Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR's White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress. In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe. He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

Gonyea has filed stories from around the globe, including Moscow, Beijing, London, Islamabad, Doha, Budapest, Seoul, San Salvador, and Hanoi. He attended President Bush's first ever meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Slovenia in 2001, and subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava. He also covered Mr.Obama's first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the BBC, CBC, AP Radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. He periodically teaches college journalism courses.

Gonyea has won numerous national and state awards for his reporting. He was part of the team that earned NPR a 2000 George Foster Peabody Award for the All Things Considered series "Lost & Found Sound."

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.

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10:01pm

Thu February 9, 2012
Politics

Catholics Split Over Obama Contraceptive Order

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 7:02 am

The conflict between the Catholic Bishops and the White House over contraceptive coverage has American Catholics choosing sides.

Catholics narrowly support the White House position in polls. There are potential political consequences: In presidential elections, Catholics are swing voters. They supported Al Gore in 2000, President George W. Bush in '04 and President Obama in '08.

The GOP presidential hopefuls are certainly using this issue. Framing it as a question of religious freedom is a guaranteed way to fire up the conservative base.

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2:00am

Wed February 8, 2012
Election 2012

Rick Santorum Sweeps 3 GOP Nominating Contests

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 3:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Several factors may affect your thinking as you decide how important last night's voting was. Turnout was low, and no convention delegates were awarded as Missouri held a primary, and Minnesota and Colorado held caucuses.

MONTAGNE: Then again, nobody awarded delegates when Iowa voted, either. The fact is, people voted, and Rick Santorum won all three states.

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2:00am

Tue February 7, 2012
Election 2012

Romney Rivals Campaign In Minnesota Ahead Of Caucuses

Minnesota holds non-binding GOP caucuses Tuesday. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul all campaigned in the state Monday. Each of front-runner Mitt Romney's rivals is looking at the state as a place where they can regain their footing.

1:00pm

Sun January 29, 2012
Politics

Gingrich Attacks Front-Runner Romney

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 7:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a little more than a day left before voters in Florida have their say in the GOP primary. The latest polls by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times show Mitt Romney with an 11-point lead over Newt Gingrich, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul trailing far behind. Newt Gingrich, who's had trouble getting support from establishment Republicans, picked up a nod from a decidedly non-establishment figure - one of his former rivals, Herman Cain.

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6:00am

Sun January 29, 2012
Presidential Race

Romney, Gingrich Fight To The Finish In Fla.

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:43 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Florida holds its primary the day after tomorrow. If Mitt Romney wins, it could be a decisive victory for the former Massachusetts governor's bid for the nomination. But if Newt Gingrich comes out on top there will likely be a long battle ahead. Both men have a lot at stake in Tuesday's vote, which explains all the strong attacks they hurled at one another on the campaign trail and in TV spots across Florida yesterday.

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2:44pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Presidential Race

Republican Debates Become Must-See TV

This election cycle, one factor stands above all others in driving the dynamics of the race for the Republican presidential nomination: televised debates.

6:00am

Sun January 22, 2012
Presidential Race

How Ron Paul And Rick Santorum Performed In SC

NPR's Don Gonyea reports on the also-rans in Saturday's South Carolina primary.

2:00am

Thu January 19, 2012
Election 2012

Front-Runner Romney Skips Personhood Forum

A candidate forum was held in Greenville, S.C., Wednesday night, sponsored by the anti-abortion rights group Personhood USA. Participating in the event were Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry. Front-runner Mitt Romney did not attend. South Carolina holds its primary on Saturday.

2:00am

Tue January 17, 2012
Election 2012

South Carolina's Tea Party Mulls GOP Candidates

The Republican presidential candidates gathered last night In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a debate. Myrtle Beach is also the site for the first convention of the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition.

2:00am

Mon January 9, 2012
Election 2012

Pawlenty, Christie Help Romney Campaign In N.H.

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 4:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep in Manchester, New Hampshire.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene in Washington.

It's not easy for a presidential candidate to win both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Barack Obama didn't do it four years ago, nor did John McCain. But this year, Mitt Romney is getting closer to pulling it off.

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2:00am

Wed January 4, 2012
Election 2012

Santorum Finishes Second In Iowa Caucuses

In recent weeks a lot of polls and pundits said the Iowa caucuses might be too close to call. But nobody imagined just how close things would turn out Tuesday night in the first voting of the 2012 presidential nominating season. Mitt Romney was declared the winner by just eight votes. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum came in second.

