Does Biden have it in the bag? Or have the polls got it wrong again? In the three weeks running up to election day we’ll give you access to the voters, experts and politicians so you can make up your own mind.

Our US election tour has long been our most popular. We have covered several swing states and witnessed first-hand history in the making in 2012 & 2016.  Many of those booked for our 2020 tour in Michigan & Washington,  DC are unable to travel.  By popular demand we have launched a Virtual US Election Tour – Live in Your Home.

Six Counties in Three States & a Final Review on the eve before the Election.

Veteran US based journalist Malcolm Brown will be reporting for us live from seven key locations across the states for a series of virtual tours that will give you exceptional insight. Nicholas Wood, founder of Political Tours and former New York Times correspondent will host the series.

Our aim is to get you as close as possible to key communities that could sway the election – in places as varied as rural Virginia, small town industrial Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and more. It will be a gripping series.

And unlike TV or radio coverage this will be interactive and exclusive to Political Tours.

DATES Pennsylvania:      Thu 15 Oct – Luzerne County  &  Fri 16 Oct – Philadelphia

Virginia:                Thu 22 Oct – Fairfax County  &  Fri 23 Oct – Fauquier County

North Carolina:     Thu 29 Oct – Chapel Hill  &  Fri 30 Oct – Wilkes County

Washington DC:   Mon 2 Nov

DESTINATIONPennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina
Led by US based correspondents
DURATIONSeven exclusive 90 minute broadcasts
INCLUDED
Live broadcasts to a limited audienceAsk your own questions
Edgy, Interactive and off-the-beaten trackExpert Analysis
COSTCost: £350.00



Payment to-  Beyond the Headlines Ltd.

Numbers will be  limited on our tour – so early booking is advised.

Price: £350.00
Please enquire for further details. You can pay by bank transfer as well as credit or debit card via PayPal to Beyond the Headlines Ltd.

For online payments: The “Buy Now” PayPal button above will take you to a different page confirming the amount. When you continue you can choose to pay via PayPal or a debit or credit card.  You will need to scroll down to pay by card.  Please note: payment will be made to Beyond the Headlines Ltd. and BTH Insight will appear as a reference on your statement.

For bank transfers & standing orders: Please email us at [email protected] and we will send you the bank details for Beyond the Headlines Ltd.

As with all of our tours the itinerary focuses on current affairs, and owing to the dynamic nature of politics this means that local conditions may lead us to adjust the final schedule.

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Our itinerary

With the help of Dante Chinni, a professor at George Town University and author of the Wall Street Journal blog Politics Counts, we have chosen six counties spread across three states. They are all on the east coast but each one has been chosen specifically to tell a bigger picture.

Political Tours’ Washington Correspondent, Malcolm Brown, and former New York Times reporter and PT’s founder, Nicholas Wood, will be on hand to bring travellers face to face with voters and experts in places as varied as downtown Philadelphia and rural Virginia.

Viewers will be able to watch live and ask questions as Malcolm leads them through 6 counties that will play a crucial role in deciding the outcome of the poll. Nicholas will introduce all seven shows and field your questions throughout the broadcasts.

Schedule

All dates & times are at 5 pm East Coast time – (Australian & NZ dates as follows: Friday 16 Oct, Sat 17 Oct, Fri 23 Oct, Sat 24 Oct, Fri 30 Oct, Sat 31 Oct, Tues 3 Nov)

Pennsylvania

Thu 15 Oct Luzerne County

Fri 16 Oct Philadelphia

5 pm New York (Eastern Daylight Time), 10 pm (British Summer Time), 8 am + 1 Sydney (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), 10 am + 1 Wellington (New Zealand Daylight Time)

No other state is a better indicator of just how wrong the polls can be. All the leading predictions bar one suggested Hillary would win in 2016 but Donald Trump won by just over 44,000 votes, or 0.72% of the electorate. That’s the narrowest result here in 176 years.

There are two competing forces which make Pennsylvania a fascinating indicator of voters across the country. It is a competition between Trump’s working-class base in blue collar former Democratic areas vs urban and suburban votes. The Democrats want to secure a large turnout and the Republicans are hoping they can sure-up the support from 2016. Some union workers could vote for Biden this time around.

It is a crucial swing state with 20 electoral college votes. There’s little room for error on either side.

We’ve chosen two counties that explore this:

Luzerne County: This is a vote rich, blue-collar Pennsylvania county, which helped to deliver the White House to Donald Trump in 2016. Once reliably Democratic (it voted for Barack Obama twice), Luzerne went for Trump over Hillary Clinton by nearly 20 points in 2016. Joe Biden, from nearby Scranton, is working to win back the white working-class voters who turned firmly against his party in the last election. What do they think now?

Philadelphia: For Democrats the urban vote in this north-eastern power base will be essential to their effort to win back the swing state of Pennsylvania. For Democrats in Philly, that means energizing the African-American vote at a time when turmoil over the use of force by the police grips many American cities.

Virginia

Thu 22 Oct Fairfax County

Fri 23 Oct Fauquier County

5 pm New York (Eastern Daylight Time), 10 pm (British Summer Time), 8 am + 1 Sydney (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), 10 am + 1 Wellington (New Zealand Daylight Time)

Hillary Clinton won Virginia in 2016. The state has tilted towards the Republicans from the 50s onwards, but the expansion of Washington DC’s suburbs has halted that. Virginia is less important in terms of electoral college votes, but it has significant numbers of suburban voters. Nationwide Trump has to win over some of them and he has more support on the margins here than many polls give him credit for. Two counties tell two very different stories.

We also look at gerrymandering and voter suppression. New voter ID rules were introduced by Republicans effectively suppressing the vote in poorer areas. It’s a measure that has been adopted by 36 Republican leaning states across the US since 2010.

Fairfax County: Donald Trump and Republicans are making a big push for the support of suburban voters with stark warnings about what they say will be the dire consequences of a Democratic win in November. He has made much of the violent protests this summer. Detractors argue that the vision of white picket fenced suburban life is increasingly out-of-date and that Trump’s appeal here will fall flat.

Fauquier County: Less than an hour’s drive from Fairfax, Fauquier county is categorized as an ‘exurb’, on the margins between rural and suburban America. Politically it’s a long way from the more liberal suburbs closer to the big cities. Here Trump won with almost 60% of the vote in 2016. This is one of the most critical categories for the Republicans in this election and much overlooked. If they can repeat their success here and the 200 plus similar counties nationwide – they have a chance of keeping the Presidency.

North Carolina

Thu 29 Oct Chapel Hill

Fri 30 Oct Wilkes County

5 pm New York (Eastern Daylight Time), 9 pm (Greenwich Mean Time/UTC), 8 am +1 Sydney (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), 10 am + 1 Wellington (New Zealand Daylight Time)

The battle here looks to be neck and neck. North Carolina used to be reliably Republican – but decreasingly so. White rural areas are now being balanced out by the rapid growth of college educated urban and suburban areas. Trumps white republican base looks maxed out. It’s harder for him to get more votes, but it gives him an edge in the race here. We look at two communities that could push the vote either way and which also reflect similar groups across the US. Neither side can afford to lose votes.

Expect postal votes to come under close scrutiny. It’s here that President Trump suggested people should vote twice!

Chapel Hill: Home to the huge University of North Carolina (UNC) system, Chapel Hill forms a corner of the state’s famous ‘Research Triangle’. It has a high number of highly educated voters and so favours the Democrats. College towns are generally good for Democrats, but what’s not clear is the effect the COVID pandemic might have. UNC has moved to remote learning in response to an outbreak at the start of in-person classes. Some students have returned home,while normal election-year activities are constrained by the demands of social distancing. Could this reduce the Democratic vote?

Wilkes County: The home of moonshine and the birthplace of NASCAR. Hillary Clinton might have called voters here “deplorables” but it’s got a huge evangelical base. Throughout his first-term, Donald Trump has gone out of his way to nurture his support among evangelical voters. A survey by the Pew Research Center shows that the president’s approval has slipped slightly among white evangelical Protestants but remains at above 70%. Will it be enough for Trump to keep the state?

