The Gist

Take Down the Poll

Campaign-funded opinion polls box lawmakers in on every little issue, argues historian Jill Lepore.

Sen. Lindsey Graham checks his phone in the parking lot prior to a campaign event in Summerville, South Carolina, on Feb. 17, 2016.

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

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On The Gist, after all of that, not a single senator changed his or her vote to back (or stop) Kavanaugh.

In the interview, Jill Lepore’s new book focuses in part on the marginalized groups forgotten by other American histories. It also denounces the polling industry born in the ’30s, which turned politics into business even as it ignored black Americans, slowing their march for civil rights. Lepore’s book is These Truths: A History of the United States.

In the Spiel, don’t forget that the political pendulum always swings back.

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Podcast production by Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder.