Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor is a political reporter with NPR based in Washington, DC, covering elections and breaking news out of the White House and Congress. Her reporting can be heard and seen on a variety of NPR platforms, from on air to online. For more than a decade, she has reported on and analyzed House and Senate elections and is a contributing author to the 2020 edition of The Almanac of American Politics and is a senior contributor to The Cook Political Report.

Before joining NPR in May 2015, Taylor was the campaign editor for The Hill newspaper. Taylor has also reported for the NBC News Political Unit, Inside Elections, National Journal, The Hotline and Politico. Taylor has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN, and she is a regular on the weekly roundup on NPR's 1A with Joshua Johnson. On Election Night 2012, Taylor served as an off-air analyst for CBS News in New York.

A native of Elizabethton, Tennessee, she graduated magna cum laude in 2007 with a B.A. in political science from Furman University.

This wasn't how it was supposed to go for Jeb Bush.

When he entered the race, the former Florida governor was the establishment front-runner, bursting with big bucks from his own campaign and superPACs.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee ended his long-shot presidential bid on Friday.

"As you know, I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace. But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today," Chafee announced at the Democratic National Committee Women's Leadership Forum.

Thursday was one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton's political career. The Democratic presidential candidate faced grilling for more than eight hours over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The questions from the 12 House Select Committee members — seven Republicans and five Democrats — split mostly along partisan lines.

The positions are set for next Wednesday's third GOP debate — and it's going to look a lot like the last one.

CNBC announced Wednesday that 10 candidates would qualify for the main debate at 8 p.m. ET in Boulder, Colo. Again at center stage will be billionaire businessman Donald Trump, who's continued to dominate the GOP field. He'll be flanked by second-place neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has surged to third since the last debate and will be on Trump's other side.

Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will not be a candidate for president in 2016, sparing Democrats from a shake-up in the race for the White House and removing a potential stumbling block for Hillary Clinton.

The vice president's decision comes after a long, and very public, struggle with whether or not to make a third run for the White House. Overcome with grief after the death of his eldest son, Beau, in May from brain cancer, at many times Biden seemed far from ready for the rigors of the campaign trail.

What motivates someone to give money to a foundering, long-shot campaign?

Just 10 people were major donors to Lincoln Chafee's presidential campaign. By contrast, more than 650,000 people have donated to Bernie Sanders.

NPR called up several listed on his third-quarter financial report, and three explained why they decided to pony up for the former Rhode Island governor.

Updated at 1:30 p.m.

Jim Webb ended his Democratic campaign for president on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility he could still run as an independent.

Decrying how far both parties had moved from the center, the former Virginia senator acknowledged that there was no path forward for him in the current 2016 field.

Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb announced Monday he is considering running for the White House as an independent instead.

The moderate former Virginia senator has struggled to gain traction in a field that's so far been dominated by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the surprisingly strong performance from Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Fundraising is one of the most concrete indicators we have of whether campaigns are catching fire and how well they're allocating their funds — and for several White House hopefuls, the news isn't good.

Among the standouts from the newly released third-quarter fundraising numbers, there are some sober truths to be derived for several candidates — your campaign is on life support. Here are some hopefuls who should be very, very worried.

Lincoln Chafee

Republicans handed more ammo to Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, with another congressman suggesting the purpose of the House Benghazi committee was to harm the Democrat's presidential bid.

New York Rep. Richard Hanna was the latest to fuel the fire, telling local radio station WIBX:

Biding his time may have cost Joe Biden after Tuesday's Democratic primary debate — but it could also be a welcome relief for the would-be candidate who never really seemed like he wanted to be a candidate.

As the vice president continues a Hamlet-like exploration of a White House bid, his self-imposed deadlines have come and gone, and yet he appears no closer to making a final decision.

This post was updated at 11:15 p.m.

After two rollicking Republican debates, the Democrats' first face-off delivered punches but was policy-focused and far more civil.

Compared to the crowded GOP debates, the stage this evening in Las Vegas seemed bare. Just five Democrats faced off: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

A bruised Hillary Clinton will have much to prove as she takes the debate stage Tuesday evening alongside four of her Democratic presidential challengers. The former secretary of state has been damaged by lingering questions about her private email server and doubts about her trustworthiness.

That has partly enabled Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders to ride a wave of progressive support to a lead over her in New Hampshire and an impressive $25 million fundraising haul last quarter.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you three items.

From Sam Sanders, a reporter on NPR's Washington Desk:

The nail in the coffin of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's hopes of being the next speaker was opposition from the House Freedom Caucus. The rogue conservative group of about 30 members instead wants it to be Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.

But Webster might not even be coming back to the House in 2017, thanks to a redrawing of his congressional district that might make it unwinnable for the GOP.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was supposed to win the GOP leadership election to succeed retiring House Speaker John Boehner easily. Wrong.

Faced with a conservative revolt and an inability to win over his caucus, McCarthy made a stunning announcement Thursday that he was withdrawing from the race.

Democrats rejoiced in the ensuing chaos. There was reportedly crying in the halls of Congress. And 2016 contenders even offered up their thoughts on successors.

Here are some of the best reactions.

This post was updated at 4:25 p.m.

In a shocking move Thursday afternoon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pulled out of the race for speaker of the House, throwing the GOP leadership race into chaos and confusion.

According to Republican congressmen coming out of the caucus meeting — where lawmakers were expected to pick a successor to retiring House Speaker John Boehner — McCarthy told Republicans he didn't have a path to victory.

After months of not committing to a position on President Obama's proposed Asia trade deal, Hillary Clinton came out against it Wednesday.

Republican presidential candidates have remained firmly opposed to more gun control measures in the wake of last week's tragic shooting at an Oregon community college.

Instead, most are urging a renewed focus on mental health with a caution not to react too quickly before all the facts are known — but some of them have reacted inartfully at best.

This post was updated at 4:45 p.m.

Hillary Clinton unveiled her gun-control proposals on Monday in New Hampshire, calling for what she sees as "common-sense approaches" to minimize gun violence less than a week after the latest mass shooting.

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