Final Review

Washington, DC

Mon 2 Nov

5 pm New York (Eastern Standard Time), 10 pm (Greenwich Mean Time/UTC), 9 am +1 Sydney (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), 11 am + 1 Wellington (New Zealand Daylight Time)

We’ll look back at what we’ve learned on the eve of the polls and ask if Trump still has a pathway back to the White House. We’ll also explore the likelihood of a disputed election. Our panel of experts will answer your questions.

 

Our tour will include the following elements:

Meetings with key electoral groups – farmers, rural vs suburban and urban voting areas.

Talk with polling experts.

A guide to how the Electoral College works along the way.

Meetings with leading Democratic & Republican campaign strategists.

For anyone with an interest in US politics it’s a tour not to be missed. Please email [email protected] to join the tour, or call us for further details and ask to speak with our Director Nicholas Wood.



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What’s Included

7 LIVE sessions- 3 States, 6 Counties

Political Tours is the bringing the full drama of the US Election campaign to people’s homes with a series of live interactive broadcasts in the run up to polling day.

Join us as Washington based correspondent, Malcolm Brown and former New York Times reporter, Nicholas Wood, bring you face to face with voters and experts in places at six key locations across the states.

How It Works

Malcolm Brown, Veteran US reporter, will be reporting live at 5 pm East Coast Time from each location. That means whether you are in the US, Australia or the UK you’ll be able to watch online at a reasonable hour. (Please note the local times below and daylight-saving changes in October).

Nicholas Wood, will be hosting each session alongside guests.

We’ll start by giving some key facts about the local area. Malcolm will be out and about filming as we broadcast. You will be able to put your questions directly to him as well campaign strategists, politicians, community leaders and ordinary voters.

Each session will last 1 hr 30 mins – We’ll also have follow up analysis from our own experts.

This is a subscription service and will cost £350.00 for all 7 sessions.

How to subscribe

It is easy to join.  You can pay by bank transfer or with a credit or debit card via PayPal.  Please contact us and we will send you full details on how to pay & also more information on how to join each session.  This is very easy to do & we will send you clear instructions.

Payable by PayPal (also with debit or credit card) or by Bank Transfer. 

Following the news

Like all our tours the itinerary is focused on current affairs. Events on the ground may change and the final schedule may be adjusted accordingly.

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Together with your tour hosts you will meet a range of speakers, analysts and ordinary people with a huge range of views and experiences.

Veteran US based journalist Malcolm Brown will be reporting for us live from seven key locations across the states for a series of virtual tours that will give you exceptional insight.

Founder of Political Tours & former New York Times Correspondent Nicholas Wood will be hosting each virtual session.

The overall aim is to give you a nuanced and comprehensive overview of events as they are happening, and an exceptional one at that.

Don’t just take our word for it …

“The main reason to travel really is the “being there” factor – the experience of seeing the reality for ourselves is what made the difference and gave us a context for the valuable inputs from the experts and propagandists we met. The tour’s openness to some unscheduled encounters with “ordinary” people on both sides provided further insight. I ended more sympathetic to them than I had been – and far less sympathetic to their leaderships.” AR

“The access you obtained was outstanding – really amazing.” AN

“It is a short but thorough exam of what makes a country tick – or not tick. An immersion class into the nuts and bolts of the area. I love it.” JG

“It sounds like a cliché, but the tours really take you beyond and behind the headlines, providing you with unexpectedly profound insights about the country.” EL

“To see so much and meet with so many people in so short a time, and to absorb so much information in depth, was very stimulating.” PF

In the Press:

“Who better to take people behind the headlines than the person who spent ten years writing them?” British Airways Highlife Magazine

“I had underestimated their high-mindedness… During the week-long tour there are talks and conversations with more then 20 guest speakers. The holiday makers are an equally impressive bunch.” The Financial Times, on a tour

“An eye-opening 10 days!” Sydney Morning Herald

Email us for a full list of speakers and meetings on this tour: [email protected] or call and ask to be put through to one of our staff.

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US Elections

Feedback below from our US election tour from 2016.

