About the show

Much has changed since March when we launched a new podcast. In “Hunkering Down,” Florida Politics brought some of the smartest people on the air to talk about keeping up with a pandemic that was just beginning to make itself felt.

COVID-19 cases in Florida that month jumped from 2 to 5,704, with 71 deaths. On July 11, new cases in Florida topped 15,300, more than most countries, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Gov. Ron DeSantis faced criticism for reluctance to impose lockdowns, then praise for his measured approach.

Caseloads dropped and briefly in September dipped below 1,000 a day, then climbed back up. By early December, the state was logging 10,000 new cases daily and more than 1 million overall, with 19,000 deaths, Some of DeSantis’ policies, such as his refusal to close down in-person schools, look far-sighted in retrospect while the success of his across-the-board assurances against lockdowns or mask mandates remains to be seen.

In the meantime, the country has weathered a polarizing election cycle as advocates for candidates had to adjust fundraising methods and candidate appearances on the fly. The people shepherding those campaigns and advocating for issues tend to be quick studies, however, and found safer ways to get the job done.

To sort out what lies ahead, we are bringing Hunkering Down back. Avid podcaster Peter Schorsch, Florida Politics’ editor and publisher, will again bring in political players with expertise across the spectrum, from the next budget to national politics, the economy and how that might change with the advent of vaccines. Check it out on Fireside, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and join the conversation.


  • Ken Welch talks St. Petersburg

    October 4th, 2021  |  39 mins 31 secs
    covid-19, florida, florida man, florida politics, government, ken welch, pandemic response, pinellas county, politics, race, st. petersburg, tampa bay rays

    Peter Schorsch welcomes St. Pete mayoral candidate Ken Welch to talk about the pandemic response, growth, race, and the future of the 'Burg.

  • Hunkering Down continues: Michele Rayner and Anna Eskamani

    September 8th, 2021  |  1 hr 4 mins
    anna eskamani, hunkering down, michele raymer, omar, peter schorsch, the wire

    Hunkering Down returns: Peter Schorsch sits down with Reps. Michele Rayner and Anna Eskamani to talk politics, activism and The Wire

  • Hamilton, Reopening Schools, and A Tough Primary: With Richard Reeves, Kirsten Borman Dougherty, and Michelle Salzman

    July 13th, 2020  |  1 hr 35 mins
    coronavirus, florida politics, hamilton, hunker down, kirsten borman, michelle salzman, peter schorsch, primary, reopening schools, richard reeves, tallahassee
  • On the Campaign Trail: Mike Binder, Nate Monroe, Steve Vancore

    June 29th, 2020  |  1 hr 26 mins
    2020, coronavirus, covid-19, donald trump, florida times-union, gop convention, jacksonville, jacksonville rnc, lenny curry, mike binder, nate monroe, polling, republican national convention, rnc, steve vancore, university of north florida, vote by mail

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with Mike Binder, professor of Political Science & Public Administration at the University of North Florida; Nate Monroe, a political reporter and Metro columnist for the Florida Times-Union and veteran political consultant and pollster Steve Vancore, the founding partner of VancoreJones Communications.

  • On the Campaign Trail: Jason Brodeur, Scott Powers, Anthony Pedicini

    June 22nd, 2020  |  1 hr 3 mins
    anthony pedicini, coronavirus, covid-19, florida politics, heather fitzenhagen, jason brodeur, peter schorsch, ray rodrigues. major league baseball, scott powers, senate district 27, senate district 9

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with Senate candidate Jason Brodeur, Republican consultant Anthony Pedicini and Florida Politics reporter Scott Powers.

  • Ron Pierce

    May 23rd, 2020  |  23 mins 34 secs
    business restrictions, coronavirus, covid-19, jeff vinik, lobbying, pandemic, peter schorsch, quarantine, reopening, ron desantis, ron pierce, rsa consulting, social distancing, tallahassee, uber

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with Ron Pierce, president and CEO of Tampa-based RSA Consulting Group. Pierce served as policy adviser for Sen. Tom Lee during his time as Senate President from 2004-2006.

