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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.

Updated at 6:40 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ended his campaign for president Monday, capping off a rapid rise and equally rapid fall in the GOP race.

At a brief 6 p.m. ET press conference in Madison, Wis., Walker said he was suspending his White House bid, in part, to stop the current GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

"Today I feel I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field," Walker said.

It was only a matter of time before this presidential campaign literally came to blows.

That's what a top aide to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul alleges happened Thursday night between him and an aide to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

The fallacy that President Obama is a Muslim has tripped up many a politician, and on Thursday night, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump was its latest victim.

At a town hall in New Hampshire, a man stood up and asked the billionaire businessman this question:

"We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he's not even an American. We have training camps growing when they want to kill us. My question: When can we get rid of them?"

The gloves came off early against Donald Trump, and the hits were sustained against the GOP front-runner for most of Wednesday night's three-hour CNN debate.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio both memorably clashed with Trump — and emerged on top, likely improving their standing in the GOP race.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dominated the undercard debate Wednesday night, with witty, passionate jabs against his fellow candidates and to argue for a robust national defense.

A deep-pocketed conservative group is going on the attack against Donald Trump, spending $1 million on TV ads in Iowa in an effort to weaken the GOP presidential front-runner.

Expect Wednesday night's second GOP presidential debate to be open season on front-runner Donald Trump. The 11 top Republican contenders will take the stage at 8 p.m. ET at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., and their unified goal appears to be to get something to stick to the billionaire real-estate mogul. Trump has so far proved to be made of something akin to Teflon.

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders was preaching to a different kind of choir at Liberty University on Monday.

The Democratic presidential candidate tried to find common ground when talking about poverty and income inequality before the conservative Christian university student body.

When Donald Trump stepped to the podium in a football stadium in Mobile, Alabama, filled with 30,000 people there to hear him spread the gospel of Trump, he was overcome.

"Now I know how the great Billy Graham felt," Trump said last month.

Trump and Graham, the famed Baptist revival preacher and counselor to presidents, are not exactly cut from the same cloth. And yet, Trump is winning over Christian conservatives in the current Republican presidential primary.

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Days before he was to be relegated once again to a second-tier debate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday he was suspending his struggling presidential campaign. It makes him the first to bow out in the crowded Republican presidential nominating contest.

An emotional and raw Joe Biden didn't sound like a man ready to run for president during his Thursday night interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The stage for the second GOP presidential debate, Wednesday on CNN, is set — and it has grown to 11 to include surging Carly Fiorina.

Candidates are championing campaign-finance reform this year at a heightened pitch even as they're still forced to cope with the realities of the uneven playing field if they want to survive politically.

Joe Biden doesn't sound like a man who's preparing for a grueling presidential campaign.

The vice president's latest remarks on a potential 2016 bid came Thursday night, questioning whether he has the "emotional energy" to run so soon after his eldest son, Beau, died from brain cancer in May.

This post was updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

Donald Trump is "totally pledging" his allegiance to the GOP and promising not to mount a potentially damaging third-party bid for president.

The billionaire businessman said Thursday he had signed the Republican National Committee's "Loyalty Pledge," which says he will support the eventual nominee and not run as an independent or on another party line.

"I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands," said Trump.

This presidential campaign, Donald Trump may test the maxim that if you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all.

Before a boisterous crowd of 1,400 in Greenville, S.C., on Thursday, Trump made no apologies for criticisms he's made about his fellow GOP rivals — even if it's that tone and attitude that have taken a toll on him in at least one area of the polls — an area Trump seems to have a myopic obsession with.

The decision clock is ticking for Vice President Biden to decide about a presidential run — and history hasn't been kind to past candidates who waited until the last minute.

Recent campaigns are littered with would-be front-runners who tried to wait it out and seize late momentum. Instead, they ended up as has-beens.

In the 2004 election cycle, Gen. Wesley Clark didn't enter the contest until September. He was leading the Democratic polls then, but rapidly fell once he became an official candidate.

