Watch Live: Chvrches, Bombino, Lucius And More At The SXSW Radio Day Stage

Watch public radio favorites Jack Garratt, Chvrches, The Heavy, Bombino, Lucius and Hinds perform live at the SXSW Radio Day Stage. The show is streaming on VuHaus, a new website that publishes studio sessions and concerts from public radio stations around the country.

Special thanks to the public radio stations who curated today’s lineup: The Current, WXPN, The Bridge, KUTX, KDHX, KXT, Mountain Stage, opbmusic, KEXP, WFUV and KCRW.


Jack Garratt

1 p.m. ET

BBC Music named the British pop singer its “Sound Of” artist for 2016 — an honor bestowed in previous years on artists like Adele and Sam Smith. Garratt performs at SXSW on the heels of the release of his debut album, Phase.

Chvrches

2 p.m. ET

The Scottish trio’s infectious synth-pop is helmed by singer Lauren Mayberry, whose sweet, clear vocals belie fiercely defiant lyrics. The Glaswegians released Every Open Eye last fall. Watch Chvrches perform “Leave A Trace” for The Current.

The Heavy

3 p.m. ET

The Heavy hails from Bath, England, boasting an affinity for vintage soul and psychedelic funk. The band’s new album, Hurt & The Merciless, comes out April 1. Watch The Heavy perform “Good Man” for KUTX via VuHaus.

Bombino

4 p.m. ET

The Niger-born Tuareg guitarist found a worldwide audience for his brand of desert blues-rock with the Dan Auerbach-produced album Nomad. His follow-up, Azel, is due April 1. Watch Bombino play “Tar Hani” at WXPN’s XPoNential Festival via VuHaus.

Lucius

5 p.m. ET

Beloved for their powerful unison singing over catchy pop songs (along with their propensity for matching outfits), Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe just released their second album, Good Grief. Watch Lucius perform “Born Again Teen” for WXPN via VuHaus.

Hinds

6 p.m. ET

Ana Perrote, Carlotta Cosials, Ade Martín and Amber Grimbergen make up the charismatic Madrid garage-pop band, which put out its debut full-length record, Leave Me Alone, in January. Watch Hinds perform “Fat Calmed Kiddos” for KEXP via VuHaus.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Hamilton'

Marquis de Lafayette (Daveed Diggs), Hercules Mulligan (Okieriete Onaodowan), John Laurens (Anthony Ramos), and Alexander Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) in the acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton.
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Marquis de Lafayette (Daveed Diggs), Hercules Mulligan (Okieriete Onaodowan), John Laurens (Anthony Ramos), and Alexander Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) in the acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton. Joan Marcus/Sam Rudy Media Relations hide caption

toggle caption Joan Marcus/Sam Rudy Media Relations

Sometimes, it takes a while to bring a show into being, but we feel like this one was worth the wait. This is the week we get real super nerdy about music, theater, enthusiasm, hashtags, dancing, just … lots of everything.

Last fall, when our treasured regular panelist Gene Demby started listening to the Hamilton cast album after it showed up over at NPR Music as a First Listen, he started saying things like this.

@PhenomenaLi__ yeah. at the risk of being too effusive, i sort of get why musical people like musicals if this is a feeling they get often.

— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215) September 30, 2015

And at some point, we decided we needed to go to Hamilton, and we needed to go with Gene. And months and months later, in the first week of March, we made it happen. This is the week we finally get to bring you the conversations I’ve been trying to bring you for almost six months. Hooray!

The first segment is about the show itself: we talk about influences both inside and outside the world of Broadway, we play some Sondheim and some Cole Porter, we talk about jazz hands and Bugs Bunny, and we break the news to you that yes, this particularly heavily hyped thing is just as good as the hype suggests it is. Here’s the list of references I talk about one point (there are many, many other similar pieces around), and here’s the episode of Another Round that Gene references.

