Ron Elving

Ron Elving is the NPR News' Senior Washington Editor directing coverage of the nation's capital and national politics and providing on-air political analysis for many NPR programs.

Elving can regularly be heard on Talk of the Nation providing analysis of the latest in politics. He is also heard on the "It's All Politics" weekly podcast along with NPR's Ken Rudin.

Under Elving's leadership, NPR has been awarded the industry's top honors for political coverage including the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a 2002 duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence in broadcast journalism, the Merriman Smith Award for White House reporting from the White House Correspondents Association and the Barone Award from the Radio and Television Correspondents Association. In 2008, the American Political Science Association awarded NPR the Carey McWilliams Award "in recognition of a major contribution to the understanding of political science."

Before joining NPR in 1999, Elving served as political editor for USA Today and for Congressional Quarterly. He came to Washington in 1984 as a Congressional Fellow with the American Political Science Association and worked for two years as a staff member in the House and Senate. Previously, Elving served as a reporter and state capital bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He was a media fellow at Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Over his career, Elving has written articles published by The Washington Post, the Brookings Institution, Columbia Journalism Review, Media Studies Journal, and the American Political Science Association. He was a contributor and editor for eight reference works published by Congressional Quarterly Books from 1990 to 2003. His book, Conflict and Compromise: How Congress Makes the Law, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1995. Recently, Elving contributed the chapter, "Fall of the Favorite: Obama and the Media," to James Thurber's Obama in Office: The First Two Years.

Elving teaches public policy in the school of Public Administration at George Mason University and has also taught at Georgetown University, American University and Marquette University.

With an bachelor's degree from Stanford, Elving went on to earn master's degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of California-Berkeley.

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Politics
4:14 am
Wed June 18, 2014

House Republican Conference To Choose Cantor's Successor

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:09 am

The House Republican Conference on Thursday will chose a new majority leader, who will succeed Eric Cantor at the end of the month. Cantor is stepping down after losing last week's primary.

It's All Politics
3:04 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Eric Cantor's Collapse: What Happened?

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., delivers his concession speech as his wife, Diana, listens in Richmond on Tuesday.
Steve Helber AP

That shape-shifting spirit we call the Tea Party assumed yet a new form Tuesday and took down its most prominent victim of this year, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. In some ways, Cantor is the most significant Republican incumbent ousted in a primary since the latest intraparty rebellion by conservative hard-liners began five years ago.

No, Cantor is not an iconic senator like Richard Lugar of Indiana, or a popular statewide figure like Mike Castle of Delaware, both of whom had their careers cut short by insurgents from the right in recent primaries.

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It's All Politics
10:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Tea Party Still Packs A Punch: How It Happened In Mississippi

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel has a slight lead over six-term GOP Sen. Thad Cochran in the state's Republican Senate primary.
George Clark AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 1:18 pm

In mid-May, many political observers in Washington and elsewhere were declaring the Tea Party dead after it had lost every major Republican primary it contested this spring. I know, I am one of them.

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It's All Politics
3:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

A Speech To A Nation Weary Of War, And Wary Of The World

President Obama enters before speaking at the West Point graduation ceremony on Wednesday.
John Angelillo UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 4:36 pm

President Obama's speech this week to the West Point grads was for them, their families, the Army they will help lead and the nation they serve. But through much of the hourlong presentation the president seemed to be addressing another large and varied crowd: his critics.

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It's All Politics
7:03 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

10 Thoughts On Obama's West Point Policy Address

In his commencement address to the Military Academy at West Point Wednesday, President Obama condemned isolationism but spent more time outlining the hazards of intervention.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:34 pm

President Obama gave the graduation speech Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, using the occasion to describe "the next phase" of the U.S. war against terrorism and his ideas about national defense and foreign policy in general. Here are a few general impressions.

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It's All Politics
10:55 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Hard Sell For 'Hard Choices' Says Hillary's Running In 2016

Publisher Simon & Schuster says the initial printing of Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be-released memoir, Hard Choices, has already sold out.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:19 pm

As subtle as a bugle call, the marketing effort now underway for Hillary Clinton's new book is the clearest indication to date that she is in fact running for president in 2016.

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It's All Politics
8:39 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Is The Tea Party Finished?

Tea Party activists rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in June 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 3:07 pm

The time has come for us all to take a long, step-back look at this thing we call the Tea Party.

The results from Republican primaries in a dozen states so far this year strongly suggest that the party, such as it was, is over.

It may not have made sense to use the term "party" at any time in this movement's brief history. This year, that fact has become increasingly obvious.

