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.

Businessman Andrew Yang has qualified for the sixth Democratic primary debate next week.

The upstart entrepreneur and nonprofit executive becomes the seventh — and likely final — candidate to make the Dec. 19 debate cut. He reached the polling threshold after a Quinnipiac University poll was released Tuesday.

At the start of President Trump's term, Republicans had solidified control in Washington and their hold on state governments across the country, with 33 GOP governors in power. Democrats were at their lowest numbers in nearly a century — down to just 16 Democratic governors and having control of only 13 state legislatures.

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House Republicans are pushing back against the impeachment investigation into President Trump, writing in a 123-page report that Democrats have not proven "evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor."

The letter is a prebuttal to the Intelligence Committee's impeachment inquiry report, which is expected to be released Tuesday ahead of an evening committee meeting on its conclusions. A House Intelligence Committee official said this evening that report was now available for members to review.

In a reversal, embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter is now set to plead guilty to misusing campaign donations, likely ending the California Republican's political career.

Hunter told local TV station KUSI in an interview that he has struck a deal to plead guilty to one count of illegal use of campaign funds. He's due in federal court on Tuesday.

"It's important not to have a public trial for three reasons, and those three reasons are my kids," Hunter said.

The military dog who helped U.S. special forces kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last month was honored as a hero at the White House on Monday.

Conan, a Belgian Malinois military service dog, was honored in the Rose Garden by President Trump, who called the canine "incredible" and "brilliant." Vice President Pence and first lady Melania Trump also attended.

"Conan did a fantastic job and we're very honored to have Conan here and to have given Conan a certificate and an award," Trump said.

It turns out running for president isn't typically a good investment.

Only one major self-funding candidate — Donald Trump — has ever won the Oval Office. Still, some Democratic hopefuls are trying.

The primary already features two wealthy businessmen almost entirely self-funding their campaigns: Tom Steyer and John Delaney. Another billionaire, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is looking at jumping into the race. Nonetheless, history shows that whether running for the White House or another office, candidates bankrolling their own bids are rarely successful.

As the Founding Fathers were drafting the U.S. Constitution, they were explicitly trying to avoid a repeat of the situation they had just fought a war to free themselves from — a ruler with unchecked power.

While they wrote a bare minimum about impeachment in the country's essential governing document, other writings from the time provide rich insights about their intentions.

Updated at 8:29 p.m. ET

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is doubling down on his defense of President Trump as well as Rudy Giuliani's role in the Ukraine controversy amid the impeachment inquiry.

More than a week after Election Day, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is conceding the Kentucky gubernatorial election to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear after a recanvass failed to significantly change the close final margin.

"We are going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people," Bevin said at an afternoon news conference.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is officially joining the 2020 Democratic presidential race less than three months before voters start casting ballots.

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field. They bring a richness of ideas and experiences and depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country," Patrick said in an announcement video published online Thursday morning.

Ten Democratic candidates will debate next week in the fifth primary face-off, which has increasing importance, with presidential hopefuls set to face voters in fewer than three months.

With the House set to begin public hearings Wednesday for the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, the man leading the Democrats' investigation says he already sees several potential impeachable offenses Trump has committed, including bribery.

Former South Carolina Gov. and Rep. Mark Sanford has ended his long-shot Republican primary challenge to President Trump.

Sanford announced he was withdrawing Tuesday at a news conference in New Hampshire, the early primary state he had made the focus of his struggling White House bid.

Sanford blamed the impeachment inquiry against Trump for making it harder to make policy-based arguments against the president, including deficit reduction and slashing government spending.

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is weighing a late entrance into the Democratic presidential primary, reversing course from this spring, when he said publicly that he would not run.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley is endorsing her home-state senator Elizabeth Warren for president, breaking with her other high-profile freshmen female colleagues who have come to be known as "the squad."

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Updated at 2:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats had a strong election night on Tuesday, leading the race for governor in Kentucky and taking back full control of the Virginia legislature for the first time in nearly a quarter century.

Voters in four states head to the polls on Tuesday for general statewide elections of note. These off-year contests may not be as high profile as the 2020 presidential and congressional elections will be a year from now, but they could offer some important hints on how voters are feeling about President Trump, impeachment, guns and more.

The ideological divisions between the leading Democratic candidates for president were on clear display at the rowdy Iowa Liberty and Justice Celebration on Friday evening.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took aim at her more moderate rivals during her remarks, slamming them for "vague ideas that are designed not to offend anyone."

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke ended his presidential campaign on Friday after struggling to translate the energy from his 2018 Senate bid into a successful White House campaign.

"Our campaign has been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly and acting decisively in the best interests of America," O'Rourke wrote in a statement on Medium.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan has ended his struggling bid for the Democratic presidential nomination after failing to qualify for the past two primary debates.

"I got into this race in April to really give voice to the forgotten people of our country. I look forward to continuing that fight," Ryan said Thursday in a tweet.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

Longtime U.S. diplomat William Taylor told lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday that President Trump orchestrated a parallel foreign policy for Ukraine that made U.S. aid to the country contingent on investigations to help himself politically.

In a written statement to three House committees tasked with Democrats' impeachment inquiry, Taylor said he "became increasingly concerned" as "irregular, informal channels" of policymaking diverged from official U.S. goals — led by Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

President Trump is chastising Republicans for not sufficiently having his back as he tries to weather an impeachment inquiry from Democrats.

"Republicans have to get tougher and fight," Trump said during a Cabinet meeting on Monday. "We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is set to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president at a Saturday rally in Queens, N.Y., the campaign confirmed to NPR's Scott Detrow. It will be Sanders' first campaign event since he had a heart attack earlier this month.

Sanders teased the event during Tuesday's Democratic debate, saying there would be a "special guest" attending.

Former Vice President Joe Biden called for President Trump's impeachment and removal from office, on Wednesday.

Up until now, Biden had reserved judgment, saying he supported the House's impeachment inquiry and wanted to see what the facts showed.

But in a campaign speech in Rochester, N.H., Biden was unequivocal, saying that "to preserve our Constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, [Trump] should be impeached."

Biden said the case was already clear before the public.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The White House will not participate in Congress' ongoing impeachment inquiry, it said Tuesday, stepping up a political and legal standoff between the executive and legislative branches of government.

In a blistering eight-page letter to Democratic congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House counsel Pat Cipollone repeatedly mocked the Democrats' process.

A dozen candidates have qualified for the fourth Democratic presidential debate. They will appear together on one night, making the October faceoff the most crowded yet.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that the push for his impeachment is a "hoax," again denying any wrongdoing during a July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during which he pushed for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 rival.

"No push, no pressure, no nothing — it's all a hoax, folks. It's all a big hoax," Trump said.

In an exclusive interview with NPR, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has not changed her mind on pursuing impeachment but is ready to change the law to restrain presidential power and make it clear that a sitting president can, in fact, be indicted.

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