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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

President Trump is defending Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, who has been accused by multiple women of sexually assaulting them when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s.

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.

One year out from the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats see light ahead while Republicans are being dragged down by President Trump.

Democrats got a huge boost after big wins in Virginia and other states on Tuesday in a repudiation of Trump's victory just one year ago, finally harnessing the backlash against an unpopular president to wins at the ballot box. Now, they must keep that momentum going.

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 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 p.m. ET

White House chief of staff John Kelly — a retired Marine general whose own son died in Afghanistan — appeared at the White House press briefing on Thursday, attempting to quell the controversy around a phone call President Trump made to a grieving military widow.

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."

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