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It's All Politics
1:12 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

It May Not Be A Tea Party Year, But Outsiders Are Still Thriving

Georgia Republican Senate candidate David Perdue (left) speaks to supporters at a primary election night party on Tuesday in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:50 pm

The prevailing narrative for Tuesday night's GOP primary results was written weeks ago: 2014 will not be another field of dreams for Tea Party insurgents. Wrapping a candidacy in the flag of "Don't Tread on Me" is not the winning tactic it was in many Republican contests two and four years earlier.

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Politics
7:58 am
Wed May 21, 2014

In Kentucky Primary, McConnell Bests Tea Party Challenger

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:20 am

In a day packed full of primaries, voters headed to the polls in six states — including three that are expected to have highly competitive Senate races.

Analysis
2:57 am
Mon May 19, 2014

GOP Candidates Try To Hold Off Tea Party Picks In Primaries

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, so that's the governor's race in Pennsylvania; a battle among Democrats. The other races we'll be watching closely tomorrow are mainly those among Republicans who want to serve in the Senate, and they are hoping it is a Senate with a GOP majority.

To walk us through some of these races, we're joined as we are most Mondays by Cokie Roberts. Cokie, good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, David.

GREENE: And here in the studio with me is NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving. Ron, good morning to you.

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It's All Politics
11:56 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Why Scott Walker Is Looking Beyond His Fan Base

GOP Gov. Scott Walker answers questions from reporters on April 16 in Madison, Wis.
Scott Bauer AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 12:14 pm

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker officially announced this week that he is running for — wait for it — re-election as governor of Wisconsin.

It will be at least six months before he says anything definitive regarding that other office, the oval-shaped one in Washington, D.C.

And that's to be expected.

Governors in both parties routinely run for re-election while keeping coy about the White House — much like Bill Clinton in 1990 and George W. Bush in 1998 and Rick Perry in 2010.

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It's All Politics
9:12 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Immigration Turbulence Buffets Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures while speaking during a Feb. 6 news conference on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Will the real John Boehner please stand up?

Just a dozen days ago, Speaker Boehner and his GOP leadership team embraced a set of principles for updating the nation's immigration laws.

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It's All Politics
5:00 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Congressman's Exit Closes Book On 'Watergate Babies'

Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California fields a flurry of phone calls in his Capitol Hill office just after announcing Thursday that he'll retire after 40 years in the House of Representatives.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 9:17 am

Henry Waxman's retirement means more than the loss of a legendary legislator on health care, energy and other regulatory issues. It also closes an era that began 40 years ago with the election of the "Watergate babies."

When Waxman departs, there will no longer be a House member who has been serving since that historic class of 75 Democrats was first elected in 1974. One classmate who had been, George Miller of California, announced his retirement several weeks earlier in January.

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It's All Politics
5:36 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Obama Showed A Deft Hand With Speech. Why Not With Congress?

President Obama shakes hands after giving the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Larry Downing AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:40 pm

The toughest test of a card player comes not with a big hand or a sheer bust, but rather with cards somewhere in between. Then it's not the deal that makes the difference — it's the sheer skill of the player.

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It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

'Nuclear Option' Vote Marks Tectonic Shift In Senate Rules

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (from left), Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois defend the Senate Democrats' vote Thursday to weaken filibusters and make it harder for Republicans to block confirmation of the president's nominees for judges and other top posts.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 5:15 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move Thursday to make possible the confirmation of presidential nominees with a simple majority marks a tectonic shift in the rules and folkways of the Senate.

Back in 2005, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist called this idea "the constitutional option" when he came close to invoking it on behalf of the judicial nominees of President George W. Bush.

That sounded a lot more dignified than the name Frist's predecessor, Trent Lott, had used just two years earlier: "the nuclear option."

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It's All Politics
8:49 am
Wed November 6, 2013

7 Election Lessons We Should Have Seen Coming

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, appearing with his family, waves goodbye to supporters after conceding the Virginia governor's race to Terry McAuliffe. Cuccinelli's stronger-than-expected run became the dominant story on Election Night.
Win McNamee Getty Images

In the end, they pretty much all won. The people who were expected to prevail Tuesday night wound up in the winner's circle. In New Jersey and New York, of course, and in Virginia, too, in the end. The ballot measures also went according to script.

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Remembrances
5:51 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Former House Speaker Tom Foley Dies At 84

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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It's All Politics
10:20 am
Wed October 9, 2013

President Obama's 'It's Good To Be The King' Moment

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner sit together at a Capitol event in February dedicating a statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:05 pm

It is good to be the king.

That old adage holds, even though nowadays we call our chief executive "Mr. President."