  • Matt Dixon

    May 22nd, 2020  |  33 mins 40 secs
    2020 election, 2022 election, 2024 election, coronavirus, covid-19, donald trump, joe biden, marco rubio, matt dixon, matt gaetz, media, pandemic, politico, rick scott, ron desantis, ron desantis reelection, social distancing, transparency

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with Matt Dixon, senior political reporter for POLITICO Florida.

  • Jeff Johnston

    May 22nd, 2020  |  34 mins 7 secs

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with Jeff Johnston, one of the state's leading lobbyists and founder of Johnston & Stewart Government Strategies. Before that, Johnston was a founding partner of Corcoran and Johnston, consistently among the top lobbying firms in Florida. In 2018, he received second place in Florida Politics’ list of Best Lobbyists in Florida.

  • Jennifer Green

    May 14th, 2020  |  50 mins 25 secs
    coronavirus, covid-19, expedia group, homeaway, jennifer green, liberty partners, phase one reopening, vrbo

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with lobbyist Jennifer Green, president and owner of Liberty Partners of Tallahassee. Green is the Past Chairman of the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists (FAPL) and still serves on the board and the FAPL Education Foundation.

  • Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce

    May 14th, 2020  |  1 hr 3 mins
    anitere flores, coronavirus, covid-19, dotie joseph, jason pizzo, juan fernandez-barquin, miami, miami chamber of commerce, nicholas x. duran, ron desantis, sadowski affordable housing trust fund, unemployment, vance aloupis

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce for a virtual legislative wrap-up event with a panel of six Miami legislators.

  • Jason Pizzo

    May 13th, 2020  |  26 mins 35 secs
    coronavirus, covid-19, jason pizzo, peter schorsch, senate district 38

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with Sen. Jason Pizzo, a former assistant state attorney who now represents Senate District 38, which covers Aventura, Miami Beach, North Miami, and portions of the City of Miami.

  • Kelly Mallette

    May 12th, 2020  |  39 mins 42 secs
    coronavirus, covid-19, florida, hunkering down

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with Kelly Mallette, Director of Government Affairs at Ronald L. Book, P.A.

  • Kaleo Partners

    May 5th, 2020  |  42 mins 55 secs
    carlos lopez-cantera, coronavirus, covid-19, dean cannon, florida, florida politics, glenn kirkland, heath beach, jon menendez, kaleo partners, peter schorsch, tech, technology, unemployment

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with Kaleo Partners founders Glenn Kirkland and Jon Menendez, along with principal Heath Beach. Kaleo Partners is a Tampa and Tallahassee-based tech policy and government advocacy firm that specializes in technology policy, budget and procurement.

  • Will Weatherford

    May 2nd, 2020  |  33 mins 4 secs
    back to normal, coronavirus, coronavirus economy, covid-19, economy, florida chamber of commer, florida house of representatives, florida politics, jobs, pandemic, peter schorsch, quarantine, social distancing, unemployment, will weatherford

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with former House Speaker Will Weatherford, the managing partner of Weatherford Capital, and the state’s 84th Speaker from 2012-2014 — at the time, the youngest House Speaker in America.

  • Nick Iarossi

    May 1st, 2020  |  44 mins 27 secs
    capital city consulting, capitol press corps., car racing, coronavirus, coronavirus response, covid-19, economic recovery, lobbying, media, nick iarossi, pandemic, peter schorsch, ron desantis, social distancing

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with veteran political consultant Nick Iarossi, co-founder and owner of Capital City Consulting, as well as one of INFLUENCE Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in Florida.

  • Kelly Cohen

    May 1st, 2020  |  29 mins 47 secs
    buddy dyer, central florida, coronavirus, coronavirus response, covid-19, jerry demings, kelly cohen, orange county, orlando, pandemic, peter schorsch, ron desantis, social distancing, southern group

    Peter Schorsch hunkers down with lobbyist, strategist and fundraiser Kelly Cohen, who serves as a partner and chief marketing officer for The Southern Group.