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The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth


21 Episodes 2020 - 2020

Episode 1

Obligations and Opportunities

Sun, Jan 26, 2020 30 mins

A documentary about the 2016 presidential race, revealing the intense stories behind the headlines.

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Episode 2

Closing Arguments

Sun, Feb 2, 2020 30 mins

The focus is on the Iowa caucuses and the closing pitch all of the Democratic candidates are making to voters. Campaign leaders for the major candidates weigh in on their final sprints, what they're excited about and what is keeping them up at night. And even as his impeachment trial is underway in Washington, D.C., President Trump is scheduled to make an appearance at an Iowa rally, and "The Circus" will be there to cover it.

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Episode 3


Sun, Feb 9, 2020 30 mins

A look at the irregularities at the Democratic Iowa caucus that prevented the typical winnowing of candidates. Also: President Trump gives his State of the Union address and gets an acquittal on both articles of impeachment from the Senate.

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Episode 4

Unfinished Business

Sun, Feb 16, 2020 30 mins

A report on the New Hampshire primary focuses on the lead-up, the results and the fallout. With Bernie Sanders emerging as the favorite for the progressive branch of the Democratic party, and Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar making compelling cases for the moderates, electability arguments are solidifying now that actual votes are being cast and results are coming in. Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg is waiting in the wings, threatening to change everything.

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Episode 5

What Happens in Vegas

Sun, Feb 23, 2020 30 mins

All eyes have turned to Nevada and its Democratic caucus. Bernie Sanders has the chance to cement his frontrunner status with a strong showing, and the other candidates are looking for opportunities to challenge him. The arrival of Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage shakes things up, with every candidate seeking to take on his controversial campaign.

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Episode 6

On the Boil

Sun, Mar 1, 2020 30 mins

A report on the South Carolina Democratic primary and a look ahead to Super Tuesday, as voters decide if there is a viable challenger to leading candidate Bernie Sanders.

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Episode 7

Super Duper Tuesday

Sun, Mar 8, 2020 30 mins

A look at the results in the Democratic primaries.

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Episode 8

The Cruelest Month

Sun, Mar 15, 2020 30 mins

A look at Joe Biden's front-runner status for the Democratic presidential nomination after Super Tuesday. Also: a report on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on primary season, including canceled rallies and limited travel.

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Episode 9

The New Abnormal

Sun, Aug 16, 2020 30 mins

Analysis of Joe Biden's selection of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Cal.) as his running mate features advice from former vice-presidential candidates. Also: a look at the planning of history's first-ever virtual Democratic National Convention.

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Episode 10


Sun, Aug 23, 2020 30 mins

A recap of the first-ever virtual Democratic National Convention features analysis of strategy, speeches and media coverage, as well as the Trump campaign's counterprogramming attempts in Joe Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pa. Also: Hillary Clinton and guest contributor Jennifer Palmieri discuss Joe Biden's long road ahead as the Democratic nominee taking on President Trump.

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Episode 11

Party of One

Sun, Aug 30, 2020 30 mins

A look at the Republican National Convention features analysis of the presidential race, Donald Trump's appeal to swing voters and the Grand Old Party's embrace of a "law and order" response to national rallies against police brutality. Guests include White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

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Episode 12

Law and Disorder

Sun, Sep 6, 2020 30 mins

A report from Kenosha, Wis., the site of a week of civil unrest after the shooting of Jacob Blake, where President Trump attempted to redefine the struggle for racial justice into a political choice with his visit. Elsewhere, Joe Biden kicks off his campaign travel, facing the challenge of satisfying all wings of the Democratic party while condemning looting and violence; and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes talks to Alex Wagner about police reform and his state's response to protests.

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Episode 13

Going Postal

Sun, Sep 13, 2020 30 mins

A look at the controversy surrounding mail-in voting and its effects on the 2020 election includes an examination of the safeguards in place to ensure the security of people's votes, and conversations with a Colorado election clerk and the Philadelphia Postal Service Union President. Also: an interview with Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon, who discussess how strategy is adapting to guarantee voter turnout.

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Episode 14

Force Majeure

Sun, Sep 20, 2020 30 mins

An examination of the politicization of COVID-19 as the U.S. approaches 200,000 deaths. Included: interviews with Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer; Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders; and Republican political consultant Susie Wiles.

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Episode 15

Full Court Press

Sun, Sep 27, 2020 30 mins

A look at the legacy of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020) examines the political battlefield her death has created. Also: Republican strategist Charles Black analyzes conservatives' motives to fill her vacancy before the election; and former principal deputy solicitor general Neal Katyal and Demand Justice executive director Brian Fallon discuss the implications of rushing a successor.

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Episode 16

October Surprise

Sun, Oct 4, 2020 30 mins

A report on President Trump's positive test for COVID-19. Also: A recap of the first debate between Trump and former vice president Joe Biden features analysis of the incumbent's aggressive style from former state department adviser Philippe Reines, who was a member of Hillary Clinton's 2016 debate preparation team, and former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, as well as public reaction to the September 29 event in Cleveland.

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Episode 17

Crisis Mismanagement

Sun, Oct 11, 2020 30 mins

An update on President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis and all the inquiry surrounding his health, as well as the outbreak at the White House and among other government officials. Also: Alex Wagner talks with political commentator Kevin Madden about the White House's strategy in the days remaining until the election; John Heilemann sits down with members of The Lincoln Project following the vice-presidential debate.

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Episode 18

Steal This Election

Sun, Oct 18, 2020 30 mins

An examination of voting integrity, including issues concerning election day disputes, voter suppression and re-election rhetoric from the President, who is on the campaign trail despite his recent COVID-19 diagnosis. Also: Mark McKinnon interviews Texas ACLU legal director Andre Segura in Texas; Alex Wagner talks to a militia leader in Michigan about his view on the necessity of poll-watchers.

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Episode 19

End Games

Sun, Oct 25, 2020 30 mins

A report on the state of the 2020 race for the White House during the week leading up to the final Presidential Debate. Also: Barack Obama stumps in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania while Joe Biden hunkers down to prioritize his health and debate prep; former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden gives his outlook on the pandemic as COVID-19 cases continue to rise; political journalist David Wasserman provides a data-driven glimpse at the current state of the race.

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Episode 20


Sun, Nov 1, 2020 30 mins

A look at the battle for the White House and competitive red-state Senate races, including South Carolina, where Democratic nominee Jaime Harrison is threatening incumbent Republican Lindsey Graham's seat. Also: Journalist Nina Totenberg discusses the impact of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court appointment.

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Episode 21

Who The F*** Are We?

Sun, Nov 8, 2020 30 mins

A recap of an unhinged election season looks at how the 2020 race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden has evolved. With results permeating into the days following Election Day, the hosts are on the ground in key battleground states to analyze how the presidential race has played out. The Season 5 finale.

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