After another long day of showdown over the shutdown, President Obama was able to dominate the headlines, break the tension and change the atmosphere in Washington. He could demonstrate everything that is different about being in the White House — as opposed to that other House where Speaker John Boehner lives.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

With Shutdown Looming, Senate Takes Up Stopgap Spending Bill

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And on Capitol Hill, words of anger and frustration today over the increasing likelihood of a government shutdown. This morning in the House, members of both parties took to the floor and pointed fingers.

REPRESENTATIVE EARL BLUMENAUER: If you're serious about working together to solve problems, why don't you work together to solve problems?

REPRESENTATIVE TED POE: Where oh where has the Senate gone? Where oh where can they be? With time so short and issues so long, where oh where has the Senate gone?

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It's All Politics
5:54 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Obama's Shift On Syria: A Show Of Strength Or Fear?

President Obama walks along the West Wing Colonnade toward the Oval Office ahead of Tuesday night's speech on Syria.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 9:00 am

One line President Obama might have borrowed for his speech to the nation Tuesday night was a famous one from John F. Kennedy's inauguration address: "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."

Always admired as a fine turn of phrase, what meaning does this have in our own time?

Perhaps it might have helped Obama make the turn from indicting the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons to explaining why he backed off his own earlier threat of military retaliation against Syria.

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals is likely to cost President Obama his fondest dream for his presidency: the opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 5:33 pm

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals in his administration will have many costs for President Obama, but surely the most grievous will be the lost opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington. That aspiration was his fondest dream for his second term, much as it was for his first. Now it seems destined to be dashed once again.

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Logic Behind Obama News Conference Hard To Fathom

President Obama answers questions during his news conference at the White House on Tuesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:03 am

On Tuesday afternoon, President Obama declared May as Older Americans Month, National Foster Care Month, National Building Safety Month, Jewish American Heritage Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

The president also issued a statement on the investiture of the new king of the Netherlands.

While small and routine, these moves were all easy to understand, as were the accompanying proclamations from the White House press shop.

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It's All Politics
4:04 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History

Police stand guard in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices hear arguments on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 11:34 am

Now and then, an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court changes the course of the nation's political history — whether the justices like it or not.

It's happening again with gay marriage. This week the court heard oral arguments in two key cases. One could restore legal same-sex marriage in California; the other could end discrimination against gay married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programs.

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It's All Politics
8:42 am
Tue March 19, 2013

RNC Post-Election Report A Line In The Sand For Divided GOP

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:24 pm

The release of a "postmortem" report on the 2012 national election by the Republican National Committee is either the first step toward the GOP's recovery or the latest sign that the party is headed for a breakup.

Or, it could be both.

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It's All Politics
1:48 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Debate: Why The (Very) Few Rule The Many In Congress

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 4:15 pm

In the final hours of the latest budget crisis in Washington, several salient facts are increasingly clear.

First, the leaders of the two parties in the Senate might still put together a negotiated deal that would avert the combination of tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. The leaders would start with President Obama's top priorities, modify them to accommodate Republican preferences, throw in some measures that are GOP priorities and take the package to the floor.

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Politics
4:17 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye Dies At 88 Of Respiratory Complications

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Election 2012
6:08 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

All Eyes On The Battleground States As Polls Close

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And in our studio, NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving. Every couple of years, here we are around this time trying to figure out who has been elected to what. Tonight, what are you looking for? What are the important signs you're looking for in the numbers as they come in?

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It's All Politics
8:36 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

NPR Poll Finds Presidential Race Too Close To Call

A new NPR poll shows the outcome of the Nov. 6 election is too close to call. Mitt Romney leads President Obama nationwide; Obama leads Romney in key battleground states. Both leads are within the poll'€™s margin of error.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:20 am

The latest and last NPR Battleground Poll for 2012 shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holding the narrowest of leads in the national sample, but trailing President Obama in the dozen states that will decide the election.

The poll adds evidence that the Oct. 3 debate between the two men redefined the race. But the movement toward Romney that emerged after that night in Denver also seems to have stalled after the race drew even — leaving the outcome difficult to call.

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Presidential Race
3:07 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Could There Be A Tie In The Electoral College?

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Most polls in the presidential race show the national popular vote to be a virtual tie. But as we know, the popular does not pick the president. That's the job of the Electoral College. And some election number crunchers are starting to explore the nightmare scenario of an Electoral College tie. It's a remote possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.

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It's All Politics
10:47 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Analysis: Romney Debate Strategy Shows He Thinks He's In the Driver's Seat

Mitt Romney shakes hands with President Obama after their final debate Monday in Boca Raton, Fla.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:02 am

In his third debate with President Obama, Mitt Romney dialed up "cool and cautious" on his mood meter. And that tells you a great deal about where this presidential race stands with two weeks to go.

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