Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

Pages

It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

On The Ground in Wisconsin: Lessons From The Losing Side

A sign along a county highway in Saukville, Wis. Exit polls showed 38 percent of voters with a labor union member in the family voted for Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:45 am

The morning after Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin handily rebuffed Democratic efforts to oust him, politicos in the state and beyond pored over exit poll data and turnout numbers to tease out:

A: How he did it.

B: Where Democrats failed.

My colleague Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, took a good shot at answering Question A Wednesday morning.

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It's All Politics
11:30 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Wisconsin Moderates: Heroes Or Heretics?

Stickers are given to voters Tuesday in Milwaukee. Wisconsin voters are choosing between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a recall election.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:04 pm

When Wisconsin State Sen. Dale Schultz goes to the polls Tuesday, he will vote for GOP Gov. Scott Walker in the gubernatorial recall election.

"I'm a Republican," Schultz said during an interview in his Capitol office in Madison, on the eve of the state's historically acrimonious and expensive recall election.

But if the Democratic candidate, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, succeeds in ousting Walker, Schultz, 58, says, "I'm going to do everything I can to make him successful, too."

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It's All Politics
2:04 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Romney's Week: Upstaged Time And Again

Former President George W. Bush winks in the East Room of the White House on Thursday during a ceremony to unveil his portrait.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 2:31 pm

What a week it was to have been for Mitt Romney.

But what a week it wasn't.

Poised to triumphantly clinch the Republican nomination for president, Romney instead was upstaged Tuesday by supporter Donald Trump's new birther-on-steroids shtick that stole the headlines and the candidate's big moment.

Then on Thursday, ready to embarrass President Obama by holding a "surprise" press event in front of Solyndra, the Obama-touted California solar energy company that failed after getting a $535 million government loan guarantee, Romney was upstaged yet again.

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It's All Politics
2:44 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

New Wisconsin Poll: Walker Maintains Lead; Obama Gains Strength

A new survey of Wisconsin voters shows GOP Gov. Scott Walker maintaining his lead over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democrat who is trying to oust the governor in a recall election Tuesday.

And the survey had good news for President Obama: during the last half of the month, he improved his standing against GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Wisconsin.

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It's All Politics
11:18 am
Wed May 30, 2012

GOP Chairman Says Recall Outcome Could Help Turn Wisconsin Red In November

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says the national party is putting its full weight behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday's recall election.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:45 pm

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday he is "very confident" that Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker will survive next week's recall election.

And Priebus, a Wisconsin native, said that a Walker win Tuesday over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett would mean "a much tougher road in Wisconsin" for President Obama in November's general election.

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It's All Politics
3:00 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Maine Independent Aims To Be Senate King, Acknowledges Potted Plant Potential

Former Maine Gov. Angus King speaks March 5 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Joel Page AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 3:57 pm

The most potentially influential politician you've probably never heard of, former two-term Maine Gov. Angus King, on Tuesday officially entered the race to replace retiring moderate GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe.

King, 68, an alternative-energy entrepreneur and supporter of President Obama, filed more than 6,000 signatures with Maine's secretary of state to ensure his place on November's ballot.

He'll run as an independent, as he did for his successful gubernatorial runs in the 1990s.

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It's All Politics
11:35 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Friday Night Fight In Wisconsin: First Debate Before Looming Recall

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker campaigns Thursday with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in Waukesha, Wis.
Darren Hauck Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:11 pm

The divisive battle to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker moves into its final phase in coming days with debates, a continuing flood of out-of-state ad money, and polls that suggest the incumbent is poised to fend off Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.

Here's a look at where things stand between the Republican Walker and Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, heading into Friday night's televised debate, the first of two before the June 5 rematch. (Walker defeated Barrett in the 2010 governor's race, 52.2 percent to 46.5 percent.)

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It's All Politics
2:26 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Mitt Romney Vs. Rand Paul In 2016?

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., talk at a campaign event for the elder Paul in Des Moines, Iowa, last August.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 3:07 pm

As sort-of-still-a-presidential-candidate Ron Paul continues to collect delegates at state Republican Party conventions, the question of what the libertarian Texas congressman wants has become more urgent in GOP circles.