The second segment is about the show as a phenomenon and what it’s doing to all of us. We talk about the tremendous social-media meme-ing of it, and how we feel about the overload that many of us have felt and are feeling, and Gene takes a moment to ponder what might have happened if he’d obeyed a different instinct than the one he did.

A couple of things you should know: I’m so sorry we didn’t have at the tip of our tongues the name of Alysha Deslorieux, the fantastic performer we saw as Angelica. We were falling all over ourselves to talk about how great she was and didn’t pause to Google her. I apologize; she was tremendous. That’s what we meant to get across. See also: Javier Munoz, whom we referred to (he generally does Alexander Hamilton one performance a week) but didn’t name. (And best thoughts, sir.)

And also: even more than usual, we owe this show to our fabulous producer, Jessica Reedy, who is responsible for most of the interplay between the conversation and the music posts, and who also was the one who wrangled the tickets. So this is very much Jessica’s baby, even though you won’t hear her voice.

And also also: Thanks to Stephen for hosting. I promise, I don’t sound so creaky anymore. Maybe 5 percent creaky. But almost not creaky at all!

I want to say a couple things about Hamilton. The tickets are both largely unavailable and very expensive even if you can get them, which (and Miranda talks about this on Another Round, too) is a really hard thing to change about live theater. They’re small shows, really, and they only happen so often, and if demand gets high enough … well. It’s a tough thing to entirely undo. Because I knew we were going, I didn’t listen to the cast album before we went, but honestly, most people aren’t going to see this cast in this show in this theater before they break up and new casts and tours and other things happen.

It’s really important to recognize, I think, that this is not a series of concerts, where the live performances — these specific ones — are the only thing. Hamilton is a feat of authorship, just like Company or The Pirates Of Penzance or South Pacific or Rent or Anything Goes or whatever, and it’s going to exist in a zillion forms. It’s going to be performed and revived and re-revived and done in schools and done locally, and it’s going to be done well and done badly, and individual songs will be covered on people’s albums, and there will probably be a movie someday, which lots of people will hate. There will be disputes over who can play Hamilton, who can play Burr, who can play Angelica.

There will be intense conversations related to particular productions about rap experience and theater experience, many of which will carry problematic and gross undertones and teach people things and make them fight, and this show is going to keep vexing and challenging a certain subsection of theater people in this wonderful way. There will be boys (and girls too, but I’m going to guess especially boys) who have never done theater or even thought about doing theater who suddenly want to do it because of this, and one of them will write a show in 20 years that will draw its own crowds. God willing, Old Man Miranda is going to get his Kennedy Center Honors and his EGOT (that’s actually probably going to be, like, soonish) and his next show will put him and everybody else in the position of realizing it cannot be this again because nothing by anybody can be, quite, this again.

It’s not just this thing, like a production you go stare at and go home or else press your nose up against the glass wishing you could get into. It’s a really important piece of writing, and it’s going to be around a lot longer than these crazy lines and lotteries and YouTube videos and memes and hashtags. It’s a piece of theater by an enormously important American composer, and it’s out in the world, and I promise, if you’re open to it, it will get to you as a composition, whether or not it gets to you as a hot-ticket Broadway show.

We close, as always, with what’s making us happy this week. I’m happy about a clip from late-night that you might enjoy if this week’s theater theme was up your alley. Glen is happy about a couple of events he’s got celebrating the release of his new book The Caped Crusade: Batman And The Rise Of Nerd Culture yaaaaaaay which you can find out more about by following him on Twitter. (March 22 in Brooklyn with Alexander Chee! March 29 with me in D.C.!) He’s also happy about the meetup we recently had where he got oodles of podcast recommendations, including one he wants to share with you. Gene is happy about the return of a favorite show and an oral history that hit home(town) for him. Stephen, who is as I write this finding Austin exhausting, is happy about a winner. As he should be.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Glen, Gene, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus Mike.

