Charlie Bruce 0:01
From Thomas Jefferson's academical Village, this is academical. In our podcast we peek under the hood of the machine of public policy to see how things work. This week host Aiden Dowd interviews trade Ambassador CJ Mahoney on his role in the USMC a trade negotiations. Without further ado, here's our show.
Aidan Doud 0:22
Hi, everybody. Thanks for joining us. My name is Aiden Doud. And I'm one of your academical podcast co hosts. I'm a first year MPP student at baton on we're going to be talking about everything international trade policy. So Ambassador Mahoney is the former deputy United States Trade Representative for investment services, labor, environment, Africa and the Western Hemisphere. He then went on to clerk for Justice Kennedy in the Supreme Court and then as worked as an attorney for Williams and Connolly, Williams and Connolly, a firm in DC and as a lecturer at Yale Law, most recently at USTR, he was the lead negotiator for the United States, Mexico, Canada agreement usmca. The deal that the trade deal that replaced NAFTA, and actually passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives by a vote of 385 to 41, and the Senate by a vote of 89 to 10. So without further ado, joining me now, Ambassador CJ Mahoney.
All right, Ambassador Mahoney. I'm so glad you're here. You're the perfect person to discuss these topics with and I can't thank you enough for joining us on academical.
CJ Mahoney 1:25
Well, thanks so much, Aidan. Really glad to be here.
Aidan Doud 1:27
Yeah. So tell us a bit about your experiences and USTR. What was it like to serve as the representative of the US government and basically be involved in these high level conversations and trade negotiations.
CJ Mahoney 1:38
It was a fantastic experience, I came to the job not having first hand experience with international trade. I was actually, you know, selected for the job kind of Honestly, these opportunities come and come about by by happenstance, I had a mutual friend who was was good friends with Ambassador Lighthizer, we were put in touch after Ambassador Lighthizer was nominated. Bob's view was that it was important to staff USTR with good lawyers. And he was less concerned about the substance. He thought if he hired people who had good negotiating skills and good legal skills, that the substance was something that he could teach, or that could be learned. And hopefully, in my case that that worked out. And I came into USTR without, frankly, without a lot of strong views on these issues, really just wanting to have the opportunity to serve. And it was a very, very active somewhat a turbulent time in, in US trade policy with regard to China, the renegotiation of NAFTA, as well as a number of smaller deals that didn't get as much attention. But I think were very good for the United States opened up market access for for farmers and manufacturers and other businesses in the US. And so I'm, I'm very proud of my service.
Aidan Doud 2:57
Yeah. What were some of those smaller trade deals just since, you know, this is a good, you know, good outlet for people that honest and honestly don't hear a lot about these smaller things, because trade policy isn't, you know, such a glamorous sexy topic as many others.
CJ Mahoney 3:11
Why? I'm glad you asked that. Because aside from the USMCA and the deal with China, we're certainly the headline accomplishments of the Lighthizer USTR. But there were a number of other deals as well that were that were really pretty significant. We did a deal with Japan, that standing alone would be probably one of the most important trade agreements that the US has done in the last decade. It basically secured for the US most of the agricultural access that we would have if we had a proper free trade agreement with Japan, and also included a first class digital trade agreement that has very high standards and puts the US and Japan on the same page on on digital economy related issues. We did a small deal put important deal with the European Union, where we got the EU to eliminate its tariff on lobsters, which was something was that was really important to to lobster and men in Maine, who had seen a lot of their market in the EU be lost to Canadian lobsterman after Canada did a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. And so it turned out that these fish are these last straw men who fish in the same waters, the Canadians have an advantage because they didn't have to their exports didn't pay a tariff, which was you know something about something in the in the range of mid double digits. So it was a important thing. It was also we actually did reciprocal tariff reductions on our side. But you know, at the end of the day, working with allies, making progress on trade really requires substantive changes. And you know, what we did with Japan, Korea, the EU did result in substantive changes to to the trade trade regime, I think in ways that are good for the United States and confidence building in terms of, of all of those relationships going forward.
Aidan Doud 4:54
Yeah, so I noticed that you mentioned specifically the automobile and then digital industries nd then I noticed also, we'll talk about NAFTA and USMC in a minute. But that was a common, like a recurring theme between all these deals that those industries needed some reform, did you like feel that was the case coming into it that, you know, those were sectors to focus on?
