Jessica Taylor | KERA News

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.

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.

It's becoming a monthly tradition — on the last day of the month, the State Department unloads thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails.

While Clinton maintains she never used her personal server to send or receive classified information, between 600 and 700 emails have been classified retroactively since the monthly releases began in May, according to Politico. The latest batch this month includes over 7,000 pages of new documents.

In a feisty debate in Colorado on Wednesday night, Republican presidential candidates spent almost as much time sniping at the CNBC moderators as they did at each other.

The faceoff was messy and chaotic from the beginning, with candidates trying to jump on others and make their voices heard.

One person who succeeded at that was Marco Rubio. The Florida senator had several standout moments and earned many plaudits from pundits after the debate.

Updated at 7:25 p.m.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham may have been the warm-up act for the main GOP debate Wednesday night, but they all tried to make the best of it.

Jindal tried to hammer home that he's the most conservative, touting his credentials as governor — but he also had to repeatedly defend his economic record that even some home-state Republicans have criticized.

Updated at 12:10 pm ET.

Republicans are set to take the stage Wednesday night for their third presidential debate. This one is focused on the economy, but you can bet there will be plenty more topics explored.

For many candidates, who have been touting their business background and job creation experience, it gives them an opportunity to try to flex their muscles. Others will need to seize the chance to show they can handle economic concerns, which remain atop voters' minds.

Ben Carson has surged into a lead in Iowa and is climbing nationally thanks to his appeal to evangelicals. But could his own beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist make him anathema to many of those same voters?

Donald Trump seemed to question the Republican neurosurgeon's faith over the weekend.

"I'm Presbyterian," Trump said at a Saturday rally in Florida. "Boy, that's down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don't know about. I just don't know about."

A TV star just won a landslide election for president, besting the country's former first lady.

Could it be a headline from the future — in November 2016?

Actually, it happened in Guatemala this past weekend, when, on Sunday, former TV comedian Jimmy Morales rolled to a victory over Sandra Torres, the country's former first lady.

It's a good thing for him that Mitt Romney isn't running for president again.

The 2012 GOP presidential nominee — who has still been bandied about as a potential candidate — just embraced everything that made many conservatives skeptical of him. He admitted that the health care plan he instituted as governor of Massachusetts was the precursor to Obamacare.

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.

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