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Seniors Face Higher Drug Costs As Coinsurance Becomes More Common

Fanatic Studio/Collection Mix: Sub/Getty Images

Fanatic Studio/Collection Mix: Sub/Getty Images

Medicare beneficiaries may get dinged with higher prescription drug bills this year because more than half of covered drugs in standalone plans require them to pay a percentage of the cost rather than a flat fee, an analysis from consulting group Avalere Health says.

Fifty-eight percent of covered drugs in Part D drug plans in 2016 are subject to this so-called coinsurance, the Avalere analysis found. That means patients are on the hook for a percentage of the costs, which can be much higher than a traditional copay, which is flat. If a drug costs $200, instead of making a $20 copayment, they may owe 20 percent of the cost, or $40.

The percentage of drugs requiring coinsurance has climbed steadily, increasing from 35 percent in 2014 to 45 percent last year. That percentage is approaching two-thirds of all covered drugs.

More coinsurance makes beneficiaries’ drug costs less predictable, said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at Avalere. It may also result in fewer affordable options if patients can’t achieve any savings by substituting drugs in the same therapeutic class, she said. The shift toward coinsurance also means that Medicare beneficiaries will have to rely to a greater extent on cost-estimating tools like the Medicare plan finder to figure out how much they may owe out of pocket.

Medicare Part D plans typically divide drugs into five tiers with different levels of cost sharing. In the past, coinsurance may have been limited to high-cost specialty drugs, but that’s changing. Last year, about two-thirds of people in drug plans faced coinsurance in more than one drug tier; this year the figure is 96 percent, according to Avalere.

Medicare Advantage managed care plans aren’t shifting to coinsurance to the same degree as the standalone drugs plans that accompany traditional Medicare coverage, the analysis found. In 2016, 26 percent of covered drugs in Medicare Advantage plans required coinsurance.

“On the Medicare Advantage side, the premium includes both medical and drug benefits, and the drug piece is smaller,” so the incentive to tightly manage drug costs may be lower in Medicare Advantage plans, Pearson said.

Please contact Kaiser Health News to send comments or ideas for future topics for the Insuring Your Health column.

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Yale Notches Historic Upset Win Over Baylor, Sparking A Great Soundbite

Taurean Prince (left) of the Baylor Bears explained rebounding after his team lost to Brandon Sherrod (right) of the Yale Bulldogs Thursday night, in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Taurean Prince (left) of the Baylor Bears explained rebounding after his team lost to Brandon Sherrod (right) of the Yale Bulldogs Thursday night, in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Jim Rogash/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Extending a long-awaited trip to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, No. 12 seed Yale upset fifth-seed Baylor in the West region Friday night. Yale notched its first-ever win at the Big Dance, 79-75, relying on strong defense and rebounding.

The historic win comes at the Yale Bulldogs’ first trip to the NCAAs since 1962, as Yale’s student newspaper reports. The paper adds, “The Ivy League’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid has now resulted in five wins over the past seven tournaments.”

Yale moves on to face Duke in the second round – but at the post-game news conference last night, one reporter’s question about rebounding created a memorable moment, as Baylor star Taurean Prince delivered an answer that’s being praised for exemplifying both straightforward simplicity and deadpan sarcasm.

Taurean Prince had the BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER when asked how Yale out-rebounded Baylor. ?

A video posted by CBS Sports (@cbssports) on Mar 17, 2016 at 4:07pm PDT

After a reporter asked, “How does Yale outrebound Baylor?” Prince patiently explained:

“Um, you go up and grab the ball off the rim when it comes off. And then you grab it with two hands, and you come down with it, and that’s considered a rebound. So, they got more of those than we did.”

We’ll note that Prince, who scored 28 points in the game, did not mention the time-honored practice of using one’s body to establish position around the basket – the “boxing out” of one’s opponents, as he might have said. Yale outrebounded Baylor, 35-30.

