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.

Even if Hillary Clinton does win the White House on Tuesday, the tightening of the presidential race in the final week has been the most detrimental to Democrats' downballot hopes.

Republicans are feeling the best they have this cycle about their chances of holding their majority in the U.S. Senate, but doing that would require several states to break their way on election night. That's a risky place to be one day before control of the Senate is decided.

The tightening of the presidential race over the past week may have had an impact on these Senate contests. Most of the contests remain firm toss-ups, though Democrats still have multiple paths to winning back the five seats they need (or just four if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the presidency).

In what could be a tough election night for Republicans, governors' races may offer a rare bright spot.

Unlike in House and Senate races, Democrats are largely playing defense in the 12 gubernatorial races on the ballot Tuesday. Democrats are defending eight seats to the GOP's four. Two states — North Dakota and Utah — will safely stay in the Republicans' column, while Democrats will keep Oregon, Washington and an open Delaware seat on their side.

As Rep. Barbara Comstock marched in the Leesburg, Va., Halloween parade last week, she was trailed by massive trucks and buses decked out for Donald Trump.

State legislatures have become crucibles for some of the most controversial policies in recent years — voter ID laws, religious freedom bills, minimum wage hikes, gun control measures and more.

The United States could potentially elect its first female president in less than a week. And if Hillary Clinton does win, subsequent Democratic gains in Congress could also usher a record number of women into the House and Senate.

"If what is going on at the top of the ticket drives a big turnout for Democratic candidates, then Democratic women will fare well who are running down ballot," said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics.

Just one week from Election Day, the FBI has made a somewhat puzzling release of information related to a controversial pardon Bill Clinton made on his last day in office almost 16 years ago.

On Tuesday, the law enforcement agency released documents related to the former president's pardon of Marc Rich, a former hedge-fund manager who had been indicted on multiple counts of tax evasion, wire fraud and racketeering.

A week away from Election Day, Democrats still have multiple paths to winning back the Senate. Meanwhile, Republicans are hoping that new revelations about possible new Hillary Clinton emails related to her private server can only bolster the "check and balance" argument they need to make for voters to separate their GOP candidates from the top of the ticket.

The Illinois Senate race was already likely out of reach for Republicans, and now comments that incumbent GOP Sen. Mark Kirk made about his challenger's heritage and military service are making it that much harder.

In a debate on Thursday night, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth — an Army helicopter pilot who lost both her legs in a crash in Iraq — talked about her family's long history of service in the military.

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Two weeks from Election Day, it looks more likely than ever that Democrats will win control of the Senate.

In a new Facebook Live show launched Monday night, Donald Trump's campaign painted a rosy picture of the election in just two weeks, with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway even saying "unequivocally" that "we will win."

Her interviewers were two of the GOP nominee's campaign advisers, Boris Epshteyn and Cliff Sims, hosting the inaugural edition of an online show "bypassing the left-wing media," as Epshteyn put it, "which skews everything."

From the outset, Democrats needed a very big-wave election to get to the 30 seats they need to win back control of the House. Then, a video of Donald Trump surfaced showing the GOP nominee making lewd comments, and later multiple women accused him of groping them. That left some wondering if these scandals could trigger that wave.

But that simply hasn't happened.

The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was overall more cordial and more policy-focused than their nasty second debate faceoff. But the stunning moment that will stand out is the GOP nominee's statement that he won't necessarily accept the results of the election on Nov. 8.

"I will tell you at the time," Trump said in a shocking statement that signals a break from the traditional transfer of power. "I will keep you in suspense."

President Obama had some harsh words for Donald Trump's charges that the presidential election is going to be rigged — "Stop whining."

Melania Trump is standing by her husband after multiple women have come forward claiming Donald Trump has groped them or kissed them forcibly in the past.

Even after Nov. 8, no matter who is elected, many don't expect the partisan infighting that has highlighted this year's unusually ugly campaign to come to an end.

But in an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel, Vice President Biden struck a hopeful tone, saying that Hillary Clinton and Democrats could be effective if she wins the presidency.

After a video surfaced last week showing Donald Trump boasting in 2005 how he would kiss and grope women without consent, the GOP nominee insisted in Sunday's presidential debate that it was just "locker room talk" and, pressed repeatedly by CNN's Anderson Cooper, finally said that he had never actually taken the action he described.

After the wildest 48 hours yet in the presidential campaign, the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton began in the same fashion. The two even declined the traditional handshake at the outset, setting the tenor for the evening.

And throughout the next 90 minutes, the two interrupted each other, called the other a liar and lobbed plenty of personal digs.

Editor's note: This post contains language that is crude and explicit and that many will find offensive.

Updated 11:15 p.m. ET with comments by Trump supporters

Just two days before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to meet for their second presidential debate, more damaging audio of the GOP nominee using crude language about women and how he would hit on them has surfaced.

The only vice presidential debate between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence was a bit more heated than expected. For 90 minutes on Tuesday night they sparred on foreign policy, abortion and immigration. But the biggest shadows hanging over them were their running mates.

Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine met Tuesday evening for the only vice presidential debate of 2016. Many expected the 90-minute face-off at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., to be a cordial affair, and it largely was, but each came armed with plenty of barbs to throw at the other.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump released their medical records earlier this month, and now it's Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson's turn to boast that he is "extremely physically fit."

The letter from the former New Mexico governor's physician, Dr. Lyle B. Amer of Santa Fe, explains that the 63-year-old Johnson's "decades of dedication to physical fitness, diet, no drinking, and no smoking have paid dividends as far as his current extraordinarily good health at this time of his life." (We'll come back to that smoking line).

On Tuesday, after a less-than-stellar debate performance, Donald Trump returned to using one of his favorite measurements to mask his missteps on Monday night — the polls.

The first presidential debate was a tense affair between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as they clashed over their economic and trade plans, national security and race relations in the U.S.

The Republican nominee came out aggressively against Clinton, often interrupting her and talking over her, but the Democratic nominee didn't pull her punches either and had plenty of zingers ready. And as the night wore on, Trump appeared repeatedly rattled as he was pressed on his past support for the birther movement and controversial comments about women.

Donald Trump hit Hillary Clinton on Second Amendment rights during a Miami rally Friday night, but made a controversial statement while doing so — suggesting her Secret Service detail should stop carrying guns and "see what happens to her."

A week after his running mate, Hillary Clinton, came under attack for describing half of Donald Trump's supporters as in the "basket of deplorables," Tim Kaine said he, too, believes there are ideals "not in accord with American values" motivating some of the GOP nominee's backers.

Updated at 10:50 p.m.

Donald Trump refused to say whether he believes President Obama was born in the United States in an interview with The Washington Post on Thursday.

But in a statement hours later from the GOP nominee's spokesman, the campaign claimed Trump does indeed believe the president was born in Hawaii.

A letter from Donald Trump's personal physician says he is in "excellent physical health" and received normal results after a physical examination last week.

David Axelrod, a top Democratic strategist and former senior adviser to President Obama, believes Hillary Clinton made the controversy surrounding her health worse by not disclosing her pneumonia diagnosis earlier.

"Obviously her penchant for privacy is what led her to have a separate email system, and there have been other occasions in her public career in which she's tried to create a zone of privacy," Axelrod told NPR's Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition. He tweeted a similar sentiment on Monday:

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