is one of the most popular conservative political podcasts.
Shapiro is widely known for his accusations of the mass media producing rampant lies. In his podcast he aims to cut the lies, cut the spin, and provide the hard-hitting conservative truth.
If you’re fed up with what you’re getting from the mass media, Ben Shapiro might just have one of the best podcasts for politics for you.
The Dan Bongino Show
The former secret service agent provides a new look at the wrongs of the left.
Dan Bongino is an American conservative commentator, former congressional candidate, and podcast host. Through his daily podcast, Bongino caters to a sensational audience.
Recent episodes include “A Disturbing Photo Emerges Exposing The Obama Administration” and “The Democrats Reach A New Low”. Shows like this are prone to going viral and the episodes deliver on what the titles promise.
Episodes of The Dan Bongino Show typically go about an hour and are much more free-form than many of the other sows listed.
The Dennis Miller Option
Ever since his 1985 debut on SNL, Dennis Miller has been a public figure in the comedy and political commentary spaces.
On The Dennis Miller Option, Miller promises an uncensored take on current events and politics. Every Friday Miller is joined by his co-host Christian Bladt and a prominent conservative guest deliver just that.
Popular topics include political correctness, American values, and the transgressions of the left.
What you get from Dennis Miller is more than you’d expect from the standard conservative podcast which is why it is definitely one of the best podcasts for politics.
The Joe Rogan Experience
One of the most popular podcasts, period.
Joe Rogan’s podcast reaches millions of people every month and rarely falls from the Top 10 on Apple Podcasts.
The show runs much longer than other podcasts (sometimes over 4 hours) and is a free-flowing conversation between Rogan and the guest.
Episodes tend to get highly controversial as a result of many of the polarizing opinions of guests such as Alex Jones.
You’ve probably already heard of this show, you’ve probably already listened to an episode, but if you haven’t it’s definitely one of the best podcasts for politics if you’re on the conservative side of the spectrum.
Red Pilled America
Red Pilled America is a conservative audio documentary produced by iHeartRadio.
The name refers to the scene in The Matrix where Keanu Reeves pops a red pill to unplug from the simulation and see the real world. The premise of the podcast is to allow listeners to free themselves of the propaganda propagated by the mass media.
Episodes tackle contentious issues such as the existence of racism in the United States and feature prominent conservatives such as Andrew Breitbart.
If you identify as a “Red Piller” and are looking for a highly-produced show in alignment with your beliefs, Red Pilled America is one of the best podcasts for politics out there for you.
The Jordan B Peterson Podcast
Jordan Peterson is known for his brilliant ability to dissect the liberal twisting of sociopolitical and economic norms, while offering advice on life and other topics of well-being.
The Jordan B Peterson podcast is more philosophical than most other political podcasts. His arguments are based on sound scientific reasoning and you will walk away from this show feeling intellectually stimulated.
With episodes like “The Struggle Between Chaos and Order” and “Competence Hierarchies” Peterson’s long-form podcast tackles some nuanced topics.
The podcast itself is not overly political but if you are in search of an educated conversation you will find it on this podcast.
PragerU is not a university or academic institution but it does produce some of the top conservative podcasts. Prager U is most well-known for their 5 minute right-wing YouTube videos but also produces two other long-form podcasts.
Together, these three shows have over 3 billion downloads and have made PragerU one of the most prominent conservative digital media outlets.
PragerU and its podcasts promote Judeo-Christian values and largely avoid mention of Donald Trump. The podcast also frequently dismisses climate change and racism as “meaningless buzzwords”.
Through their donations from fracking billionaires, PragerU has a budget of over $25,000 per podcast so if you’re looking for high production value you will find it on these political podcasts.
Best Non-partisan Political Podcasts
Produced by The New York Times, The Daily is the best podcast for getting your daily news. This podcast was created with the American commute in mind because it matches the 20 – 30 minute average commute and releases every morning Monday through Friday.
From covering the latest presidential candidates to the current happenings in Washington D.C. The Daily is one of the most well-respected political podcasts out there. This may have something to do with its massive popularity (the show has received over 100 million downloads) or it may have more to do with the brand equity.
The New York Times has been reporting since 1851 and has a long track record of publishing one of the most highly regarded news publications in the country. The strong brand behind The Times gives immediate credibility to this podcasts, and in this case that credibility is well warranted.
Through their use of both rigorously vetted stories and the accounts from individuals involved, The Daily is the top non-partisan political podcast for daily news because it keeps the listener up to speed with the events of the world while presenting them is a memorable way, allowing the listener to hold down current events discussions anywhere they find themselves.
Left, Right & Center
KCRW is a public radio station in Santa Monica, CA and produces Left, Right & Center.