Yale’s Bulldogs weren’t the only No. 12 seed to score an upset Thursday: The University of Arkansas Little Rock Trojans erased an imposing Purdue lead in the second half to shock the Boilermakers in double overtime, 85-83.

That win brought its own historic citations. As the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports, it is UALR’s “second NCAA Tournament victory and first in 30 years. It came after being down 14 points with four minutes left and by four points with 33 seconds left.”

The Trojans will now prepare to play the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday.

For Yale, Friday’s win brought welcome relief from the off-court controversy surrounding former captain Jack Montague, who attended the game — and who’s planning a lawsuit against the university over his expulsion that came after sexual assault allegations were made against him.

Yale’s win wasn’t as welcome for many basketball fans who filled out tournament brackets. After the game, CBS Sports said that fewer than 6 percent of brackets filed with the network remain perfect.

With March Madness now in full swing, millions of Americans will spend this weekend ignoring weather reports, tax deadlines and the U.S. election season to focus on college basketball. The NCAA lists the schedules for the men’s and women’s tournaments.

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South X Lullaby: Maren Morris

March 18, 201610:30 AM ET

On a flight of mottled concrete steps by Waller Creek in Austin, Maren Morris flipped the break-up song on its head. Born in Texas, she moved to Nashville to be a songwriter, and her southern roots and songwriter’s sensibility shone brightly, even in the dimming Austin night. “I Wish I Was” holds within it a pop songwriting trifecta — a powerful, identity-based thematic hook, a catchy chorus and an easy, soulful voice to deliver it all. Morris sings as the heartbreaker, letting her lover down as easily as she can and feeling regret not of a missing love but of missed expectations. For a singer who is primed to make it big in popular country radio, Morris’ music strips down awfully nicely. Songs like “I Wish I Was” already make it amply clear that she’s far more than her first hit, “My Church.” Whether compressed through your car radio speakers or drifting over Waller Creek, Morris’ voice rings true.

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Songs We Love: Babymetal, 'Karate'

Metal Resistance (RAL 2016)
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Metal is not supposed to be cute, and yet we have a coffee table book of metalheads posing with their cats, Metallica songs rendered as lullabies and, well … Metallica onesies. So when in 2014, three defiantly cute Japanese girls entered the scene playing ebullient J-pop backed by heavy metal, there was no shortage of Internet metal nerd rage, despite the genre’s long history of gimmicks and theatrics. Yet there was also an extremely vocal and passionate group of fans taken by the sheer ridiculousness of Babymetal, genuinely swept up in what the hardened music has long lacked: unabashed fun.

Metal Resistance (RAL 2016) Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Fast-forward two years: Babymetal’s new album Metal Resistance is a wildly mature and fascinating record for a band originally put together by a talent agency. The bombast of power metal remains its core, but elements of ambient and trance music, not to mention traditional J-pop balladry, are tastefully woven into the black tulles of its members, Su-metal (Suzuka Nakamoto), Yuimetal (Yui Mizuno) and Moametal (Moa Kikuchi). The lead single “Karate” is a reminder of what Babymetal does best, and perhaps, what it’s even doing better than before. The glitched groove that anchors the song is straight out of the playbook of modern American metalcore, a subgenre given to its own simplistic signifiers, yet played here with remarkable restraint; and the heartfelt chorus shows a stronger alliance with J-pop melody. The song is immediately catchy and grandiose, delivered with an emotional vocal performance by Su-metal that recalls Evanescence’s Amy Lee.

Where past music videos have played up the presumed silliness of three Japanese girls flashing devil horns and doing coordinated dance moves to heavy riffage, the stark and stylish visuals for “Karate” reflect a more dramatic tone. Backed by a band now clad in deep purple and black warrior gear, the trio battles with martial arts masters and ghosts in white robes and studded face covers. After being briefly struck down, the three young women rise up together and flash the devil horns and pull them to their hearts. It’s a tender moment, delivered with the ever-present wink.

Metal Resistance is out on April 1 on RAL/Sony. Babymetal goes on a U.S. tour starting May 4.