CJ Mahoney 5:15
I think the auto industry is just absolutely critical for the United States. It's not only an iconic American industry, I think it's one that drives a lot of a lot of economic activity and supports a lot of for something like for every man, every line manufacturing job, there are three or four, I think, you know, some people would say upwards of 10 additional jobs that are created in the supply chain. And so I think it's really important that the US maintain a vibrant auto industry, every trade agreement has certain rules that say that for manufactured goods, a certain percentage of the content have to be manufactured within the region, when we got to a point where Mexico really wasn't assembly platform for auto manufacturers in Europe and Asia, who don't give the United States reciprocal market access. It was an assembly platform for them to be able to get their vehicles into the United States duty free. So I think it was an important thing that we did. And you know, it's a problem now will be an even bigger problem in the future. Because the way that NAFTA is rules were set up NAFTA was an Agreement that was negotiated in the early 1990s. So cars in the early 1990s, were the reference point for those rules. And now his his cars have changed. And especially as we're on the threshold of big advances in New Energy vehicles and autonomous vehicles, it was important that those rules be reformed and adapted, so that they serve the needs to leave the United States. But I think of the entire integrated North American supply chain in the future. So I was very proud of that. I think that that was that was, I think, a really important reform.
Aidan Doud 6:47
So what are your thoughts generally on the like early NAFTA, like the original NAFTA in the early 90s? What did you think it did? Well, what did it do wrong? And then what did USMCA change about it that you think was really important?
CJ Mahoney 6:58
I think that the differences between USMCA and NAFTA are, you know, every bit as big if not bigger than the difference between a car that was manufactured in, you know, in 1994, and a and a Tesla, both are cars, they both sort of fit in the same category. At its most basic level, what it does is to have mostly duty free trade between the three countries, but every provision of it was upgraded significantly. And, you know, in some of these areas, there were there were things that were done that were that were we started with just I think, very, very different goals, the auto rules of origin being being the most important being the most important one, we wanted to come up with a set of rules that would rebalance the auto trade in North America to encourage more jobs, not only in the region, but specifically in the United States. In addition to having this tighter Rules of Origin and higher regional content requirements, we also had a provision that says that 40% of a car and 45% of a truck have to be made by workers who make at least $16 an hour. And so that's something that's going to encourage more investment in the United States. And again, so he just sort of puts a floor on wage competition, which I think is a reasonable thing to do. I mean, you know, there are some people who say, Well, that's managed trade, and you're, you know, interfering with with the hidden hand. But the but the labor conditions in Mexico generally don't have anything to do with, with with Adam Smith, they really have to do with, you know, a political situation down there that needed reforming. And over the years, that's one of the things that has resulted in wages that are artificially low. So having a mechanism that encourages the discourages competition on something like wages, I think is, I think, is really important. The other thing that we had is a as a sunset provision in the agreement, which, you know, I think, ultimately is going to be something that helps to keep this relationship between Mexico and Canada, the United States strong and refresh, because what it says is that there's a term on the agreement of 16 years, but that every six years, there will be a review to determine whether to extend the agreement out for another 16 years. And so what that means is that you have a you'll have an opportunity to make some of the revisions that frankly, I think I think we should have made to the original NAFTA. Well, before the Trump administration,
Aidan Doud 9:12
A lot of progressive lawmakers or interest groups in the United States have said in the past that USMCA did not do enough. What is your response? Do you do you think it did enough?
CJ Mahoney 9:22
This is the only trade agreement that received the endorsement of the steelworkers the AFL CIO, Teamsters. You can't turn turn the situation in Mexico around overnight. And you know, there are certain things I mean, Mexico is will remain it remains a sovereign country, it needs to regulate these issues in its own way.
Aidan Doud 9:43
What would you say you're most proud of with your time of us and USTR and what were some things you would have done differently as well?