A speaking role at the Republican convention, where Mitt Romney is expected to accept the nomination?

A seat at the party's rule-making table to advocate making it easier for non-mainstream candidates to compete in future GOP nominating contests?

Well, yes, as a start.

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It's All Politics
11:56 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Romney Phones His Campaign Message Into Swing States

Following the release of what his campaign called his first ad of the general election, Romney participated in a "tele-town hall" with supporters in the swing states where the ad is running: Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa.

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House & Senate Races
10:06 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Tale Of The Tape: Ex-Governors Duke It Out In Va.

Former Virginia Govs. Tim Kaine (left) and George Allen after a Senate debate in Richmond, Va., on Dec.. 7, 2011.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 12:38 pm

One of the highest-profile political matchups of the season is playing out in Virginia, where two former governors with powerful friends and big-money backing are battling to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.

The dead-heat matchup pits Democrat Tim Kaine, 54, a favorite of President Obama and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, against George Allen, 60, namesake of his legendary Washington Redskins football coach father and a U.S. senator until undone in a re-election bid by what has become known as his "macaca moment."

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It's All Politics
11:02 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Ron Paul Spokesman: Candidate Unlikely To Ever Endorse Romney

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas (right), talks with chief strategist Jesse Benton in Ames, Iowa, on Aug. 13.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 11:31 am

Presidential candidate Ron Paul is not expected to ultimately endorse presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Paul's chief strategist said Tuesday.

"Never say never, but I don't believe that's likely," said Jesse Benton, during a half-hour-plus give-and-take with reporters.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Ron Paul Isn't Dropping Out, Spokesman Says

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Feb. 3.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 9:20 am

Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.

"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."

"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.

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Election 2012
1:35 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Mourdock's Demeanor Masks Conservative Fervor

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 3:08 pm

Richard Mourdock is the first to admit he's lacking in the political flash-and-dash department.

"I never got hit with the charisma stick when I was lying there in the nursery," the newly crowned Indiana Republican Senate candidate told NPR in a recent interview.

But Mourdock, 60, who on Tuesday toppled six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in a GOP primary, is a determined if not dynamic campaigner, those who know him say, and no newcomer to the trail.

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It's All Politics
7:05 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Voters Tuesday To Decide Lugar's Fate, Walker's Wisconsin Recall Opponent

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., meets with voters Tuesday outside of a polling place in Greenwood, Ind. Lugar is being challenged in the Republican primary by Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 9:00 am

Voters in Indiana, Wisconsin and North Carolina on Tuesday will decide the outcome of battles many see as proxy wars going into the fall elections.

-- In Indiana, voters will determine the fate of six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, 80, a respected legislator who has run afoul of Tea Party activists.

-- In Wisconsin, they'll pick a Democrat from a field of four whose aim it will be to oust anti-union Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a June recall election prompted by his slashing of collective bargaining rights.

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It's All Politics
11:51 am
Sun May 6, 2012

Big Money, Free-Marketers, And The Fight Of Sen. Lugar's Career

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., attends a state dinner at the White House on Oct. 13, 2011.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:27 am

The end of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar's 35-year career representing Indiana in the U.S. Senate could be imminent.

A new Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll shows the octogenarian trailing State Treasurer Richard Mourdock by 10 percentage points ahead of Tuesday's GOP Senate primary. The survey also finds that the venerable Lugar is increasingly viewed by home-state voters in a negative light.

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Election 2012
3:12 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Before Recall, Wis. Dems Must Choose Walker's Rival

A new poll shows Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett leading among Democrats vying to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a recall election in June. The Democratic primary is Tuesday.
Dinesh Ramde AP

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 3:33 pm

The political civil war that has gripped Wisconsin since Republican Gov. Scott Walker's 2010 election will intensify next week when Democrats pick a candidate to post up against the governor in a historic recall election in June.

Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary has developed into a two-person race between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker in the GOP landslide of 2010, and former County Executive Kathleen Falk, the favorite of the state's public employee unions.

