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.

Tuesday's Illinois primaries could bring down the first congressional incumbent of 2018, set the stage for a highly competitive gubernatorial race, and give Democrats challengers against several possibly vulnerable GOP congressmen they're aiming to defeat in order to take back the House.

There are also big signs of Democratic enthusiasm, both in how many candidates are running and in the donations voters are willing to make.

Tuesday's neck-and-neck special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District carries a lot of weight for both parties — despite the fact that it won't even exist in its current iteration come November.

Updated Saturday, March 10 at 2:32 p.m. ET

The White House appeared Friday to put conditions on a much anticipated meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying it would only happen once the rogue nation takes "concrete and verifiable action" to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization.

"We've accepted the invitation to talk based on them following through on concrete actions on the promises they've made," Sanders said Friday.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Texans cast their votes in primaries Tuesday, the first contests of the 2018 election cycle. Democrats turned out in numbers not seen in more than a decade — with outcomes in various races bringing about both history and controversy — though far more Republican voters showed up at the polls across the deep red state.

Updated at 6:02 p.m. ET

Citing his ailing health, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced he will resign on April 1, setting up a special election this November.

"I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge," Cochran said in a statement Monday. "I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate."

Updated on March 5 at 7:13 p.m. ET

The 2018 primary elections kick off this week, and Democrats are already seeing reasons to be excited deep in the red, beating heart of Texas.

Attention Bernie Sanders fans: A new generation of his family tree is ready to branch out into politics.

On Monday the Vermont senator's son, Levi, announced he is running for Congress from New Hampshire. Sanders' stepdaughter, Carina Driscoll, launched her campaign for mayor of Burlington, Vt., last year. That election is March 6.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., will not run for re-election this year — for real, this time.

Corker had been waffling in recent weeks over his decision in September to retire and admitted he was considering jumping back into the race. Running would have set up a bruising primary fight with Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the front-runner in the Republican primary, who announced her candidacy after Corker said he wasn't going to run.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

During a meandering speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Trump doubled down on arming some teachers and school personnel after last week's shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that killed 17 people.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Just over a week after 17 people were killed at Parkland, Fla., high school, National Rifle Association executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre gave a fiery, defiant speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Thursday at the National Harbor in Maryland. LaPierre defended Second Amendment rights and warned of a "socialist agenda" intended to strip firearms away from law-abiding citizens.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

If the answer is, "This longtime Jeopardy! host has been chosen to moderate a Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate this fall," then the question is, "Who is Alex Trebek?"

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A week after allegations of domestic abuse against a now-former top aide ensnared the White House in scandal, President Trump condemned domestic violence Wednesday.

"I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind, and everybody here knows that," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a photo op for an event related to the recently enacted tax law. "I'm totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn't even have to be said. So, now you hear it, but you all know."

Updated at 9:07 a.m. ET

President Trump signed a bipartisan budget agreement Friday morning, following approval of the bill in Congress shortly before sunrise.

The two-year spending pact will let lawmakers spend $300 billion more than current law allows.

The deal suspends a 2011 budget law championed by conservatives that set hard caps on discretionary spending and included an automatic trigger known as "sequester" cuts if Congress attempted to bust those spending caps.

Updated at 7:16 p.m. ET

President Trump is planning a bipartisan pitch to Congress with his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, but he will have his work cut out for him with a public that is more divided than ever.

"Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family," Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is the latest veteran Republican to announce his retirement, opening up another competitive district as the GOP braces for what could be a brutal midterm cycle.

It's a no-go from Oprah for 2020.

Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul and actress who spurred buzz of a White House bid with her stirring speech at the Golden Globes this month, told InStyle that she isn't interested in being president.

"I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not. ... I don't have the DNA for it," Winfrey told the magazine.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

If you're trying to tamp down on allegations of sexual harassment, it's probably not a good idea to say the staffer who is making the claim was a "soul mate."

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

The federal government is back open for business on Tuesday, but the immigration fight that brought it to a three-day shutdown is far from over.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, and it appears it will be that way for some time.

President Trump and members of Congress publicly say they want to reopen the federal government, but, in the first day of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue showed no signs of ending their stalemate.

President Trump is in excellent health with "no indication" of "any cognitive issues" — but he could afford to lose a few pounds and start exercising over the coming year, according to the president's physician.

Updated on Feb. 20, 1:04 p.m. ET

The number of House Republicans declining to run for re-election has hit a record level in 2018, as 36 GOP members have said they are leaving: 21 are retiring from public office, while 15 are seeking another position. That includes six Republicans from districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. A total of nine committee chairmen also aren't seeking re-election.

Americans love Oprah Winfrey — they just don't necessarily want her to run for president.

In a head-to-head matchup with President Trump, Winfrey would win 50 to 39 percent, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

But when asked if they want Winfrey to run for president, a majority (54 percent) said they don't want her to do so, with 35 percent saying they do want her to run.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.

There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., says a primary challenge in 2020 to President Trump isn't off the table.

"That's not in my plans, but I don't rule anything out," the frequent Trump critic told NPR's Robert Siegel in an interview airing Thursday on All Things Considered.