10:01pm

Mon January 2, 2012
Election 2012

Modern Campaigning At Odds With Iowa Tradition

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 am

Former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Weber Paper Company Monday in Dubuque, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Iowa's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is a fierce advocate for the Iowa caucuses. At times over the past four months, he has seemed frustrated that candidates have not been in the state as much as in past years.

Branstad's message over and over to the candidates was not to ignore the voters of Iowa, because they take it personally.

"They want to see the candidates, and they take their responsibility very seriously," Branstad says.

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2:00am

Mon January 2, 2012
Election 2012

Romney Looks To Finish Strong In Iowa

Concluding that he can win the Iowa caucuses, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney spent the weekend campaigning in western Iowa, a mostly conservative region. After months of making only periodic visits to the state, Romney is making an aggressive final push through Iowa.

3:37am

Sun January 1, 2012
Mitt Romney

Romney Meets Friendly Crowd In Ice Cream Capital

Supporters seek autographs from Mitt Romney during a campaign event at the Family Table Restaurant Saturday in Le Mars, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

A little over three hours outside Des Moines, Iowa, in the northwest corner of the state, is the city of Le Mars. A sign proclaims this is the Ice Cream Capital of the World.

Saturday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke in Le Mars at the Family Table restaurant. His speech, like all Romney campaign speeches, was about President Obama.

"This is an election to decide whether we're going to go further and further down the path of becoming more and more similar to a European welfare state, or whether instead we're going to remain an exceptional nation," he said.

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3:19pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Election 2012

Confused About The Iowa Caucuses? Here's A Guide

On Jan. 3, Iowans will caucus at 1,774 precincts across the state, in the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating process. Above, Iowans caucus in 2004 at St. John's United Methodist Church in Des Moines, precinct 87.
Shaun Heasley Getty Images

At 7 p.m. central time on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating process takes place in Iowa.

As you've heard countless times, Iowans vote in caucuses, which are small political meetings held in 1,774 locations scattered around the state.

NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea has prepared this basic guide to next week's contest.

How It Works

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2:00am

Thu December 15, 2011
Election 2012

Huckabee Hosts 4 GOP Candidates At Film Premiere

In 2008, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was running for the GOP presidential nomination, and won the Iowa caucuses. Wednesday night in Des Moines, he hosted four current GOP contenders at a premiere for an anti-abortion film in which he appears. There was no endorsement from Huckabee. But there was a lot of talk about the need for abortion and other social issues to play a role in selecting a nominee.

4:48pm

Tue December 13, 2011
Presidential Race

As Caucuses Loom, Iowans Bemoan Lack of Face Time

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 9:38 pm

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks Tuesday at the Lincoln Cafe in Belle Plaine, Iowa. Among GOP candidates, Santorum had the state to himself on Tuesday.
Chris Carlson Associated Press

The Iowa caucuses — the first contest of the 2012 presidential nominating season — take place in three weeks. That means there's precious little time for candidates to make their case and close the deal with Hawkeye State Republicans.

But candidates were tough to find in Iowa on Tuesday. Only former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — a big underdog in the race — was there. In fact, many Iowans note that this year candidates have spent fewer hours in the state than before recent presidential caucuses.

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4:09pm

Tue December 13, 2011
NPR Story

Why GOP Hopefuls Aren't Spending Time In Iowa

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 4:09 pm

With three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses kick off the Republican nominating contest, the candidates are not registering much of a presence in Iowa.

1:48am

Sun December 11, 2011
Politics

'Newt-Romney' Dominates Iowa Debate

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 8:42 am

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich squared off in the ABC debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Six GOP presidential hopefuls met in a two-hour-long debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night, and this time the gloves came off.

This was the first such event since former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich moved into the front-runner spot. It had been anticipated that Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the top two in most polls — would square off as each hopes to win the Iowa caucuses, now just over three weeks away. They did, and the jabs got personal at times.

'Let's Be Candid'

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12:06pm

Wed December 7, 2011
Newt Gingrich

Gingrich's Most Important Adviser: Himself

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 8:29 pm

Newt Gingrich, whose run for president nearly derailed earlier this year when many of his top staffers quit, now sits atop the polls. As a result, his campaign organization is growing. Here, he arrives at a town hall meeting last week in Staten Island, N.Y.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

Back in June, the news out of the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign was dire.

Top staffers quit over differences about strategy, with some citing doubts about the candidate's seriousness — especially when he and his wife went on a cruise to the Greek Islands while his rivals stumped through New Hampshire and Iowa.

But now it's December, and Gingrich suddenly sits atop the polls. As a result, his organization is growing — as is the campaign brain trust. But Gingrich's most important adviser remains himself.

A Front-Runner's Staffing Needs

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