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Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor is the lead digital political reporter for NPR. Based in Washington, D.C., she covers the 2016 elections and national politics for NPR digital.

Before joining NPR in May 2015, Taylor was the campaign editor for The Hill newspaper where she oversaw the newspaper's 2014 midterm coverage, managed a team of political reporters and wrote her own biweekly column.

Prior to The Hill, Taylor was a writer and producer for MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd" and a contributor to the NBC News Political Unit. She covered and reported on the 2012 election as a senior analyst for The Rothenberg Gonzales Political Report. Her quotes have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, as well as several state and regional newspapers across the country. Taylor has also appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN and other local network affiliates.

On Election Night 2012, Jessica served as an off-air analyst for CBS News in New York, advising producers and reporters on House and Senate races.

Previously, Jessica was editor of National Journal's "House Race Hotline" and Assistant Editor for POLITICO during the 2010 midterms. She began her career in Washington as the research director for The Almanac of American Politics.

A native of Elizabethton, Tenn., she is a graduate of Furman University in Greenville, S.C. and now lives in Alexandria, Va.

Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET

The federal government may be in a partial shutdown, but the gears of a political blame game kept rolling Saturday morning. President Trump was tweeting at dawn, blaming Democrats for the lapse in government funding as the Senate failed to advance a four-week extension overnight.

Trump accused Democrats of choosing "unchecked illegal immigration" over the military, and Democrats say he has not kept his word to find a deal to protect immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.

As President Trump approaches the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, a majority of Americans think that his first year in office has been a failure and that he has divided the nation.

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll data released Thursday finds that Americans deemed Trump's first year a failure, 53 percent to 40 percent. And by an almost 2-to-1 ratio (61 percent to 32 percent), Americans said they believe Trump has divided the country since his election.

President Trump is in excellent health with "no indication" of "any cognitive issues" — but he could afford to lose a few pounds and start exercising over the coming year, according to the president's physician.

The number of House Republicans declining to run for re-election has hit a record level in 2018, as 32 GOP members have said they are leaving: 19 are retiring from public office, while 13 are seeking another position.

House Democrats are facing 15 retirements, including three seats they will have to defend in districts President Trump carried in 2018.

Just three members of the Senate have announced their retirements, all Republicans.

Americans love Oprah Winfrey — they just don't necessarily want her to run for president.

In a head-to-head matchup with President Trump, Winfrey would win 50 to 39 percent, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

But when asked if they want Winfrey to run for president, a majority (54 percent) said they don't want her to do so, with 35 percent saying they do want her to run.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.

There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., says a primary challenge in 2020 to President Trump isn't off the table.

"That's not in my plans, but I don't rule anything out," the frequent Trump critic told NPR's Robert Siegel in an interview airing Thursday on All Things Considered.

Updated at 8:44 p.m. ET

The White House announced Wednesday that President Trump's controversial Advisory Commission on Election Integrity — which was mired in lawsuits and had received pushback from states over voter data requests — has been dissolved.

Suffice it to say, Roy Moore just can't let it go.

More than two weeks after the Alabama Republican Senate nominee lost the state's special election to Democrat Doug Jones by about 20,000 votes, Moore not only has yet to concede but filed a lawsuit alleging voter fraud — just hours before the election was set to be certified.

On Thursday, a judge rejected the lawsuit. The certification of Jones as the winner went on as planned.

Democrats have a path to a Senate majority in 2018 after an upset win by Doug Jones in last Tuesday's Alabama Senate special election.

That was something thought to be a near impossibility at the start of the Trump presidency.

The win in Alabama now gives Democrats the elusive third target seat they had been looking for, which they needed given they're defending 10 incumbents who sit in states that Trump won last November.

Updated at 12:44 a.m. ET

Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, a victory that was a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. The president, who had backed Republican Roy Moore despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, congratulated Jones on Twitter.

"Unprecedented" is a term that was thrown around a lot to describe the crazy 2016 presidential election. Now, the Alabama Senate race may be giving that campaign a run for its money.

For some Alabama voters, supporting abortion rights may be a sin worse than some of the sexual misdeeds Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore has been accused of — allegations Moore has denied.

