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.

A divorced New York businessman billionaire with a mixed political history and knack for controversy and grabbing the spotlight might run for president. Another one.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is again weighing a possible independent bid for the White House after seeing an opening in a chaotic and unpredictable 2016 race.

The venerated conservative magazine National Review magazine took its criticism of Donald Trump to a new level this week with a collection of essays from 22 prominent conservatives thinkers berating the GOP presidential frontrunner.

But its bold cover and editorial declaring it was "Against Trump" wasn't without consequences — on Thursday evening the publication was removed by the Republican National Committee as the conservative media partner for the Feb. 25 CNN/Telemundo/Salem Radio debate in Houston.

It may seem like déjà vu for Hillary Clinton — an insurgent candidate has erased her once-dominant lead in Iowa just days before the Democratic caucuses.

That's what happened in 2008, when she finished a disappointing third behind Barack Obama and John Edwards. Now, it's Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has closed the gap in the Hawkeye State.

Hillary Clinton dismissed a report that emails she sent on her private email server contained a high level of classified material.

Speaking to NPR's Ari Shapiro in San Antonio on Wednesday, the Democratic presidential candidate continued to maintain that she "never sent or received any material marked classified" while at the State Department "and that hasn't changed in all of these months."

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

Tea Party darling Sarah Palin threw her support behind Donald Trump in a raucous speech Tuesday night, a blow to a surging Ted Cruz with less than two weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.

Trump is "perfectly positioned to let you make America great again. Are you ready for that, Iowa?" Palin told a crowd in Ames, standing beside Trump. "No more pussyfooting around."

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she had Donald Trump in mind when she criticized the "angriest voices" within the GOP in her State of the Union response.

"Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk," as have others in the media, in her state and across the country, Haley said on NBC's Today show Wednesday morning.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will deliver the GOP's response to President Obama's State of the Union address next Tuesday, feeding speculation that the Indian-American Republican could be a possible vice presidential pick.

This story was updated at 3 p.m. ET

Two top staffers for Ben Carson's presidential campaign have resigned, an ominous sign for the struggling Republican's White House hopes just a month before voting begins.

Campaign manager Barry Bennett and communications director Doug Watts have both stepped down, something the campaign called "enhancements" to "shift the campaign into a higher gear."

Retired Army Major General Bob Dees will take over as campaign trail while Ed Brookover, former a senior strategists, will be the new campaign manager.

Many Republicans may have sided with Donald Trump's controversial proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., but his rival Jeb Bush predicts that the GOP faithful will eventually oppose the plan and see it his way.

"Trump clearly banning all Muslims would actually be so counterproductive in our efforts to destroy ISIS that it's foolhardy," the former Florida governor told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview Wednesday in Boston. "I mean, it's beyond ridiculous; it's quite dangerous."

What was expected to be a relatively uneventful Democratic presidential debate this evening could have quite a few fireworks instead following a day of chaos and allegations over a data breach between the two top campaigns.

The Democratic National Committee and the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders have reached an agreement to restore the campaign's access to the DNC's massive voter file.

The decision, announced just after midnight Saturday, capped off a chaotic day in which the DNC blocked the Sanders campaign from accessing the national database, which plays a critical role in campaigns' strategies and daily operations.

The political atmosphere has shifted considerably since the last Republican presidential debate a month ago, creating a different dynamic ahead of Tuesday evening's GOP face-off in Las Vegas.

Donald Trump's personal physician released a statement on the GOP presidential candidate's medical history on Monday, declaring that the real estate magnate would "be the healthiest" president ever.

Evangelical leaders are speaking out against Donald Trump's controversial call for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, criticized Trump's proposal on Monday, warning his "reckless, demagogic rhetoric" was an affront to religious freedom.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz doesn't want to "get down in the mud and engage in personal insults and attacks" — one reason he has declined to criticize Donald Trump more directly in the wake of Trump's plan to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.