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Presidential Race
3:16 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

The Obama-Romney Poll-A-Palooza: What's It Mean?

Some voters may be choosing campaign buttons now, but most polling experts agree it's too early to predict November's winner.
Daniel Acker Landov

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:25 am

President Obama is leading presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney big in recent national polls.

No, wait. Polls show he's trailing Romney by a couple of percentage points.

Oh — this just in: Obama is actually leading Romney, but the race is tightening.

It's a general election poll-a-palooza out there, people.

But what do all the numbers mean?

"I have friends who support Obama, and friends who support Mitt Romney," says Scott Keeter, survey research director at Pew Research Center. "I tell them not to get too excited or too depressed at this point."

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It's All Politics
6:33 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Will Pennsylvania Dash Santorum's Political Dreams (Again)?

The action was in Wisconsin Tuesday night, but Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, had already moved on to his home state of Pennsylvania. They greeted supporters at an election night rally in Mars.
Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 7:07 am

After going 0-for-3 in Tuesday's presidential primaries, a defiant Rick Santorum dismissed calls to drop out and predicted he'll win the next contest in his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24.

He'll have to — and not because it would put the former Pennsylvania senator on a path to defeat front-runner Mitt Romney, who has been racking up delegates and is increasingly seen as the inevitable nominee.

A loss in Pennsylvania, where recent polls show Santorum is weakening, would "destroy the rationale for him continuing," says Pennsylvania pollster G. Terry Madonna.

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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Mitt Who? State Issues, Governor Eclipse Presidential Politics In Wisconsin

Mitt Romney has campaigned in the shadow of embattled Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who faces a recall vote in June. Here, Romney speaks with Walker supporters at a phone bank during a campaign stop in Fitchburg, Wis., on Saturday.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 12:25 pm

Voters in Wisconsin's GOP primary Tuesday are poised to help former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wrap up his dogged, well-financed quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

But the winner-take-all primary and Romney's drawn-out battle with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have been overshadowed by the campaign to recall GOP Gov. Scott Walker, whose anti-union efforts since his 2010 election have cleaved the Badger State.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:08 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet Day 3: Scalia Unplugged

Activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the court hears a third day of arguments on President Obama's health care law.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 2:43 pm

On the final morning of its three-day health care law extravaganza, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the question of whether parts of the 2010 federal statute can survive if the justices strike down its central tenet: the individual insurance requirement.

In other words, if the nine justices find the insurance mandate unconstitutional when they rule by June, would that mean that the entire law also fails the constitutionality test?

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Shots - Health Blog
2:10 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet: A Quick Guide To The Day 2 Arguments

Opponents and supporters of President Obama's health care overhaul rallied outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Bob Mason shows support for the Tea Party by dressing in costume as one of the Founding Fathers.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 6:11 pm

A clearly divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took up the centerpiece of President Obama's health care law: its requirement that by 2014 individuals have insurance coverage or face a penalty.

In contrast to Monday's dense and technical arguments, Tuesday's session was filled with sharp rhetorical volleys and clever analogies. Here are some of the more telling exchanges between the lawyers and the high court justices.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:28 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Reading Between The Lines Of Monday's Supreme Court Arguments

Demonstrators in support of President Obama's health care overhaul march outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
John Rose NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday opened three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the insurance requirement embedded in President Obama's landmark health care law with a simple question and an obscure 1867 law.

The question: Does the court even have the right to hear the health care challenge, given that the Anti-Injunction Act prevents federal courts from taking cases where taxpayers are trying to prevent the government from "assessing or collecting" taxes?

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Judging The Health Care Law
4:03 am
Sun March 25, 2012

In Health Case, Combustible Mix Of Politics And Law

The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week over President Obama's health care overhaul.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 6:33 am

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin hearing oral arguments Monday in a Republican-led challenge to the national health care law that has convulsed the country and its political class for more than two years — and may well define President Obama's tenure in the White House.