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SXSW 2016 Late-Night Dispatches: Thursday

D∆WN captivates Hype Hotel on Thursday at SXSW.
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D∆WN captivates Hype Hotel on Thursday at SXSW. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

It’s our third All Songs Considered podcast of SXSW 2016, recorded long after midnight in the streets of Austin. Robin Hilton is considering having former interns carry him around; Stephen Thompson is measuring distances by the length of his collapsed body. Yet youthful Spanish band Hinds perhaps best encapsulated the overall feeling of our group at the start of their set yesterday: “You know that feeling where you are very excited and very drunk and very hungover at the same time? We are having this.”

It was another great day at SXSW. Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton, Katie Presley and Stephen Thompson saw breakout teen acts like Marina Kaye, Declan McKenna, Car Seat Headrest and, of course, Hinds. There was time for the classics, too. Katie & Stephen saw Loretta Lynn at Stubb’s, and learned the maximum distance at which Loretta Lynn is still recognizable by her sparkly red dress (any distance). Listen to the podcast above, read our staff picks for best set of the day and let Maren Morris sing you a South X Lullaby at the bottom of the page.


Thursday Highlights

Declan McKenna at The Yard

You could hear the songwriting wheels turning in this 17 year old British boy. His song lean both rock and pop; they’re intricate but not overworked. —Bob Boilen

Lewis Del Mar at House Of Vans

Apart from finally seeing Car Seat Headrest (which, no joke, will release the album of the decade later this year) Thursday’s most memorable show came from Lewis Del Mar. Originally from Washington, D.C. and now based out of Rockaway Beach, the duo features drummer and producer Max Harwood along with frontman Danny Miller, a magnetic and thrilling performer who at one point leapt from the stage and prowled through the crowd, unnerving everyone around him. The music is a arresting mix of found sounds, strange samples, intricate polyrhythms and rock. Sometimes dark and foreboding, sometimes anthemic and celebratory, this is definitely one group to watch for this year. —Robin Hilton

The Mariachi Ghost at Friends

What? Your first time playing SXSW? That’s what The Mariachi Ghost announced to their very enthusiastic crown at Friends last night. A Mexican mariachi/jarocho/rock band from Winnipeg?? Absolutely. And it works seamlessly. Dressed in traditional mariachi traje with their faces painted a la dia de los muertos, they powered through their very energetic and rock-inspired jarocho. A new band for me and I’m glad I found them. I can’t wait to hear more. —Felix Contreras

Loretta Lynn at Stubb’s BBQ

The highlights were thick on the ground Thursday, from the perfect pop-punk of toyGuitar to the Sia-approved booming pop of French singer Marina Kaye, but … I mean, Loretta Lynn. How often do you get to see a country legend of Lynn’s caliber in any setting? Before a huge crowd at Stubb’s, the iconic singer interspersed classics like “Fist City” with songs from her new album Full Circle.Stephen Thompson

Sevdaliza at The Sidewinder

A beautiful singer and dancer/performer backed by powerful electronic textures. She’s based in Holland but with an Iranian background and a stunning voice. —Bob Boilen


Photos

  • KING

    The ladies of KING — Anita Bias, Amber Strother and Paris Strother — soothe the crowd at Barracuda.

    The ladies of KING — Anita Bias, Amber Strother and Paris Strother — soothe the crowd at Barracuda. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

  • Jambinai

    South Korean group Jambinai match the traditional geomungo with electric guitar at Flamingo Cantina.

    South Korean group Jambinai match the traditional geomungo with electric guitar at Flamingo Cantina. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

  • Loretta Lynn

    Loretta Lynn, in an iconic red dress, entranced the crowd at Stubb's BBQ.

    Loretta Lynn, in an iconic red dress, entranced the crowd at Stubb’s BBQ. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

  • Power Trip

    Frontman Riley Gale of Power Trip whips his hair at Empire Control Room.