In an interview Tuesday morning with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep at NPR's Washington headquarters, the GOP presidential candidate explained his own plan to slow immigration from some Muslim countries.

Donald Trump made a drastic call on Monday for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Trump's call comes one day after President Obama's address from the Oval Office in the aftermath of the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings that were carried out by an apparently self-radicalized married couple. The male shooter was an American citizen, born in the United States. His wife was born in Pakistan but was in the U.S. legally on a visa for fiancees.

Seventy-four years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Dec. 7, 1941, as a "date which will live in infamy" after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

But that most powerful line in his speech asking Congress to declare war and bring the U.S. into World War II almost wasn't. Roosevelt's original draft called it "a date which will live in world history," rhetoric that had far less oomph.

President Obama used a rare Oval Office address Sunday evening to speak to a worried nation about the evolving threat of terrorism and the growing influence of the Islamic State.

One of the biggest messages the president tried to communicate to the American people was that a fear of terrorist attacks must not translate into a fear of all Muslims and spark unnecessary targeting. But judging by the immediate response after the speech, Obama did little to bridge the partisan divide.

As yet another mass shooting claimed the lives of 14 people Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif., a familiar refrain echoed from the lips of politicians: Pray.

But for many fed up with the now seemingly routine shootings and the resulting inaction from each over how to stop another tragedy, pleas to God weren't enough anymore.

Call it an early Christmas present.

On Monday, the State Department released the largest batch yet of emails from Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state that have been culled from the controversial private server she used.

Chris Christie was giving thanks this weekend for one of the biggest prizes in Granite State politics: the endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

It's a notable get for the New Jersey governor, who has struggled to catch fire both nationally and in the early states. Christie had a good performance in this month's GOP debate despite dropping down to the undercard faceoff. He has gotten some momentum after that performance and has been playing up his national security experience in the aftermath of this month's deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

There's a big divide in how Republicans and Democrats are talking about terrorism — and it's one unlikely to be solved anytime soon.

The bitter mudslinging campaign for Louisiana governor will come to a head Saturday, closing out a contest that's dredged up one candidate's past with prostitutes and most recently turned on whether to admit Syrian refugees into the state.

Once seen as the frontrunner in the race, Sen. David Vitter was hammered by his GOP rivals over his involvement in the D.C. Madam" scandal. Named as a client in in 2007 the prostitution ring, he apologized back then for a "serious sin" with his wife by his side and won reelection three years later.

Donald Trump continued to ratchet up his fiery rhetoric at a campaign event in Massachusetts Wednesday evening, spouting off at his GOP presidential rivals and touting his plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

With the debate raging over how to handle Syrian refugees after last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, the billionaire has raised alarm bells that their migration could be a way for ISIS to infiltrate the U.S.

Friday's attacks in Paris that killed more than 100 people could weigh heavily on tonight's Democratic debate, with White House hopefuls pressed anew on how they would combat terrorism and a growing threat from ISIS. The debate's initial focus will be on the attacks, as to be expected, according to a source with knowledge of debate preparations.

This story was updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Donald Trump has had it, and he's making sure everyone knows it.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be feeling the heat again in Tuesday evening's debate as he tries to rebound from a disappointing performance last month that renewed questions about his viability.

"I think there's going to be a lot of pressure on Jeb," predicted Katie Packer Gage, who was Mitt Romney's deputy campaign manager in 2012. "He put some pressure on himself by telling people he's going to get better and work on his debate performance. I think this is kind of a make-or-break moment for him to really step up what he's been able to do in previous debates."

They didn't share a stage during Friday night's South Carolina Democratic forum, but Hillary Clinton's rivals still managed to throw plenty of elbows trying to question the frontrunner's liberal bona fides.

Trying to stunt the former secretary of state's rise in the polls, both Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley jabbed at Clinton during their interviews with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow at Winthrop Unversity, criticizing her environmental positions, her coziness with Wall Street and more.

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