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.

If the entire, bizarre 2016 GOP presidential primary could be captured in one video, this might be it.

Aside from the White House race, there's another important battle this November that shouldn't be overlooked — the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

The real White House West Wing felt a bit like the fictional one at the center of the NBC television series The West Wing for a brief moment on Friday afternoon.

Posing as her character C.J. Cregg, who was the press secretary in the critically acclaimed show that ran from 1999 until 2006, actress Allison Janney took a surprise turn on the podium to the delight and surprise of the real White House press corps.

Lately, it's been a political guessing game of which Donald Trump is going to show up.

In the past 24 hours alone, the whiplash between what rival-turned-uneven-surrogate Ben Carson called the "two different Donald Trumps" was on bold display.

Ted Cruz announced Wednesday he is picking former rival Carly Fiorina as his running mate in a last-ditch move designed to shake up the GOP primary race in which he badly trails Donald Trump.

Calling his decision "one of the most solemn choices you make" as a candidate, at a rally in Indianapolis, Ind., Cruz praised Fiorina's business experience, character and past ability to stand up to the Republican front-runner.

"She doesn't get overly excited," Cruz said. "She doesn't get rattled over what is being thrown at her."

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rolled in the delegates in Tuesday night's presidential primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. But there were some other important results in House and Senate primaries that will have bearing on the general election.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took definitive steps toward solidifying their respective party's presidential nomination on Tuesday, making their rivals' task to beat them nearly insurmountable.

Trump won all five of the delegate-rich GOP primaries in Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island. Clinton notched four victories in Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, while Bernie Sanders won the Rhode Island Democratic primary.

The presidential primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island will get top billing on Tuesday night, but there are several other down-ballot contests to pay attention to as well.

One Senate primary in Pennsylvania will impact how competitive the race there might be in November, while in Maryland a bitter Democratic contest that's turned on race and gender will likely decide the state's next senator.

When it comes to policy, there are few differences between the two candidates locked in a bitter fight in Maryland's Democratic Senate primary. But as individuals, there are big ones — Rep. Chris Van Hollen is a white man running to succeed the longest-serving woman ever in the Senate, while Rep. Donna Edwards is running to be just the second African-American woman ever to serve in the upper chamber.

Wine retailer David Trone is pouring $12.4 million of his own money into his campaign for a Maryland congressional district — the most ever from a self-financing House candidate.

Ahead of the Democratic primary on Tuesday for this suburban Washington, D.C., seat, his decision to entirely self-fund his race with such an exorbitant investment is fueling a debate over money in politics and whether bankrolling your campaign — much like a certain GOP presidential front-runner has done — is a positive or a negative.

A Risky, Expensive Investment

You'd be excused if you tuned out in previous years when the actual nominating part of a political convention occurred. Usually it's a pro forma exercise with little suspense, as each state ticks off its vote for the eventual nominee. And that nominee has been known well in advance — at least for the last 40 years, anyway.

But this year a contested convention actually seems possible, if not probable, on the Republican side. It's the stuff of journalists' dreams and political consultants' nightmares.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton notched important wins in their respective presidential primaries in their home state of New York on Tuesday night, helping both in their efforts to clinch their party's White House nomination.

In the Republican race, the billionaire real estate mogul sealed a massive victory over his two remaining rivals, sweeping at least 89 of the 95 delegates up for grabs.

The Associated Press reports:

Donald Trump is now the only Republican candidate with any chance of clinching the nomination before the convention.

The results from Tuesday night's New York primary could be crucial in determining whether either (or both) of the presidential nominating contests is clinched anytime soon.

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin primaries Tuesday night, an important step for both candidates as they look to stop their leading rivals and close their delegate gaps.

For the Republican Texas senator, he's on pace for a nearly double-digit win over Donald Trump, increasing the likelihood of a contested Republican convention this July in Cleveland.

There's a lot on the line for both parties in Tuesday's Wisconsin contest. For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the state is a prime chance to stop Donald Trump and complicate the GOP front-runner's path to the nomination. For Bernie Sanders, a win over Hillary Clinton helps close his delegate deficit and gives the Vermont senator new momentum heading into the next stretch of the primary calendar.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump don't agree on much lately, but the two GOP presidential candidates are in accord on one thing — it's time for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to get out of the race.