CJ Mahoney 9:50
By far the thing I'm most I'm most proud of is USMCA proud not only with the agreement that we're able to strike, but probably even more more so than even the substance of the agreed but I'm really proud proud that we were able to get strong bipartisan support for the agreement in Congress. And, you know, we did that the year before a presidential election in a time that was, you know, otherwise very fraught. I think that the the, the Trump administration deserves credit for USMCA I think it deserves credit for changing the conversation about trade with, with China and forcing the country to recognize that, you know, the relationship that changed was different than it was in certainly after that, in some of the hopes that people had about China, when trying to join the WTO weren't fulfilled, exactly. China has an economy, which is, you know, driven in large part, it's by the state, there's a lot of dynamic capitalism there as well. But it's not, but it's supported by, by state subsidies and, and some barriers to trade, that make it difficult for other countries to, to have as much market access into China, as China has into other countries. And it results in big macro economic distortions. You know, my own preferred policy is one that focuses less on trying to change China and more done trying to make the us more competitive. But I certainly don't want an adversarial relationship with China. But I think, you know, the assumptions that underlay the relationship that we have with China before 2017, were needed to be re evaluated, and we need to have, we need to have a new relationship going forward. That doesn't mean that we need to be in an adversarial relationship, but it doesn't mean that the US needs to, you know, recalibrate the policies that we have, and what we want out of the relationship.
Aidan Doud 11:41
Thanks for engaging with all these pretty deep questions. And you know, really substantive things about politics, trade, all of that good stuff that everybody hopefully learned a lot about. I also have a few more interesting fun questions. You know, talk about something different. So what's something about the life and job of a trade representative or a diplomat like yourself that most people don't know?
CJ Mahoney 12:03
I think you really, you find yourself really being as much of a mediator as you do a negotiator because there are a lot of just different interests that you have to accommodate, you know, we were thinking about, how's the Congress gonna react to this, how's labor community going to react to it as a business community, and then the foreign country you're you're negotiating with, so it's really about kind of trying to come up with a solution that works for everybody, as opposed to just trying to get your own. Pursue your own your own policy preferences. It's a it is though, it's, it's also a job, that is a lot of fun, in that you work with really, really great people and the people, USTR, the career staff, in particular, were fantastic, I can only hope that everybody has the opportunity to work with work with somebody, and work under somebody like Ambassador Lighthizer, who, you know, for me was just an absolute, you know, inspiration, not only in, you know, in how he conducted himself professionally, but also in his in his personal life and in his, in his personal values and how he treated people. I mean, he's just, you know, there's just, it just doesn't get any better in, in, in my book, and, and those things are, you know, when you're dealing with people in you know, stressful situations where a lot at stake, I think you really, you really learn about somebody's character. And you know, those are those are great experiences to have, even if even if they do take a few years off your life.
Aidan Doud 13:21
What would you say is an important leadership lesson that Ambassador Lighthizer somebody on that you've worked with has taught you,
CJ Mahoney 13:27
It's really important to listen, a lot of people who are, you know, hard charging, and, you know, get to these positions get to them, because they are confident in expressing their opinion and like to hear them like to hear themselves speak. Yeah, but you really learn a lot more and you can make better decisions, you actually sit back and listen and really kind of sit back and try to figure out, you know, what is it that's really motivating this person? What is their what is their bottom line? Another way to express that is that, you know, empathy, I think it's just, it's just really, really important. If you have the ability to kind of step back and reflect on those things. I think you can make better decisions, I think you can make more progress. And so, you know, that's something that it's hard to do, especially in the heat of the moment. Sometimes, you know, emotion, things can get very, you know, very emotional and temperatures can be raised. But if you can step back and do that, I think you'll I think you'll be more effective and I think that's a really important and perhaps underappreciated quality in a good leader.
Aidan Doud 14:20
Many thanks to Ambassador CJ Mahoney for speaking with us about USMCA. If you have any questions, comments or guest suggestions, you can email them to us at Virginia policy. email@example.com See you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Welcome, everyone. My name is Connor Eads.
This is Gary Christensen
And we're both first year MPP students at UVA is Frank Batten School of leadership and public policy. Today we have the distinct pleasure of having the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections. Chris Piper here with us today. Thank you for being here with us. So Commissioner Piper holds a BA in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. He began his career in elections and governance ethics as a manager of a large trade association’s federal PAC, before leading the Virginia State Board of Elections campaign finance division. He then served as a political compliance consultant, before he returned to the State Department of Elections to manage the Election Services Division. In 2014, he became the Commonwealth's first executive director of the Virginia conflict of interest and ethics Advisory Council. And today, Commissioner Piper leads the Department of Elections as its Commissioner, it is Virginia's finest hour as it's wrapping up with the general election. So when you came on, as commissioner, you really started with an anomaly over in Newport News with being declared a winner through a drawing. But so with your extensive background with elections, how did you really start your career in public service and servant leadership, and how did you get into elections?
