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.

"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.

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."

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET

President Trump is nominating Kirstjen Nielsen to be the next homeland security secretary, the White House announced Wednesday.

Nielsen would succeed now-White House chief of staff John Kelly in the position if confirmed by the Senate. She currently serves as Kelly's principal deputy chief of staff and was also his chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., announced on Tuesday she will run for Senate in Tennessee — and took a shot at the current Republican leadership in her announcement video.

The partisan split in America is the highest it has been in two decades, with Republicans and Democrats holding vastly disparate views on race, immigration and the role of government, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

Pew has been measuring attitudes on policy issues and political values going back to 1994, and its latest check-in finds — perhaps unsurprisingly — that Americans are more divided than ever.

Updated at 8:24 p.m. ET

President Trump traveled Tuesday to devastated Puerto Rico following his administration's maligned response to Hurricane Maria. But as soon as he stepped off the plane, the president was in a self-congratulatory mood.

In a hurricane briefing Trump praised his Cabinet, contrasted the devastation with "a real catastrophe like [Hurricane] Katrina," threw in an aside about how much Puerto Rico recovery was costing the U.S., and later was filmed throwing paper towels into a crowd as part of efforts to distribute supplies.

Roy Moore's GOP runoff win in Alabama on Tuesday has only emboldened the anti-establishment wing of the party in its belief that it can knock off other incumbent senators in next year's midterm primaries.

"We're going to war," former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told Politico this week. "This is not a pillow fight, this is a fight fight."

After winning Tuesday night's Alabama GOP Senate primary runoff, Roy Moore is one step closer to the United States Senate. The anti-establishment conservative could give Republican leaders plenty of headaches if he wins the general election in December.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Conservative firebrand Roy Moore rolled to an easy win in the Alabama GOP Senate primary runoff, defeating appointed Sen. Luther Strange, the preferred candidate of both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Tuesday night, both Trump and McConnell pledged their support for Moore going forward.

President Trump's brand faces a major test on Tuesday in the Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff.

His preferred candidate is Luther Strange, the incumbent senator who has consistently trailed in the polls to firebrand conservative Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court justice.

Trump was just in Alabama stumping for Strange on Friday, where he landed himself in controversy, calling for the firing of NFL players who don't stand for the national anthem.

Conservatives are livid after President Trump appeared to have made a deal with Democrats in order to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program — claiming he is abandoning his base and the stringent immigration platform he campaigned on.

President Trump and his allies aren't exactly running the playbook Republicans want him to ahead of the 2018 midterms. And that could be costly for the GOP at the ballot box next year.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Democratic congressional leaders announced Wednesday that they had reached a deal with President Trump in an Oval Office meeting to pass hurricane relief funding this week, along with measures to push off pressing fiscal deadlines to December — over the apparent objections of Republican leaders.

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