Scott Walker never got the chance to officially face off with Donald Trump at the ballot box — but if the GOP front-runner loses on the Wisconsin governor's home turf, it still could be a victory of sorts for the former presidential candidate.

The war of words between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz reached a new fever pitch on Thursday, with Cruz calling his GOP rival a "sniveling coward" after the real estate mogul retweeted an insult aimed at the Texas senator's wife.

Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz each notched victories in Tuesday's Western contests, but Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's big wins in Arizona still mean their overall delegate lead won't change much.

On the Democratic side, Sanders won big victories in the Utah and Idaho caucuses, but the much smaller prizes could end up netting him roughly the same number of delegates Clinton will get from her Arizona win.

White House hopefuls are heading West on Tuesday as both parties face voters in Arizona and Utah, while Democrats will caucus in Idaho.

For Republicans, it's another chance to try to stop Donald Trump's mounting delegate advantage, and the states voting Tuesday aren't necessarily the friendly terrain he has been used to.

Donald Trump took a detour from the campaign trail on Monday to try to build relationships with Republican officials and reach out to Jewish voters — while also promoting his latest signature building just blocks from the White House.

The GOP presidential front-runner met Monday morning with several GOP lawmakers who are backing his campaign, which has met resistance from much of the rest of the Republican establishment.

But if his trip was intended to try to grow his support within Washington circles, it's not clear he made much progress.

Mitt Romney will cast his vote for Ted Cruz in Tuesday's Utah GOP caucuses, he announced on Facebook Friday afternoon.

But that doesn't necessarily mean the 2012 Republican presidential nominee is rooting for the Texas senator to win the nomination or that he's endorsing his bid. Instead, the choice is a continuation of Romney's broader strategy to deny Donald Trump the GOP nomination and force an open convention this summer in Cleveland.

Hillary Clinton was declared the winner of the Missouri Democratic primary by The Associated Press on Thursday evening, nearly two days after the state held its primary.

She eked out a slim victory of just 1,531 votes over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. That's a difference of just three-tenths of a percent and was within the margin of a possible recount, but Sanders said earlier Thursday he wouldn't ask for that.

Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland headed to Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon to meet with senators, beginning the traditional ritual of any nominee to the Supreme Court.

But for the former prosecutor, the exercise could be in vain. Senate Republicans are holding steadfast in their refusal to even consider Garland's nomination to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died unexpectedly last month.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced Tuesday night that he was suspending his campaign for president after losing his home state in a landslide to Donald Trump.

"After tonight it is clear that while we are on the right side, we will not be on the winning side," Rubio told supporters in Miami.

Rubio congratulated Donald Trump at the start of his speech, but later appeared to criticize the real estate mogul's tactics.

The GOP presidential field dropped by one candidate on Tuesday night, but Republicans are still no closer to uniting behind a nominee.

Democrats, however, did get more clarity as Hillary Clinton racked up more wins over Bernie Sanders, extending her delegate lead and complicating the Vermont senator's nomination calculation.

Even though Tuesday may not have more delegates or states in play than Super Tuesday, March 1, had, it's still a big day, with more than 1,000 delegates at stake. More importantly, the results could end up deciding who the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates will be.

Five states are casting votes on March 15, along with one U.S. territory on the GOP side.

Update: The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office officially decided not to file charges against Donald Trump, North Carolina TV station WRAL reports:

Donald Trump's campaign canceled a planned Chicago rally on Friday night after chaos and clashes between protesters and attendees overtook the event.

"Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight's rally will be postponed to another date," the Republican's campaign said in a statement. "Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace."

Hillary Clinton apologized on Friday after she called the late Nancy Reagan a "very effective, low-key" advocate on HIV/AIDS awareness.

The Democratic presidential candidate now says she "misspoke" when she told MSNBC during Reagan's funeral that the former first lady and her husband, President Ronald Reagan, pushed for recognition of the disease in the national community.

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