Viewpoint

Viewpoint is a weekly political podcast focused on the November 2016 general election. Host Ashton Marra takes listeners inside the world of West Virginia politics with in-depth candidate interviews, analysis and the latest stories from the campaign trail. 

On a special episode on Viewpoint, the 2016 General Election results are in, but what do they mean for West Virginians today and into the future?

Conservative columnist Laurie Lin, of WVPB's The Front Porch, and West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy's Ted Boettner join host Ashton Marra to discuss the race for governor and the challenges Democrat Jim Justice will face, particularly with the budget, when he takes office in January. 

With just days left in the 2016 election cycle, more than 140,000 West Virginians have already cast their ballots, but the candidates at all levels are still working to get your vote.

Voters in 27 states will cast their ballots for state Supreme Court justices when they head to the polls in November. In West Virginia, voters made their choice for the high court in May, something new for the state this election cycle, but a study from the Brennan Center for Justice says there is something else that was noteworthy about what happened in that primary.  

Anne Li reports, researchers are looking to West Virginia to prove that outside money really can sway a race.

Energy and health care. They’re the two issues in the presidential race that could have the greatest impact on West Virginians.

On this week's Viewpoint, we look at where the Democrat Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on the two issues with a report from The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier and an interview with Kara Lofton, West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Appalachia Health New Coordinator. 

Jim Justice and Bill Cole
Tyler Evert / AP Photo

After an NPR investigation into Jim Justice’s business operations, the Democratic candidate for governor takes on Republican Bill Cole in the second West Virginia gubernatorial debate.

A leaked tape where Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump can be heard describing sexually assaulting women causes waves in West Virginia politics, but will either scandal swing the vote? 

Ann Ali, managing editor of the State Journal, and MetroNews Statewide Correspondent Brad McElhinney join us to discuss the race. 

On this episode of Viewpoint, West Virginia’s two major party candidates for governor squared off in their first of two televised debates Tuesday, focusing in on the state’s economic and budgetary issues.

Reaction to the candidates’ performances from the Chair of the West Virginia Republican Party Conrad Lucas and retiring Sen. Bill Laird, vice chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party.

Monday night marked the first presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle. Democrat Hillary Clinton joined Republican Donald Trump on the same stage for the first time, and the same is about to happen in a West Virginia.

Tuesday, Republican Bill Cole and Democrat Jim Justice will meet in Charleston for their first of two televised debates focused on the top issues facing West Virginia- a struggling economy, a high unemployment rate, and a less than effective education system, just to name a few.

Bill Cole sat down to discuss his debate preparations and his focus this election cycle- jobs.

This week on Viewpoint, a federal judge has ensured that 18 third-party candidates’ names will appear before voters on November’s general election ballot. Over the course of a week, those names were included, eliminated and then restored to the ballots because of two consecutive court rulings. 

Donald Trump is still working to raise money in West Virginia, this week sending his son to a joint national/state finance committee event. State Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas what Eric Trump told supporters in Charleston. 

On this week's episode of Viewpoint, host Ashton Marra talks presidential politics with West Virginia native Paige Lavender, senior politics editor with The Huffington Post

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Lavender discusses the Wednesday evening NBC forum where both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton appeared on the same stage, although separately, to discuss national security and their qualifications to be the next command-in-chief.

On Sept. 8, West Virginia Public Broadcasting is launching its newest venture in the world of podcasting: Viewpoint. 

The 2014 hour-long radio talk show is returning for the 2016 election cycle, but with a new format that allows listeners to take it with them and listen on their own time. 

The 2014 mid-term elections were significant not just for the national Republican Party, but for the state GOP as well. The party was able to gain control of all 4 Congressional seats on the ballot and flip both the West Virginia House and Senate. 

Congressman David McKinley's race for re-election has seen little noise from his Democratic challenger state Auditor Glen Gainer. In an earlier episode of Viewpoint, Gainer called his campaign a truly "grassroots effort," but McKinley doesn't seem threatened by the challenge.

  Congressman Nick Rahall's race against state Sen. Evan Jenkins has been focused on the declining coal industry in southern West Virginia.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant outlines her plan for West Virginia if elected to become the state's next U.S. Senator. 

We profile the Constitution Party's candidate for U.S. Senate Phil Hudok. 

Also, Jonathan Mattise of the Associated Press and Ben Fields of the Herald-Dispatch recap a debate between Rep. Nick Rahall and state Senator Evan Jenkins as they battle it out for the 3rd Congressional District.

The race in the 2nd Congressional District has gotten more and more ugly over the past few weeks as candidates dig in for the final push before Election Day. Democratic candidate Nick Casey talks about his view of the partisan politics in Washington and how he thinks he can make a change, as well as discusses the major issues facing the district.

When voters take to the polling place this November, they'll decide between five candidates vying for Sen. Jay Rockefeller's seat in the U.S. Senate. Most will recognize the names 'Tennant' and 'Capito,' but what about Baber, Buckley, and Hudok?

The three third party candidates for Senate, Bob Henry Baber of the Mountain Party, John Buckley of the Libertarian Party and Phil Hudok of the Constitution Party, talk about what they have to offer West Virginians when representing them at the federal level. 

State Auditor Glen Gainer says his campaign efforts in the 1st Congressional District are "grassroots" and he's working to reach out to the voter on a individual level instead of wasting precious campaign dollars on television advertising.

In our reporter roundtable, Misty Poe, managing editor of the Times West Virginian, says while that may be his focus, she's not seeing those grassroots efforts in the 1st District. Dave Boucher with the Charleston Daily Mail adds a statewide perspective to that race.

We profile Mountain Party candidate for U. S. Senate Bob Henry Baber who has run for political office in the past, and Dr. Neil Berch from West Virginia University discusses the political implications of Sen. Joe Manchin's vote not to send U. S. aid to Syrian rebels in their fight against ISIS.


'Political Junkie' host Ken Rudin discusses how West Virginia's Congressional races fit into the national picture and answers the question, do endorsements really matter? A study by the Pew Research Center says politics across the country don't fit into the simple "liberal" and "conservative" categories most Americans think they have to identify with. Instead, researcher Jocelyn Kiley lays out eight typologies and asks you to take their quiz. Libertarian Davy Jones is profiled and the week's latest in the reporter roundtable.   


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