I grew up outside of DC, so national politics is local politics. My grandparents really did not like Ronald Reagan. And I'll never forget, watching the election returns and the news on 1984’s election. And my mom said to me, she said, Don't tell your grandparents, but I voted for Reagan. And to me that was like, Wow, this this politics thing, this could tear our family apart. In 1992, when MTV still mostly played music, they did a big, big thing called Rock the Vote, which is obviously still around. I just remember the message that resonated with me in that election was if you don't vote, you don't have a right to complain. And that just sat with me. And so I got out of college, and moved up to DC and got some work as actually just stuffing copiers full of paper in at C span, believe it or not. And one of my first assignments was McCain Feingold, which was the big campaign finance regulation bill I worked on and became fascinated with political action committees, and campaign finance in general. And then as it turned out, what was then just the state board of elections was hiring, for campaign finance, work and and I just came in that way. And then I knew immediately that this is where I was going to make my bread and butter, that elections were just.. I was so passionate about it. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
We often talk about the nationalization of all politics, right, and people keep getting out of touch more and more with their local and state level politics. So if you know, I think a lot of people being out of touch, don't really understand, especially in our generation, kind of the nuances there. So if you could kind of walk us through and flesh out how this election, or generally how elections work between the local level and the state level. You know, what's the level of autonomy that local election officials have and just kind of flesh that out for us so we have a better idea.
There is no overarching federal election oversight, the vast majority of states manage elections at the state level, but then they have localities that are managing their local elections. Here in Virginia, the governor appoints the commissioner. So that's that's me. And I work at the will of the governor. So the Department of Elections, which is what I oversee, we're in charge of the uniformity of applicable election laws. Why is that so important? There's 133 localities, counties and cities in Virginia. Why is uniformity important? Well, when you have 133, local general registrar's and electoral board members, they've all got to be doing the same thing the same way, essentially. And so I like to think of our job, to simplify it, it's like McDonald's. Why is McDonald's so successful? McDonald's is successful, because if I go to McDonald's here in Richmond, and get a Big Mac, I expect that Big Mac to taste a certain way. If I drive out to visit you guys in Charlottesville, I'm going to order a Big Mac, and it's gonna taste exactly like the one I had in Richmond, and there shouldn't be any difference. We're all getting the same thing overall. So we want to make sure, our job is to make sure that whether you're voting in Charlottesville or Scott County, or down in Danville, or Northern Virginia, that you're being treated the same, that you have equal access to the ballot as everybody else that's eligible to vote.
There's something you said in that answer that stuck out to me that I had never realized. You mentioned that you were appointed by the governor, who's the Democrat. And, you know, today's climate of hyperpolarization, and distrust. How do you go about instilling that trust, especially nowadays, since last November?
I will say that, you know, the relationship between the state and the localities, when it comes to elections, is stronger than it's ever been. And we really work hard to cultivate that partnership. Because we all rely on each other. Elections and policies surrounding elections are political. What I'll tell you is what I know for sure. This governor has allowed me to run this office, completely nonpartisan. And and we work. We work every day to ensure just as I said, I don't care if you're Republican, or Democrat, or you know, independent green, you should have equal access to the ballot, you should have equal access to the polls. And so I would say especially, I mean, throughout the country, this was so disheartening, and so actually heartbreaking about the conversations that are happening out there, we've seen election officials who are just so passionate about their work, that are so concerned about making sure that everybody gets that chance to vote, and then to have physical threats against some of them. You know, it's just, it breaks your heart, because these people don't get in this job, because it's, you're gonna get rich, you're doing this job, because it matters to you and you want, you want to see people vote at the end of the day.
And I really want to focus on how valuable that is, your department is safeguarding this process that allows for both parties to have that equal footing to really voice their perspectives and their views. You have to have this uniformity to not compromise that consistency for the voter, because I feel like once you lose that you're opening Pandora's box for a lot of different things. I think that kind of leads up to my question. And so 2020 was a huge year. I think the presidential election was kind of, you know, running side by side with a pandemic. Like you said, it forced a lot of people to pivot with, with the election. And, I feel like a lot of events compromised some people's values in the system. And, you know, with us going right into the election, do you think that there any remnants from last year's election that has compromised voters integrity of our system?
