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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.

In the wake of last week's Charleston, S.C., church shootings, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explained his competing concerns between gun rights and gun safety.

"I think guns and gun control is an issue that needs to be discussed," Sanders told NPR's David Greene in an interview airing on Thursday's Morning Edition. "Let me add to that, I think that urban America has got to respect what rural America is about, where 99 percent of the people in my state who hunt are law abiding people."

This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday he is running for president, becoming the 13th major Republican candidate to enter the race.

Last week's tragic shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine black parishioners gathered for a Bible study has renewed the debate over one of the most controversial Southern symbols — the Confederate flag.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz blew away another gathering of religious conservative leaders this week, preaching about threats to religious freedom to a receptive and hungry crowd.

"I will never, ever, ever shy away from standing up and defending the religious liberty of every American," the GOP White House hopeful thundered at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference in Washington.

"Religious liberty has never been more threatened in America than right now today," Cruz added.

President Obama's own party dealt him a stinging rebuke when it rejected a key part of the fast-track trade promotion authority the White House wanted. Not even 11th-hour visits to both the Congressional Baseball Game Thursday night and to Capitol Hill Friday morning could cobble together enough support from his own party to advance the legislation. House Republicans say they will try again next week thanks to a procedural maneuver and the White House has dismissed it as a "snafu," but still it's something this president has spent a lot of political capital on.

A once important political event, which has seen its influence diminished by pay-to-play allegations, breathed its last breath Friday morning.

State Republicans voted to kill the Iowa Straw Poll in a unanimous vote — reversing themselves from a unanimous vote in January to continue it. Amid defections by key 2016 presidential candidates and despite pledged reforms, it was no longer able to survive.

Hillary Clinton's campaign kickoff will draw inspiration from her late mother as she seeks to lay out her vision for America.

By detailing the struggles her mother, Dorothy Rodham, went through, the Democratic presidential hopeful will detail Saturday in New York why she's seeking out reforms and priorities for families, telling everyday Americans, "It is your time."

It's the kind of rhetoric that helped elect President Obama twice. He made the focus of his campaigns, especially his reelection, income inequality, which Republicans derided as "class warfare."

As the U.S. Senate (and the world) celebrates National Seersucker Day on Thursday, Washington seems to have finally warmed up to the cool, puckered summer fabric that has a storied history in the nation's capital.

This story has been updated.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush begins a six-day trip to Europe on Tuesday, hoping to avoid the mistakes that have haunted his likely GOP presidential rivals.

The sojourn abroad is a time-tested ritual for those who want to inhabit the Oval Office. For governors, especially, it's a way to burnish their national-security credentials on an international stage. Senators have more frequent delegation trips abroad and congressional hearings that help bolster their foreign-policy resumes.

As of Friday, the number of Republican presidential candidates stands at 10 and counting. It's a number that's certain to grow in the coming weeks with the expected official entrances of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and, yes, even Donald Trump.

It's a political disease that is striking some presidential hopefuls early in this campaign season: foot-in-mouth syndrome. It's one they were hoping to avoid, but just this week, a handful of GOP candidates have fallen victim:

The Key To Comedy Is Timing

President Obama said Wednesday that China could be open to eventually joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the massive trade deal the White House is hoping to get through Congress.

"They've already started putting out feelers about the possibilities of them participating at some point," the president told Kai Ryssdal of "Marketplace" from American Public Media.

Updated to reflect that Santorum is now officially in the race.

After taking the silver medal in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is making a second bid for the White House. But Santorum faces a very different — and much larger — field than four years ago.

Updated to reflect that Santorum is now officially in the race.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is praying for political lightning to strike twice.

Even after pulling an upset win in the Iowa caucuses four years ago and going on to survive the longest against eventual nominee Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential hopeful is again the underdog in a much more crowded 2016 field.

The Rick Perry that Iowans were promised in 2012 may have finally shown up — four years too late.

The former Texas governor's much-heralded first presidential run quickly cratered four years ago, beset by stumbles from a candidate who was still recovering from back surgery and never seemed to find his footing on a national stage.

But in May in campaign stops in Northwest Iowa, the likely GOP presidential hopeful was back to his gregarious, confident self on the first of three days he spent barnstorming a state that could make or break his 2016 comeback hopes.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is ready to join the crowded 2016 presidential race — and he's having a blast in doing it.

The defense hawk and pragmatic Republican said Monday morning on CBS's This Morning that he would make an announcement on June 1 about his plans, but he went on to dispense with all pretense of what that decision would be.

"I'm running because I think the world is falling apart," Graham said.

GOP presidential hopefuls spent Saturday night serving up ice cream, cheese and political red meat to potential Iowa caucus voters.

He is one of the top (potential) candidates on the GOP side for president, but he got tripped up this week when talking about his position on Iraq, the unpopular war his brother, former President George W. Bush, authorized.

He went from, on Monday, saying he "would have" authorized the war — even knowing what we know now, to, on Tuesday, saying he had misinterpreted the question, but that he didn't know what he would have done actually, to, finally on Thursday, reversing position and saying he would not have gone in.

We hope you had your neck brace on.

Mitt Romney is a glutton for punishment.

After losing the 2012 presidential election as the Republican presidential nominee, Romney may be gearing up for a beating of another kind.

The 68-year-old former Massachusetts governor will step into the boxing ring on Friday to fight former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

Yes, you read that right.

Russ Feingold might as well have flown into the Senate race in Wisconsin on a gyrocopter.

Click the above link to hear Joel Rose's Morning Edition report.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is casting his eye beyond the Big Apple — and is trying to cement his legacy as a progressive champion that could help boost his political future.

If one of Jeb Bush's biggest stumbling blocks to the presidency is his brother's tumultuous tenure in the White House, this past week hasn't been a good one for the former Florida governor.

After telling a group of fundraisers behind closed doors that former President George W. Bush was one of his advisers on the Middle East, the likely 2016 GOP hopeful followed that up telling Fox News' Megyn Kelly that he would have authorized the Iraq War — even knowing what we know now.

Conservatives have found their candidate for one of 2016's most important Senate races: Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis.

Soon after he launched his bid Wednesday, a trifecta of deep-pocketed Tea Party-aligned groups — the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks — all signaled they would back the two-term congressman in his bid to succeed Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who's running for president.

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