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It's All Politics
5:01 am
Wed March 21, 2012

In Winner-Take-All Wisconsin, Looming GOP Primary Is Just A Sideshow

Volunteers at the Wisconsin Democratic Party's recall office in Waukesha entered names from petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker into their voter databases on March 20.
Liz Halloran NPR

Mary Beth Kopidlansky of Waukesha says she knows who she'll vote for in Wisconsin's upcoming GOP presidential primary (Mitt Romney), but that's not really what she's interested in talking about.

For Kopidlansky, and most potential voters in this most Republican of Wisconsin counties, the contest that is consuming them and the rest of the state is not the state's April 3 presidential primary when 42 potentially crucial delegates will be awarded.

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It's All Politics
7:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Santorum Gains Momentum As GOP Slog Continues

After Rick Santorum won primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, he addressed supporters in Louisiana, which holds its primary on March 24.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:50 am

Rick Santorum won two Southern state GOP presidential primaries Tuesday, embarrassing Mitt Romney who had predicted he'd take one.

Second-place finisher Newt Gingrich vowed to fight on to Tampa, tag-teaming Romney along with Santorum. The "three-way dynamic," as he put it, is a winner for Gingrich and, perhaps, his dream of deal-making at the convention, and for Romney, too, whose Southern result could have been much worse if he'd been posting up against Santorum alone.

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Presidential Race
2:29 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Hey, Y'all: Why Romney Might Just Win In The South

Carla Castorina of Hurley, Miss., holds a sign supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney after a campaign rally at the Port of Pascagoula in Pascagoula, Miss., on March 8. Polls show a tight race in the state, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
Dan Anderson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 4:08 pm

Mitt Romney's stilted efforts to relate to Dixie voters by tossing off a few "y'alls" and references to grits have been roundly mocked as awkward pandering.

And rightfully so, says political scientist Marvin King, who cringed at the GOP candidate's sprinkling of vernacular and Southern stereotypes into his patter during appearances in Mississippi and Alabama. The two states hold their Republican presidential primaries Tuesday.

"You can tell Romney wasn't expecting to campaign down here, and it shows," says King of the University of Mississippi.

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It's All Politics
4:05 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Ron Paul's In-It-To-Win-It Strategy Is 'Not Far-Fetched,' Campaign Manager Says

Texas Rep. Ron Paul (right) talks with the his presidential campaign manager, Jesse Benton, backstage at the Republican Party's Iowa straw poll last August.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 8:34 am

Texas Rep. Ron Paul hasn't won any of the 23 Republican presidential primaries or caucuses already in the 2012 history books.

He's captured only 29 delegates, just 5 percent of those awarded in contests to date. (Front-runner Mitt Romney has 340 committed delegates, 58 percent of those officially allotted, according to NPR calculations.)

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Presidential Race
11:18 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Can Republicans Win Over Women In November?

Romney supporters celebrate in Boston on Super Tuesday. Exit polls from Super Tuesday's GOP presidential contests suggest that front-runner Mitt Romney does best with women voters.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:58 am

For the first presidential cycle in years, Republicans seemed to have a shot at overcoming Democrats' long-standing edge with women voters.

They fared better than Democrats among women overall in the 2010 midterm election — the Republicans' best overall national result among women in 18 years.

And 2012 seemed to have the potential to turn that good showing into a trend, a key advantage in an electorate where women make up the majority of all voters.

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It's All Politics
4:08 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Romney Says He Opposes Contraceptive Bill, But His Campaign Says Otherwise

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 6:21 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a reporter Wednesday that he opposes a measure being considered by the Senate that would allow employers to decline to provide contraception coverage to women.

"I'm not for the bill," Romney said during an interview with Ohio News Network reporter Jim Heath. "But, look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I'm not going there."

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It's All Politics
4:08 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Evangelicals Still Cool On Romney, Exit Poll Analysis Shows

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses during a visit to St. Paul's Lutheran Church while campaigning in Berlin, N.H., on Dec. 22.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 6:52 am

A next-day analysis of the Republican presidential primaries in Michigan and Arizona won by Mitt Romney underscores one of his weaknesses with his party's base, especially with the ascent of his now-chief rival Rick Santorum: He fares more poorly with born-again and evangelical voters than with nonevangelicals.

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