We haven't done a good job of explaining how much work goes into putting on elections, but I'll put it to you like this. People who work in emergency management, we don't ask them what they're doing when there's not a hurricane, right? We don't ask them what they're doing when there's not an emergency. Because we know what they're doing? They're preparing for the next emergency. That's what I do. That's what your registrar's are doing. All the time. We're preparing, we're preventing and we're recovering. There's an MIT study, it shows cases of fraud compared to the number of ballots actually cast were like 0.00006% of fraud cases. Fraud that happens, we catch. We catch it because the system is so so set up and designed so that you can't break the law. Or we'll catch you. And I don't want to sit here and say that fraud doesn't happen. Fraud does happen. Just like we have speed limit laws and people still speed, right? People are going to try and buck the system. It's just the way the world works. But we have such a strong system in place to prevent that kind of thing from happening. And certainly 100%, I can guarantee you that there's no such thing as widespread fraud in elections. There are too many people involved. Think about what I just said, you have 58 members of my staff plus some contractors, you have 133 General registrars 499 electoral board members, and then they hire about I think it's 11 or 12,000 now, election officers that work in the polling places during election day and in the lead up to election day. To be able to commit widespread fraud, you're gonna need a lot of work. I don't even think the mafia could pull it off. It's just not possible.
I think a lot of people who haven't worked in government don't realize how incredibly impossible some of these conspiracy theories would be given how many actors have to be involved, and how, as someone who's working, everyone probably knows, it's probably pretty hard to get everyone on the same page just for regular things sometimes, let alone this deep conspiracy to get it all done.
We focus on a lot of the challenges, but so what are some of the pivotal things that that the department has changed since since you know, the over the past couple years before COVID? Were there any things that was at least a catalyst for good for the department actions for elections? Moving forward?
Yeah, we went from a horse and carriage to a Tesla, just in the last 10 years, we went from 100% of our applications filed for registration filed on paper to 96% of applications are filed online, or electronically in some form or fashion, it used to be that you would go to the DMV and they'd print out an application for you, and you'd have to mail it in or they would send it to us. But now you can do that on the credit card, which you can register to vote on a credit card machine sitting in front of the DMV. Then in 2016, we instituted online absentee ballot requests, so you can request an absentee ballot online now. We have one of the longest early voting cycles in the country, where you can you can vote early for 45 days, up until two days before the elect- the Saturday before the election. So I think the biggest thing that we've been able to do is provide just continuing to provide more access to the ballot for folks. 13 hours, some people can't get there. And you know, on Tuesday, they have jobs, they have lives, and it's hard for them to get that accomplished.
Most of our listeners, as you can imagine, are Virginia residents. A lot of them are UVA students. So if there's any, you know, singular message that you just want to say to our listeners about the upcoming election, what would you say?
I really want to talk to college students. I mean, not enough of you come out and vote and really, you know, you guys have an important voice. And you started Connor, the podcast with the Shelly Simon's and Yancey race. We've always been fond of saying, yeah, I’ve administered an election that came down to one vote. This came down to picking a name out of a bowl, because it was a tie vote. So for anybody to say that your vote doesn't matter. Come on. I mean, it does. And the last thing I would say just like in every election, we pay so much attention to the top of the ticket. We had 74% turnout in the presidential election.We may not make 50% this year, we didn't in 2017. And that's so frustrating and sad. And I'll say it because people don't realize how much these House of Delegates races have an impact on your day to day life. Way more impact than the presidency. When the President makes a decision. Yes, we all see it. It's covered in the national news. But your day to day life is way more impacted by the governor's race. But more importantly, even the House of Delegates. You guys don't realize when you're complaining about that pothole that nearly took your tire out, that's your local government. When you're upset that they need to put a light in this intersection because people are getting run over. The President isn't going to come into Charlottesville and say, build a bike lane here. That's gonna happen at your city council. That's what's really, really critical.
What are some lessons that you wish you had known when you were getting into your line of work? Is there anything really our listeners who look to getting involved in election policy should know?
Ah, think about what you say. Before you say it, the impact of your words are bigger than you know. So be thoughtful about the way you speak. You need to really think through everything you say in a leadership role. Find a job that you're passionate about. I've taken a job for money. It sucked. It wasn’t wasn't worth my time. I was less happy in the job for money than I've ever been in any other job. If you're not passionate about the work you do then it's not going to serve you.
