Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR's White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress. In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe. He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

Gonyea has filed stories from around the globe, including Moscow, Beijing, London, Islamabad, Doha, Budapest, Seoul, San Salvador, and Hanoi. He attended President Bush's first ever meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Slovenia in 2001, and subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava. He also covered Mr.Obama's first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the BBC, CBC, AP Radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. He periodically teaches college journalism courses.

Gonyea has won numerous national and state awards for his reporting. He was part of the team that earned NPR a 2000 George Foster Peabody Award for the All Things Considered series "Lost & Found Sound."

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.

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Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sat March 24, 2012

Obama's The Topic, Louisiana Is GOP's Next Goal

Originally published on Sat March 24, 2012 8:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Presidential Race
10:01 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Campaign Videos: A Time-Tested Election Tactic

A screen shot of President Obama from the trailer for his campaign's movie The Road We've Traveled.
BarackObama.com/YouTube

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 6:34 am

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It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Romney Might Like The View From Peoria

Peoria, Ill., as seen from across the Illinois River.
Jeff Haynes Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:10 pm

Mississippi and Alabama were big wins for Rick Santorum in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination.

While never considered strong for Mitt Romney, those states further revealed the vulnerabilities of his campaign, specifically, problems identifying with many elements of the Republican base.

The next big contest is Tuesday in Illinois.

It's a state rich in delegates (69) and in something else that should be good news for Romney: more moderate Republicans. But he still needs to connect with even those voters.

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Election 2012
1:00 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Romney Turns Attention To Ohio, Super Tuesday

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 6:34 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. With the Michigan and Arizona primaries in his rearview mirror, Mitt Romney sped off to Ohio today. That's one of the 10 states that will vote next week on Super Tuesday. In a few minutes, we'll measure the broader picture of the GOP nominating contest with some members of the Republican establishment. First, NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea caught up with last night's winner in Toledo.

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Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Romney Scratches Out Close Victory In Michigan

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. For Mitt Romney, this is a day to savor victory and feel a lot of relief. The former Massachusetts governor turned back former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in two states. Romney won an easy victory in Arizona. In Michigan, Romney had to scratch out a close win in the state where he was born.

Romney has reclaimed his status as clear front-runner one week before 10 more states vote on Super Tuesday.

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Mitt Romney
10:01 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Michigan Primary A Test Of Romney's Family Legacy

A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a vintage campaign poster of Romney's father, George Romney, in Albion, Mich.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

Michigan and Arizona hold presidential primaries Tuesday, and in Michigan, where Mitt Romney was born, the race has been as hard-fought as anywhere in the country.

For Romney, the campaign there has been personal. He often evokes the Michigan of his youth, when his father, George, ran American Motors and went on to become a very popular three-term governor.

But does that family legacy mean anything today?

If you were to go to a Romney event in Detroit or Kalamazoo or Traverse City, you'd be almost guaranteed to hear some Romney family history.

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It's All Politics
7:14 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Romney Reaches Out To Skeptical Tea Partiers In Michigan

Mitt Romney sings the national anthem before speaking at a Tea Party event at the Bakers of Milford Banquet Hall on Thursday in Milford, Mich.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 1:08 pm

  • Listen to the Story On Morning Edition

Campaigning in Michigan on Thursday night, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reached out to Tea Party voters — a segment of the party that he has had a hard time winning over in previous states this primary season.

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Election 2012
2:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Santorum Campaigns In Michigan

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And at his stops in Michigan yesterday, Rick Santorum spoke of economic revival through low taxes, fewer regulations and his commitment to conservative family values.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Rick Santorum can't outspend Romney in Michigan, and he's facing a barrage of ads on radio and TV paid for by the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future. The ads attack Santorum's U.S. Senate record.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Catholics Split Over Obama Contraceptive Order

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 7:02 am

The conflict between the Catholic Bishops and the White House over contraceptive coverage has American Catholics choosing sides.

Catholics narrowly support the White House position in polls. There are potential political consequences: In presidential elections, Catholics are swing voters. They supported Al Gore in 2000, President George W. Bush in '04 and President Obama in '08.

The GOP presidential hopefuls are certainly using this issue. Framing it as a question of religious freedom is a guaranteed way to fire up the conservative base.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Gingrich Attacks Front-Runner Romney

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 7:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a little more than a day left before voters in Florida have their say in the GOP primary. The latest polls by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times show Mitt Romney with an 11-point lead over Newt Gingrich, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul trailing far behind. Newt Gingrich, who's had trouble getting support from establishment Republicans, picked up a nod from a decidedly non-establishment figure - one of his former rivals, Herman Cain.

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Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Romney, Gingrich Fight To The Finish In Fla.

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:43 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Florida holds its primary the day after tomorrow. If Mitt Romney wins, it could be a decisive victory for the former Massachusetts governor's bid for the nomination. But if Newt Gingrich comes out on top there will likely be a long battle ahead. Both men have a lot at stake in Tuesday's vote, which explains all the strong attacks they hurled at one another on the campaign trail and in TV spots across Florida yesterday.

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Presidential Race
2:44 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Republican Debates Become Must-See TV

This election cycle, one factor stands above all others in driving the dynamics of the race for the Republican presidential nomination: televised debates.

Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun January 22, 2012

How Ron Paul And Rick Santorum Performed In SC

NPR's Don Gonyea reports on the also-rans in Saturday's South Carolina primary.

