Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

The most potentially influential politician you've probably never heard of, former two-term Maine Gov. Angus King, on Tuesday officially entered the race to replace retiring moderate GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe.

King, 68, an alternative-energy entrepreneur and supporter of President Obama, filed more than 6,000 signatures with Maine's secretary of state to ensure his place on November's ballot.

He'll run as an independent, as he did for his successful gubernatorial runs in the 1990s.

The divisive battle to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker moves into its final phase in coming days with debates, a continuing flood of out-of-state ad money, and polls that suggest the incumbent is poised to fend off Democratic challenger Tom Barrett.

Here's a look at where things stand between the Republican Walker and Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, heading into Friday night's televised debate, the first of two before the June 5 rematch. (Walker defeated Barrett in the 2010 governor's race, 52.2 percent to 46.5 percent.)

As sort-of-still-a-presidential-candidate Ron Paul continues to collect delegates at state Republican Party conventions, the question of what the libertarian Texas congressman wants has become more urgent in GOP circles.

A speaking role at the Republican convention, where Mitt Romney is expected to accept the nomination?

A seat at the party's rule-making table to advocate making it easier for non-mainstream candidates to compete in future GOP nominating contests?

Well, yes, as a start.

Following the release of what his campaign called his first ad of the general election, Romney participated in a "tele-town hall" with supporters in the swing states where the ad is running: Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa.

One of the highest-profile political matchups of the season is playing out in Virginia, where two former governors with powerful friends and big-money backing are battling to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.

The dead-heat matchup pits Democrat Tim Kaine, 54, a favorite of President Obama and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, against George Allen, 60, namesake of his legendary Washington Redskins football coach father and a U.S. senator until undone in a re-election bid by what has become known as his "macaca moment."

Presidential candidate Ron Paul is not expected to ultimately endorse presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Paul's chief strategist said Tuesday.

"Never say never, but I don't believe that's likely," said Jesse Benton, during a half-hour-plus give-and-take with reporters.

Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.

"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."

"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.

Richard Mourdock is the first to admit he's lacking in the political flash-and-dash department.

"I never got hit with the charisma stick when I was lying there in the nursery," the newly crowned Indiana Republican Senate candidate told NPR in a recent interview.

But Mourdock, 60, who on Tuesday toppled six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in a GOP primary, is a determined if not dynamic campaigner, those who know him say, and no newcomer to the trail.

Voters in Indiana, Wisconsin and North Carolina on Tuesday will decide the outcome of battles many see as proxy wars going into the fall elections.

-- In Indiana, voters will determine the fate of six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, 80, a respected legislator who has run afoul of Tea Party activists.

-- In Wisconsin, they'll pick a Democrat from a field of four whose aim it will be to oust anti-union Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a June recall election prompted by his slashing of collective bargaining rights.

The end of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar's 35-year career representing Indiana in the U.S. Senate could be imminent.

A new Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll shows the octogenarian trailing State Treasurer Richard Mourdock by 10 percentage points ahead of Tuesday's GOP Senate primary. The survey also finds that the venerable Lugar is increasingly viewed by home-state voters in a negative light.

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