On Saturday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul got his wish as the state Republican Party approved his push to hold a caucus instead of a presidential primary, allowing him to run concurrently for re-election to the Senate and for president. It's his political insurance policy.

Jeb Bush isn't pulling punches anymore when it comes to Donald Trump.

The former Florida governor has delicately danced around the billionaire businessman in the 2016 presidential primary so far. But the gloves came off this week when Bush called out Trump as a closet Democrat. He was trying to stunt Trump's rise while attempting to recover his own political mojo.

Donald Trump's summer of defying political gravity is continuing, despite predictions that various missteps would damage him. Instead, he has surged even more after his controversial Fox News debate performance.

But who exactly are the people backing the boisterous billionaire businessman? Some recent polls offer a glimpse into the Trump coalition, which may run strong within a certain section of the GOP but faces many hurdles when it comes to a general election.

The 2016 elections certainly aren't going to be a popularity contest.

In fact, the current crop of White House hopefuls is among the least liked by voters in recent history, with many starting out with very high negative ratings.

Usually such numbers spell doom for candidates, but it's a problem across the board for this field — and a marked change from previous presidential cycles.

"This is a time when people are unhappy with politicians and Washington, and people feel frustrated," said Iowa-based pollster J. Ann Selzer. "The mood of the nation is negative."

Four years ago, Rick Perry hadn't even announced his campaign for president, but the Texas governor was soaring atop the polls and was a top threat for the GOP nomination.

But after the infamous "oops" moment at a 2012 debate that sealed his fate in that race, the Perry 2.0 reboot that the now-former governor envisioned hasn't gone according to plan.

Donald Trump wants to "Make America Great Again!" But much of how he plans to do that is still a mystery.

In his nearly two months as an announced presidential candidate, the controversial and outspoken billionaire businessman has promised he would be the "the greatest jobs president God ever created."

Updated at 11:36 p.m.

All eyes were on billionaire businessman Donald Trump on Thursday night — and he didn't disappoint.

On the very first question, Trump refused to promise to back the eventual GOP nominee — unless it's him — and wouldn't rule out launching a third-party bid. He jabbed at moderator Megyn Kelly when asked about his comments on women, called reporters "a very dishonest lot," declared that "our leaders are stupid, our politicians are stupid," and was unapologetic about his wealth and businesses.

Updated at 7:40 p.m.

The biggest punches thrown at the first GOP presidential debate of the evening were at candidates not on the consolation debate stage.

Take heart if you're sick of money in politics and the undue influence of political parties.

On Tuesday evening, a Mississippi truck driver won the Democratic nomination for governor without spending a cent, running a TV ad or even launching a website.

Robert Gray was the surprise winner to challenge Republican Gov. Phil Bryant this fall, upsetting party favorite Vicki Slater, a trial lawyer, and OB-GYN Valerie Adream Smartt Short.

Gray won with just over 50 percent of the vote, even avoiding a runoff. He beat Slater, his next closest opponent, by 20 points.

Jeb Bush is trying to be a straight-talking candidate. He even has a new hashtag — #JebNoFilter — and videos of him expounding on things from hoodies to Sharknado 3.

But that #NoFilter style is getting him in trouble on the GOP campaign trail.

On Tuesday, Bush had the third major gaffe of his campaign so far. Speaking to a Southern Baptist gathering in Nashville, Tenn., Bush was talking about defunding Planned Parenthood in the wake of videos that allegedly show the sale of fetal tissue after abortions.

This post was updated at 7:15 p.m.

The final polls are in and the stage is set for Thursday night's first Republican presidential debate.

Those who made the cut, according to Fox News: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

The crowded field of GOP presidential hopefuls got their first chance to face-off this week — just not really against each other.

The two-hour long rapid-fire interviews at the "Voters First Forum" in at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., had the feel of a speed-dating session as the 14 Republicans in attendance fired off their talking points in what amounted to abbreviated stump speeches, hoping voters would want a second date.

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