So obviously we have this the citizen portal on the Department of Washington's website, if you need to check out other information. Is there anything else other resources that Virginians can be using prior to coming up for November 2?
Well, you said it vote.virginia.gov. Check Your Registration Status, know where you can vote. On election day, polls are open at 6am. They close at 7pm. And please, for the love of all that's holy, it probably is going to be a very close race. Now we've ironed out the way we report results. Election Night results are not the official results. The results will not be official until November 15, at 1pm, when the state board will meet to certify the results. That's important to understand because the numbers can and do change. This is still a human process. And that's why we built into the process, a very thorough review of election night results to correct any errors. All of that is open and transparent in public meetings. So just remember, you may go to bed at night and see some results. That doesn't mean that those numbers might not change just a little bit here and there.
Commissioner Piper, we appreciate your work and thank you so much for being here.
Glad to be here guys. Have a great week.
That was our interview with Commissioner Piper. It was a really interesting interview, I really enjoyed talking with him. He had such good insight. I think generally speaking, most American citizens don't have a really good understanding of everything that goes into elections. And I think what stood out to me is how seriously he takes it, how passionate he is about it. This is his whole career, this is his whole work. He's not taking anything with security or integrity with this lightly, you know, and I think that's something that a lot of people need to hear.
Yeah, I know, I think he really brought it home for us and made it apply to really what we see every day. I mean, using the metaphor going from a horse and buggy to a Tesla. I mean, that's a lot to unpack just for where the department is going. I mean, he is talking about maybe going into blockchain for voting. That's exciting stuff. I mean, but even then, with what he spoke with going into fraud, I mean, like, wasn't an MIT study, just really interesting for how flow over threshold fraud actually happens in the Commonwealth?
Yeah, and I think this is what exactly people needed to hear as well, especially after last year, obviously, there's a lot of controversy with the presidential election. He mentioned in the interview, that he believes that election boards and election commissioners don't historically do a good enough job of explaining how elections work to people. He said, we've always been comfortable being in the background in people just trusting that we're doing your job. And now it's been brought to the forefront. And there's a lot more explaining and transparency that's required, so that people can learn to trust the system. But Connor tell us a little bit about the election and what’s going on.
So election a tomorrow. So the main thing that you need to be doing is hey, go to vote.elections.virginia.gov forward slash citizen portal, Commissioner Piper spoke about you got to go and check out where your polling places What are the hours of operations. So, you know, the gubernatorial race is really in the finest hour we have McAuliffe and young can really battling it out for the governor's mansion. And really what the polls mean for these past couple months, I mean, you're going from six to eight points in August down to really within the margin of error, you're within two to three points of a difference. And historically, just for Biden's election, he won Virginia by 10 points, double digit. So this is really close.
That is a great point, Biden winning the state by 10 points and then seeing that we basically have a dead even tie as far as the polls go for the governor election is really telling and I think that's why the whole nation is watching here. I mean, for you know, Virginia has always been seen as a bit of a bellwether for the nation. And before the, you know, midterm elections, halfway through Biden's administration, this is going to be the first signal we get of people's attitudes.
If you think about it, like what makes us more important, like, oh, Virginia swung blue back in 2019? So you look at Vermont, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, each of these states respectively, have Democrat run legislators, but they have a Republican governor. However, historically, Virginia is a state that is reluctant to elect the same party that's in the president's office, you know, from Wilder, 1989 to Northam in 2017. Over the past three decades, in eight elections, only one governor aligns with the President's party. Coincidentally, that was Terry McAuliffe back in President Obama's second term. The trend really here is that the midterm really holds that pulse check to how the Commonwealth is reacting to the current administration. So it's really interesting to see how this can swing with this trend in a purple state like Virginia and the rest of the country, we'll be watching to see what the reaction is to President Biden's administration like it really is about whether with what you said look at Governor Northam Zola 2017 election during the Trump presidency. Northam won by 8.6 points when Trump's approval ratings were between 45 and 35%. With Pew Research Center, Gallup 538, all having Biden's approval rating between 44 and 43%. As of September that binds approval rating might play a role in this upcoming election. So like we said, go go to the polls tomorrow, Tuesday, November 2.
And for all of our new listeners to the Academical podcast, we'd love to get your feedback. So please send us an email. Let us know what you think. And we would love to hear from you.
This is academical. This is Connor Eads.
This is Gary Christensen.
We'll see you in the next episode.