Jessica Taylor | KERA News

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.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has been unanimously re-nominated by his party to continue to serve as speaker in the 115th Congress.

According to Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong, Ryan was nominated by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus that helped to push out former House Speaker John Boehner.

Donald Trump's surprise victory on Tuesday came largely due to his over-performance of expectations in the Midwest. His populist, anti-trade deal message was tailor-made for this region, but polling hadn't shown him pulling ahead of rival Hillary Clinton there.

But on Election Night, it was clear the surveys had missed a massive surge in some places and shifts in others of white, working-class voters in Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that helped Donald Trump pull off the upset.

At his first news conference following his party's shocking loss at the ballot box last week, President Obama appeared to needle Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign for not paying enough attention to rural voters who eventually handed President-elect Donald Trump the upset victory.

"When your team loses, everybody gets deflated, and it's hard, and it's challenging," Obama said. "I think it's a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to go through some reflection."

Hillary Clinton conceded the White House race to President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday morning, saying she hoped "he will be a successful president for all Americans."

"This is not the outcome we wanted or worked so hard for. I'm sorry we didn't win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country," the Democratic nominee told supporters crowded into a small, nondescript ballroom at the New Yorker Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Republicans will hold on to control of the Senate, according to Associated Press projections. The GOP defied the odds in a year in which it was almost entirely on defense and rode a wave that carried Donald J. Trump to the White House.

Even with their best opportunities to gain seats in years, Democrats so far have only been able to pick up deep blue Illinois. And they narrowly hung on in Nevada, which was Republicans' only offensive opportunity.

Even if Hillary Clinton does win the White House on Tuesday, the tightening of the presidential race in the final week has been the most detrimental to Democrats' downballot hopes.

Republicans are feeling the best they have this cycle about their chances of holding their majority in the U.S. Senate, but doing that would require several states to break their way on election night. That's a risky place to be one day before control of the Senate is decided.

The tightening of the presidential race over the past week may have had an impact on these Senate contests. Most of the contests remain firm toss-ups, though Democrats still have multiple paths to winning back the five seats they need (or just four if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the presidency).

In what could be a tough election night for Republicans, governors' races may offer a rare bright spot.

Unlike in House and Senate races, Democrats are largely playing defense in the 12 gubernatorial races on the ballot Tuesday. Democrats are defending eight seats to the GOP's four. Two states — North Dakota and Utah — will safely stay in the Republicans' column, while Democrats will keep Oregon, Washington and an open Delaware seat on their side.

As Rep. Barbara Comstock marched in the Leesburg, Va., Halloween parade last week, she was trailed by massive trucks and buses decked out for Donald Trump.

State legislatures have become crucibles for some of the most controversial policies in recent years — voter ID laws, religious freedom bills, minimum wage hikes, gun control measures and more.

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