    Frontman Riley Gale of Power Trip whips his hair at Empire Control Room. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

  • Rae Stemmurd

    The brothers in hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd hype up the Fader Fort.

    The brothers in hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd hype up the Fader Fort. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

  • St. Patrick’s Day Dog

    The St. Patrick's Day-themed set played by this dog on 6th Street, was, frankly, a disappointment.

    The St. Patrick’s Day-themed set played by this dog on 6th Street, was, frankly, a disappointment. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

    toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Maren Morris South X Lullaby

Credit: NPR

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Woman Nominated To Head A Combatant Command For First Time

Gen. Lori J. Robinson is the commander of Pacific Air Forces, which is responsible for Air Force activities in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam, among other areas.

Gen. Lori J. Robinson is the commander of Pacific Air Forces, which is responsible for Air Force activities in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam, among other areas. /Air Force hide caption

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Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson has been nominated as the next head of U.S. Northern Command, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Friday. If approved, she would be the first female head of a combatant command.

The U.S. military divides the world into geographic regions that are each overseen by a four-star general or admiral directing military operations across the branches of service. Until now, none of those combatant commanders has ever been a woman.

Northern Command, or NorthCom, is charged with defending the U.S. homeland. It also oversees the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD.

Robinson currently commands U.S. Air Forces in the Pacific. Her rise through the ranks has been rapid, Defense News reports: The general achieved her third star in 2013 and her fourth in 2014.

NPR’s Tom Bowman described Robinson’s career on the Two-Way last year, when word was circulating that President Obama was considering naming a woman to take over North Com:

“Robinson was the first woman to lead a major Air Force component command, and served as a senior air battle manager aboard an E-3 Sentry airborne early warning aircraft and the E-8 JSTARS — essentially responsible for command and control of combat missions, as well as surveillance.”

Robinson’s nomination would need to be confirmed by the Senate.

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Can Donald Trump Rewrite The Electoral Map For The GOP?

Donald Trump is hoping he can rewrite the GOP's electoral math if he becomes the party's presidential nominee.

Donald Trump is hoping he can rewrite the GOP’s electoral math if he becomes the party’s presidential nominee. John Gurzinski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Donald Trump is the GOP delegate leader and has the clearest path to the presidential nomination of any remaining candidate. But does he have an electoral path to 270 in November?

There’s a basic math problem for any Republican nominee.

In every one of the past six presidential elections, Democrats have won states that add up to about 240 electoral votes — pretty close to the majority needed to win.

Republicans have won about 103 electoral votes in each of the last six elections, so there’s a big hill to climb. Any GOP nominee has little room for error and would have to win all the big battleground states — Ohio, Florida Virginia — or else find some blue states they can flip to red.

That alternative route is what the controversial real estate magnate says he can bring to the table this fall. Trump claims he is bringing in so many new voters to the Republican fold that he can win traditionally blue states, like New Jersey, Michigan or even New York.

At a speech earlier this month in Michigan Trump argued, “These are states that a normal Republican, because I’m not a normal Republican in any way, a normal Republican cannot think in terms of, frankly, I hate to say this, cannot think in terms of bringing in Michigan.”

White voters are still key for Republicans, and that’s who Trump appeals to most.

After the 2012 election the Republican National Committee commissioned a so-called political “autopsy” report. It said in order to win the White House again the GOP had to become more competitive with minority voters, particularly Hispanics.

But there were contrarian voices. Even before Trump began his march, some GOP strategists were saying that minority outreach is crucial in the long run, but not necessarily right away.

“If we are not going to do that, there is a way to win the presidential election by goosing the white vote,” The sky is not yet falling. We are on the brink, but we are not there yet,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.

Trump, with his hard line stands on trade and immigration, might be just the candidate to eke out one more electoral college win thanks to a largely white vote.

“Trump could make the map larger. Because of where he’s standing with white voters right now, he would have the Democrats on their heels particularly in the industrial Midwest,” predicted O’Connell.