“If it was a film we’d have ended watching from behind the sofa.  Tremendously informative and (despite the result) fun tour.”  US Elections, 2016

“The quality and variety of experts was excellent.” US Elections, 2016

“The speakers were a particular feature of this tour, and clearly much thought and effort had been put into selecting and engaging people from a variety of backgrounds. I doubt if this could have been improved upon and it was a privilege to meet them all.”  CB, US Elections, 2016

“We’ve done a variety of group tours before. This was the best we’ve been on, both in terms of content and company.” CR, US Elections, 2016

“The highlight of the tour was the Trump rally, because it overturned all preconceptions about those who would vote for Trump. We should have realised that the fact that his appeal was so wide would be very bad news for the Democrats. As with Brexit the volume of discontent with those in power would mean people would vote for anything or anybody who promised change.” SR, US Elections, 2016

“A sociological and political eye opener of a tour.” VH, US Elections, 2016

“I have been on a few tours before, but not one of them compared with this one. This was by far the best. Of course, the material content, and the time and place of its setting had a lot to do with it, but there were other factors. The size and mix of each group was about right, and having both yourself, and a local expert with us was a big advantage, able to sort out en route problems too, and help set the tone and atmosphere. The tour itinerary was very detailed, and could hardly have been more so.” CB, US Elections, 2016

Feedback from our tour in Iowa – January 2020

Political Tours genuinely gives the most stimulating groups of any of the companies I travel with which is a fitting return for the work which goes into the programmes.
AR Iowa Caucus 2020

My best tour so far! Loved the mix of access to big rallies and rural Iowa. Really loved it!!
CS Iowa Caucus 2020

The Trump rally was the perfect beginning. I never thought I’d quote Joe Walsh, the Republican standing against Trump in Iowa, but he’s right – beating Trump should be the ONLY priority for the Democrats, and watching the President in action that night was a clarifying reminder of just how tough that’s going to be. Economic growth messages were warmly welcomed by the Trump crowd, but it was the raw meat subjects of guns, god, immigration and abortion that really got the crowd on their feet. This set the context for what we were to learn and witness over the coming days as the Democrats lined up to win the support of Iowans to take these issues, and this President, on in November.

Getting out of Des Moines was essential and we couldn’t have had a better guide that Dave Swenson. What a brilliant, engaging teacher! I learned more from him in that bus drive north than I think I ever have in a similar few hours anywhere. Again, this deep examination of the economic and social forces that are changing rural America, and the way its votes, was absolutely fascinating and enlightening. Art Cullen, the small town newspaper editor out of central casting, was the icing on the cake. Storm Lake will stay with me for a long time.
RC – Iowa Caucus Tour 2020

Intelligent and good fun companions and hosts. Lots of exposure to the politics from many different angles. Variety of perspectives – political, economic, geographic, academic, media, candidates – national & local – was excellent. You could not get the access and insight if you travelled on your own “DIY” political tour – so a real selling point. The tour exceeded my expectations.

Both experts were “on their feet” a lot, and had high energy and great insight. I liked the mix of political consultant and academic. It was great to listen to Eric give a Republican perspective on things. But all of the “guests” you invited along had interesting things to say – Joe Walsh and Trump were both equally fascinating!!
PG – Iowa Caucus Tour 2020

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It’s Closer Than You Think

Trump is in trouble at a national level but there’s still room for him to win the Electoral College. Remember he won last time with almost 3 million votes less than Hillary.

The polls got it wrong in 2016 because they failed to take into account the true support for Trump. They’ve adjusted their models since then and Biden has the upper hand but Trump is not out of the game.

Critically the Democrats saw a surge of suburban support in the 2000s up to 2015 and that has now slowed. The Democrat leaning big cities and suburbs are now balanced out more evenly with Republican leaning areas. These include the “exurbs,” areas that are just outside the suburbs. The exurbs combined with the conservative rural vote and former manufacturing towns that opted for Trump last time are a powerful block. Currently the distribution of the votes in the Electoral College favour those areas. Famed polling analyst Nate Silver still gives Trump a one in three chance of winning.

With increased use of postal ballots and Trump suggesting there will be widespread voter fraud, how people vote will also come under scrutiny like never before. Will it end up in the courts like the hanging chads of Florida in 2000?

