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.

Tuesday's neck-and-neck special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District carries a lot of weight for both parties — despite the fact that it won't even exist in its current iteration come November.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Texans cast their votes in primaries Tuesday, the first contests of the 2018 election cycle. Democrats turned out in numbers not seen in more than a decade — with outcomes in various races bringing about both history and controversy — though far more Republican voters showed up at the polls across the deep red state.

Updated at 6:02 p.m. ET

Citing his ailing health, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced he will resign on April 1, setting up a special election this November.

"I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge," Cochran said in a statement Monday. "I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate."

Updated on March 5 at 7:13 p.m. ET

The 2018 primary elections kick off this week, and Democrats are already seeing reasons to be excited deep in the red, beating heart of Texas.

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel is expected to mount a conservative primary challenge to Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, setting in motion an intraparty battle from a Tea Party challenger who nearly knocked off an incumbent four years ago.

In a Facebook Live video Monday night, McDaniel didn't officially announce his candidacy. But he did invite supporters to a rally he's holding on Wednesday afternoon in his hometown, admitting that, "I think you can probably read between the lines as to why I would be holding an event."

A week after 17 people were killed at a Parkland, Fla., high school, President Trump hosted survivors, parents and teachers from that and other recent school shooting tragedies for an emotional, nearly 90-minute listening session at the White House Wednesday.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

If the answer is, "This longtime Jeopardy! host has been chosen to moderate a Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate this fall," then the question is, "Who is Alex Trebek?"

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer has reversed course and will challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, finally giving Republicans a top recruit in a state that President Trump won by more than 30 points and making it a prime pickup opportunity for the GOP in 2018.

On Facebook, Cramer posted he will be announcing his Senate candidacy on Friday in Bismarck.

Updated Feb. 10 at 1:09 p.m. ET

President Trump will not immediately release a memo drafted by Democrats on the House intelligence committee intended to respond to a memo by that committee's Republican chairman released last week, with the White House instead suggesting revisions of sensitive sections before it is made available to the public.

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy announced Wednesday that he is not seeking re-election, making him the 34th Republican and ninth committee chairman to retire ahead of the potentially brutal 2018 midterm elections.

Gowdy is a former prosecutor who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. He gained national attention and conservative acclaim as the chairman of the House select committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's response to the attacks.

Updated on Jan. 31 at 12:47 a.m. ET

President Trump sought to strike a unifying tone with his first State of the Union address, but some of his rhetoric on immigration and his promise to put "America First" was clearly aimed at his base.

Updated at 7:16 p.m. ET

President Trump is planning a bipartisan pitch to Congress with his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, but he will have his work cut out for him with a public that is more divided than ever.

"Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family," Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is the latest veteran Republican to announce his retirement, opening up another competitive district as the GOP braces for what could be a brutal midterm cycle.

It's a no-go from Oprah for 2020.

Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul and actress who spurred buzz of a White House bid with her stirring speech at the Golden Globes this month, told InStyle that she isn't interested in being president.

"I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not. ... I don't have the DNA for it," Winfrey told the magazine.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

If you're trying to tamp down on allegations of sexual harassment, it's probably not a good idea to say the staffer who is making the claim was a "soul mate."

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

The federal government is back open for business on Tuesday, but the immigration fight that brought it to a three-day shutdown is far from over.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, and it appears it will be that way for some time.

President Trump and members of Congress publicly say they want to reopen the federal government, but, in the first day of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue showed no signs of ending their stalemate.

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.

Updated on May 29, 10:53 a.m. ET

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.

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.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

There are two new faces and a slimmer GOP Senate majority as the chamber returned to kick off 2018 on Wednesday.

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones takes the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after his December victory over controversial GOP nominee Roy Moore, who was accused by several women of sexual assault and misconduct against them when they were teens and he was in his 30s.

Updated at 11:51 a.m. ET on Jan. 4

A pivotal Virginia legislative race — and control of the entire House of Delegates — came down to the luck of the draw on Thursday.

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.

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.

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