Election 2012
10:01 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Modern Campaigning At Odds With Iowa Tradition

Former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Weber Paper Company Monday in Dubuque, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 am

Iowa's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is a fierce advocate for the Iowa caucuses. At times over the past four months, he has seemed frustrated that candidates have not been in the state as much as in past years.

Branstad's message over and over to the candidates was not to ignore the voters of Iowa, because they take it personally.

"They want to see the candidates, and they take their responsibility very seriously," Branstad says.

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Mitt Romney
3:37 am
Sun January 1, 2012

Romney Meets Friendly Crowd In Ice Cream Capital

Supporters seek autographs from Mitt Romney during a campaign event at the Family Table Restaurant Saturday in Le Mars, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

A little over three hours outside Des Moines, Iowa, in the northwest corner of the state, is the city of Le Mars. A sign proclaims this is the Ice Cream Capital of the World.

Saturday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke in Le Mars at the Family Table restaurant. His speech, like all Romney campaign speeches, was about President Obama.

"This is an election to decide whether we're going to go further and further down the path of becoming more and more similar to a European welfare state, or whether instead we're going to remain an exceptional nation," he said.

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Election 2012
3:19 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Confused About The Iowa Caucuses? Here's A Guide

On Jan. 3, Iowans will caucus at 1,774 precincts across the state, in the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating process. Above, Iowans caucus in 2004 at St. John's United Methodist Church in Des Moines, precinct 87.
Shaun Heasley Getty Images

At 7 p.m. central time on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating process takes place in Iowa.

As you've heard countless times, Iowans vote in caucuses, which are small political meetings held in 1,774 locations scattered around the state.

NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea has prepared this basic guide to next week's contest.

How It Works

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Presidential Race
4:48 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

As Caucuses Loom, Iowans Bemoan Lack of Face Time

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks Tuesday at the Lincoln Cafe in Belle Plaine, Iowa. Among GOP candidates, Santorum had the state to himself on Tuesday.
Chris Carlson Associated Press

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 9:38 pm

The Iowa caucuses — the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating season — take place in three weeks. That means there's precious little time for candidates to make their case and close the deal with Hawkeye State Republicans.

But candidates were tough to find in Iowa on Tuesday. Only former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — a big underdog in the race — was there. In fact, many Iowans note that this year candidates have spent fewer hours in the state than before recent presidential caucuses.

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Politics
1:48 am
Sun December 11, 2011

'Newt-Romney' Dominates Iowa Debate

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich squared off in the ABC debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 8:42 am

Six GOP presidential hopefuls met in a two-hour-long debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night, and this time the gloves came off.

This was the first such event since former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich moved into the front-runner spot. It had been anticipated that Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the top two in most polls — would square off as each hopes to win the Iowa caucuses, now just over three weeks away. They did, and the jabs got personal at times.

'Let's Be Candid'

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Newt Gingrich
12:06 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Gingrich's Most Important Adviser: Himself

Newt Gingrich, whose run for president nearly derailed earlier this year when many of his top staffers quit, now sits atop the polls. As a result, his campaign organization is growing. Here, he arrives at a town hall meeting last week in Staten Island, N.Y.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 8:29 pm

Back in June, the news out of the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign was dire.

Top staffers quit over differences about strategy, with some citing doubts about the candidate's seriousness — especially when he and his wife went on a cruise to the Greek Islands while his rivals stumped through New Hampshire and Iowa.

But now it's December, and Gingrich suddenly sits atop the polls. As a result, his organization is growing — as is the campaign brain trust. But Gingrich's most important adviser remains himself.

A Front-Runner's Staffing Needs

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Occupy Protesters Consider Political Future

Occupy Wall Street protestors have been removed by police from public spaces in Los Angeles and Philadelphia this week. Some cities still have active 24-hour protests in place, though earlier this month the original Occupy encampment — on Wall Street — was also shut down.

Now activists in New York and elsewhere are talking about the movement's next phase, including the degree to which Occupy activists get involved in the 2012 election.

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Politics
5:51 am
Sun November 20, 2011

GOP Hopefuls Open Up In Bid For Christian Vote

Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain talk after a forum sponsored by The Family Leader Saturday. Both men let their emotions show during the roundtable.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sun November 20, 2011 11:51 am

Six Republican presidential hopefuls gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, and each made a pitch for the state's very important Christian conservative vote.

The event was not a debate, but a roundtable discussion. The candidates sat side-by-side at what was described as a Thanksgiving table, complete with pumpkins and autumn leaves. Not present at the table was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who chose not to attend.

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Politics
2:00 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Perry Stumbles As GOP Hopefuls Debate Economy

Presidential hopefuls and voters alike sometimes get upset about so-called gotcha questions from reporters that seem designed to embarrass contenders. But Wednesday night's Republican debate outside Detroit demonstrated how some candidates have done a perfectly good job of "getting" themselves.

The debate had some dramatic moments — including one excruciating moment that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would probably like to forget. The comments focused on the economy and jobs, but there were also questions about the sexual harassment allegations against front-runner Herman Cain.

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Politics
2:00 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Tea Party Looks To Recapture Election Magic In 2012

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum prepare to debate during the event sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express at the Florida state fairgrounds on Sept. 12 in Tampa.
Win McNamee Getty Images

It was one year ago that the Tea Party movement helped Republicans take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. With the presidential election a year away, the movement finds itself searching for ways to have the same kind of impact this time around.

The Tea Party celebrated on election night last year with candidates like Rand Paul, who captured a Senate seat in Kentucky.

"Tonight there's a Tea Party tidal wave, and we're sending a message to them," Paul said in his victory speech.

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