 

Pennsylvania

No other state is a better indicator of just how wrong the polls can be. All the leading predictions bar one suggested Hillary would win in 2016 but Donald Trump won by just over 44,000 votes, or 0.72% of the electorate. That’s the narrowest result here in 176 years.

There are two competing forces which make Pennsylvania a fascinating indicator of voters across the country. It is a competition between Trump’s working-class base in blue collar former Democratic areas vs urban and suburban votes. The Democrats want to secure a large turnout and the Republicans are hoping they can sure-up the support from 2016. Some union workers could vote for Biden this time around.

It is a crucial swing state with 20 electoral college votes. There’s little room for error on either side.

We’ve chosen two counties that explore this:

Luzerne County: This is a vote rich, blue-collar Pennsylvania county, which helped to deliver the White House to Donald Trump in 2016. Once reliably Democratic (it voted for Barack Obama twice), Luzerne went for Trump over Hillary Clinton by nearly 20 points in 2016. Joe Biden, from nearby Scranton, is working to win back the white working-class voters who turned firmly against his party in the last election. What do they think now?

Philadelphia: For Democrats the urban vote in this north-eastern power base will be essential to their effort to win back the swing state of Pennsylvania. For Democrats in Philly, that means energizing the African-American vote at a time when turmoil over the use of force by the police grips many American cities.

Virginia

Hillary Clinton won Virginia in 2016. The state has tilted towards the Republicans from the 50s onwards, but the expansion of Washington DC’s suburbs has halted that. Virginia is less important in terms of electoral college votes, but it has significant numbers of suburban voters. Nationwide Trump has to win over some of them and he has more support on the margins here than many polls give him credit for. Two counties tell two very different stories.

We also look at gerrymandering and voter suppression. New voter ID rules were introduced by Republicans effectively suppressing the vote in poorer areas. It’s a measure that has been adopted by 36 Republican leaning states across the US since 2010.

Fairfax County: Donald Trump and Republicans are making a big push for the support of suburban voters with stark warnings about what they say will be the dire consequences of a Democratic win in November. He has made much of the violent protests this summer. Detractors argue that the vision of white picket fenced suburban life is increasingly out-of-date and that Trump’s appeal here will fall flat.

Fauquier County: Less than an hour’s drive from Fairfax, Fauquier county is categorized as an ‘exurb’, on the margins between rural and suburban America. Politically it’s a long way from the more liberal suburbs closer to the big cities. Here Trump won with almost 60% of the vote in 2016. This is one of the most critical categories for the Republicans in this election and much overlooked. If they can repeat their success here and the 200 plus similar counties nationwide – they have a chance of keeping the Presidency.

 

North Carolina

The battle here looks to be neck and neck. North Carolina used to be reliably Republican – but decreasingly so. White rural areas are now being balanced out by the rapid growth of college educated urban and suburban areas. Trumps white republican base looks maxed out. It’s harder for him to get more votes, but it gives him an edge in the race here. We look at two communities that could push the vote either way and which also reflect similar groups across the US. Neither side can afford to lose votes.

Expect postal votes to come under close scrutiny. It’s here that President Trump suggested people should vote twice!

Chapel Hill: Home to the huge University of North Carolina (UNC) system, Chapel Hill forms a corner of the state’s famous ‘Research Triangle’. It has a high number of highly educated voters and so favours the Democrats. College towns are generally good for Democrats, but what’s not clear is the effect the COVID pandemic might have. UNC has moved to remote learning in response to an outbreak at the start of in-person classes. Some students have returned home,while normal election-year activities are constrained by the demands of social distancing. Could this reduce the Democratic vote?

Wilkes County: The home of moonshine and the birthplace of NASCAR. Hillary Clinton might have called voters here “deplorables” but it’s got a huge evangelical base. Throughout his first-term, Donald Trump has gone out of his way to nurture his support among evangelical voters. A survey by the Pew Research Center shows that the president’s approval has slipped slightly among white evangelical Protestants but remains at above 70%. Will it be enough for Trump to keep the state?

Final Review

We’ll look back at what we’ve learned on the eve of the polls and ask if Trump still has a pathway back to the White House. We’ll also explore the likelihood of a disputed election. Our panel of experts will answer your questions.

Book Your Tour