The host Josh Barro represents the center and creates conversations with guests from both sides of the aisle. Doing so creates a highly informative program where both sides can come to learn.
Warning: after a few episodes, you might start to wonder whether the divide between “us and them” is as big as you imagined.
If you are looking to get outside of your own political echo chamber and hear what the other side has to say about important issues, this is one of the best political podcasts for you to tune in to.
The Rubin Report
Dave Rubin considers himself to be a classical liberal but his podcast presents a wide variety of opinions.
While characterizing progressivism as a “mental disorder” he firmly supports same-sex marriage, criminal justice reform, and a social safety net.
Holding this nuanced perspective allows for some intriguing conversation and has contributed to its widespread success.
The Rubin Report has over 250 million downloads and is the largest podcast about free speech and big ideas out there.
This is one of the best political podcasts for individuals looking for a break from the mass media outlets on a non-partisan platform.
After The Fact
After the Fact” is a podcast from The Pew Charitable Trusts that brings you data and analysis on the issues that matter to you. While these issues are not always political in nature, the show presents a nonpartisan stance on all of the topics discussed.
Weekly episodes consist of experts from Pew and other special guests discussing the numbers and trends shaping some of society’s biggest challenges.
The Pew Charitable Trusts have a commitment to evidence-based analysis that is more than evident. You can be certain that the facts and stories presented on this podcast have been heavily researched and vetted before getting to your ears.
Episodes take an in-depth look at topics like the future of learning and student loans. Each show is heavily produced and engineered to create a highly educational experience and leave you with knowledge you can implement immediately.
Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie
Ked Rudin was the political editor for NPR until 2013 when he left to start Ken Ridin’s Political Junkie.
“Each week, veteran political analyst Ken Rudin explores policy debates, campaign strategies and the newsmakers making it happen in Washington and in state capitols across the country. Politicians, journalists and experts of all stripes join Ken to share smart analysis and rich historical context behind the issues shaping our national dialogue today.”
Rudin also runs various contests for his listeners including ScuttleButton, a word puzzle that revolves around campaign buttons.
Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie is one of the best podcasts for politics if you are looking for a show that clearly relates the politics of today to the politics of yesterday.
Fun fact: During the 1960s, Rudin began collecting campaign buttons; he now has a collection of more than 70,000 campaign items.
FintechBeat is not your typical political podcast. This show focuses on the intersection of finance, tech, and policy and is a good place to turn if you are tired of hearing about Trump.
If you’re a finance geek like I am, this is the perfect show to get your political news from. From topics like the small business recession to open banking, finance nerds will not be disappointed.
Chris Brummer hosts FintechBeat and is a professor at Georgetown Law and world-renowned fintech expert. His knowledge in both the political and financial sectors supplies him with a novel lens with which to view current events.
FinTech beat is the best political podcast out there for those of us who want a side of politics with our fintech news.
Weekly episodes release on Monday and are typically 20 minutes in length.
Number nerds listen up, this political podcast is also for you. The Politics Podcast from FiveThirtyEight takes a numbers-first look at the current political happenings.
With new episodes once or twice a week, you’re still going to be hearing many of the same stories you would on The Daily but from a different perspective. By taking a more analytical approach you’re able to make your own conclusions based on what the data show.
FiveThirtyEight was created in 2008 by Nate Silver and originally served as a polling aggregation website. Over time the site became know for its analysis and politics and the podcast was created.
This is going to be the best podcast for politics for you if you are in search of reporting through numbers.
Best Podcast For Politics
Mike Pesca started The Gist in 2014 and has been the host ever since. This show marked the invention of the daily politics podcast.
Prior to starting The Gist, Mike served as a radio broadcaster for NPR and was featured multiple times on Morning Edition.
The format of the show and Mike’s defining qualities have done much to set the show apart from it’s competition. No other hosts sound like Pesca and no other shows move in the way The Gist does.
Each show starts with a witty intro, moves into a fast-paced interview with a guest, and finishes with the daily “spiel”. The Spiel is an intellectually-driven monologue that Mike uses to open up to the listener and give a brief look into the mind of the host.
Episodes typically go about 30 minutes and are perfect for the daily commute of most Americans.
All in all, the originality and novelty of The Gist make is a hands-down choice for the best podcast for politics.
Have some additions to our list or got some feedback you’d like for us to hear? If you want to talk to our team to pick our brains on this idea, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to check out our site, drop us an email or set up a call with one of our co-founders.
Rom is a podcasting specialist, ranking his show in the top 100 for all business podcasts in only his first 6 months since launching. He is also the co-founder of Podblade, creating an affordable yet professional editing solution for podcasters. When he isn’t working, you can find him watching his favorite soccer team (Tottenham Hotspur) in action.