Even Republicans who are no fans of Trump admit it may be possible.

“l see Donald Trump as a wrecking ball. He’s currently swinging through the Republican Party, and destroying our positions on entitlement reform and on free trade,” said Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary for George W. Bush and one of the co-authors of the RNC’s 2012 autopsy.

“But like all wrecking balls, he’s going to swing in another direction too, and that will be going through the Democratic Party, wrecking their support among traditional blue collar working class voters,” Fleischer continued. “That’s the Donald Trump that we’ve seen so far. He changes everything.”

For Democrats, demographics cut both ways.

Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg has studied blue collar white voters since the 1980s. Back then, he wanted to find out why these voters switched from his party to the GOP.

Now, more than three decades later, Greenberg wonders if the story of Trump could be called “The Revenge of the Reagan Democrats.”

“The Reagan Democrats are alive with the angry, white male who’ve made themselves felt in the Trump primaries,” the Democratic pollster acknowledged.

But, Greenberg said there’s a big unknown variable still: “The question is: are there enough of them and what’s the price of trying to reach them?”

There’s no question the white working class vote is shrinking. Non-college educated voters were about half of the electorate in 1992. Now they make up a third. But in Rust Belt states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, they still make up half of eligible voters.

Those voters are exactly Trump’s base, but turning them out won’t be easy. In the last election white, non-college educated voters had a turn-out rate of about 57 percent, while 80 percent of white college-educated voters showed up.

Ultimately, Trump would need an unprecedented turnout among these voters. Some analysts calculate that Trump would need at least 65 percent of the white vote to win; 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney got 59 percent.

“He would have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to do this,” Brookings Institution demographer William Frey said of Trump. “The demography is against him in a lot of the country, even though we see these huge crowds coming out at his rallies.”

Trump himself is a big motivator, but he cuts both ways. Yes, he has been able to attract thousands (he says millions) of new voters to the GOP primarie, but in a general election he’d also motivate his opponents.

For every white working class male Trump turns out in the Rust Belt, he could also bring out a college educated suburban woman and a newly registered Latino to vote against him in another part of the country.

“The problem with the theory and the strategy is that, I think almost immediately, you’ll see other states like Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada — states that have had a growth of both ethnic diversity, immigrant diversity but also a rise of cosmopolitan, well-educated populations,” Greenberg said. “And those voters don’t like Donald Trump.”

Ultimately, Democrats aren’t sure what to think.

For every bit of Democratic schadenfreude at the GOP’s current disarray, there’s an equal amount of anxiety about Trumps potential in the fall.

David Plouffe, who was President Obama’s former chief strategist, told Politico’s Glenn Thrush recently that Trump is still a wild card.

“You just don’t know.” Plouffe said in Politico’s “Off Message” podcast. “In Virginia, I think Trump would, in a general election, do very, very poorly in Northern Virginia. But does he over-perform Romney and [2008 nominee John] McCain, for instance, and even Bush in the southwestern part of the state? He could. We just don’t know.”

So far, Democrats and Republicans are left asking the same question: If Donald Trump has broken all the rules of politics so far, why couldn’t he break some more?

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How Can Satellite Images Unlock Secrets To Our Hidden Past?

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Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden

About Sarah Parcak’s TED Talk

Sarah Parcak is a pioneer in space archaeology. She describes her method of using satellite images to locate lost ancient sites.

About Sarah Parcak

There may be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of undiscovered ancient sites — Sarah Parcak wants to locate them.

Parcak is a space archaeologist who analyzes infrared imagery from space and identifies subtle changes that signal a man-made presence underground.
Parcak is a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she founded the Laboratory for Global Observation.

She is also the winner of the 2016 TED Prize. She plans to use the one million dollar prize money to combat wide-scale looting of ancient sites. She hopes that, through mapping, unknown sites can be protected to preserve our vibrant history.

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