That's the conundrum facing the state's conservative, deeply religious electorate: Embrace Democrat Doug Jones despite his liberal stance on abortion and other social issues or vote for Moore anyway even if they believe there is some truth to the sexual assault allegations against him.

Update on Dec. 8, 2017: Franks now says he will resign as of Friday, rather than at the end of January, as previously announced.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., is the third member of Congress to announce his resignation this week, saying that he had discussed surrogacy with two female subordinates.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is planning to take his crusade against President Trump's tendency to play fast and loose with the truth to the Senate floor.

The retiring lawmaker told Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep he is planning a series of speeches about the critical importance of facts and truth to American democracy. Flake continues to be one of the few GOP legislators to vigorously speak out against Trump.

Most Americans don't want their family members to pass along their political opinions while passing the turkey and dressing this Thanksgiving.

According to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 58 percent of people celebrating the holiday are dreading having to talk politics around the dinner table. Just 31 percent said they were eager to discuss the latest news with their family and friends, while 11 percent are unsure.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that President Trump believes the allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual assault against Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore are "very troubling and should be taken seriously" but stopped short of calling on him to step aside as other national Republican leaders have.

"He believes the people of Alabama should make the decision of who their next senator is going to be," said Sanders, who added later that she didn't expect Trump to campaign for Moore.

Updated at 11:44 p.m. ET

Democrat Ralph Northam has easily won the Virginia governor's race, defeating Republican Ed Gillespie in a stinging rebuke to President Trump.

The National Archives released 553 new documents Friday related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The Associated Press reports that the additional papers show that the CIA was working to gather information about a trip to Mexico City that Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had made weeks before he shot the president.

When Donald Trump announced he would be running for president, he didn't seem like the obvious candidate for evangelical voters, given his multiple divorces, use of crass language and one-time admission that he had never asked God for forgiveness.

Nonetheless, he did manage to coalesce 81 percent of white evangelical voters behind him in November.

Updated Oct. 27, 9:50 p.m. ET

The 2,891 records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy released by the National Archives Thursday contain many interesting tidbits.

  • The FBI tried to track down a stripper known as "Kitty" who may have been an associate of nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald two days after Oswald killed Kennedy.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

Congress has approved a joint budget resolution, a critical step to paving the way for major tax legislation later this year.

The Senate-approved resolution passed the House narrowly on Thursday, 216-212, with 20 Republicans voting no and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., even having to cast a rare vote to help ensure its passage.

Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET

President Trump was met by a protester who threw Russian flags at him and chanted "Trump is treason!" as he arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday to urge Senate Republicans to pass tax cuts.

While the president was entering the weekly GOP lunch on Capitol Hill, escorted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a man appeared to have gotten inside the press scrum, throwing the small flags that had the word "TRUMP" emblazoned in gold.

Former President Obama returned to the campaign trail for the first time since leaving office Thursday campaigning for the Democratic candidates for governor in New Jersey and Virginia.

He put the Virginia race, where he was campaigning for Ralph Northam, in the starkest terms.

"We need you to take this seriously, because our democracy is at stake," Obama told a crowd of 7,500 at a packed convention center, "and it's at stake right here in Virginia."

Updated at 7:18 p.m. ET

Steve Bannon came to the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to detail the holy war he intends to wage against Republicans at the ballot box in next year's midterm elections.

"This is not my war. This is our war. And y'all didn't start it. The establishment started it," President Trump's controversial former chief strategist told the rapt crowd of Christian conservatives. "But I will tell you one thing — you all are going to finish it."

Updated at 5:38 p.m. ET

President Trump spoke to one of the most faithful blocs of his base on Friday, telling attendees of this year's Values Voter Summit that in America "we don't worship government, we worship God."

White House chief of staff John Kelly made an unusual appearance at Thursday's daily press briefing to clear up a few things: He isn't going anywhere, he is not frustrated by President Trump's use of Twitter and he is not trying to micromanage the president.

"Although I read it all the time, pretty consistently, I'm not quitting today," Kelly said. "I don't believe — and I just talked to the president — I don't believe that I'm being fired today. And I'm not so frustrated in this job that I'm thinking of leaving."

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