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.

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump split victories on Saturday, with the Texas senator posting big wins in the Kansas and Maine GOP caucuses and the real estate mogul winning the Kentucky caucuses and Louisiana primary.

In the Democratic race, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders notched victories in the Kansas and Nebraska caucuses, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the Louisiana primary.

The Republicans: Cruz emerges as leading anti-Trump candidate

Paul Sancya for AP

The 11th Republican presidential debate reached a fever pitch on Thursday, with Republican rivals piling on Donald Trump as he slung back vulgar insults.

The 11th Republican presidential debate reached a fever pitch on Thursday, with Republican rivals piling on Donald Trump as he slung back vulgar insults.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump notched big wins across the South on Super Tuesday as they extended their leads for their party's nomination.

On the Republican side, Trump has won seven states: Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Vermont, Massachusetts and Georgia. Sen. Ted Cruz won his home state of Texas, eked out a surprise victory in Oklahoma and won the caucuses in Alaska. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio finally got his first outright win by taking the Minnesota caucuses.

Hillary Clinton won the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, notching a decisive win in a state where she suffered a devastating loss just eight years ago.

The Associated Press called the race for the former secretary of state over rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders just seconds after the polls closed at 7 p.m. ET. With all precincts reporting, Clinton beat Sanders by nearly 50 points, winning 73.5 percent to 26 percent.

Donald Trump has won the Nevada Republican caucuses, giving the billionaire his third victory in two weeks and a huge surge of momentum heading into Super Tuesday.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio held a narrow but decisive lead for second place over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. With all caucus votes in, Rubio had 23.9 percent to Cruz's 21.4 percent, according to the Associated Press.

But it was Trump who towered above his two top rivals, nearly doubling the support of his nearest competitor with 45.9 percent of the vote.

Donald Trump has won the South Carolina primary, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio appears to have edged out Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for second place.

"There's nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you. It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious, it's beautiful," Trump declared to his supporters at his victory rally in Spartanburg, S.C.

Trump took 32.5 percent of the vote, while Rubio and Cruz were nearly even with 22.5 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively.

This post was updated at 6:30 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination for president on Tuesday, saying he had "come to the realization that this is not my time."

The son of Indian immigrants, Jindal said that when his parents came to the United States 45 years ago, they told him he could accomplish anything in this country. But ultimately this time, his dreams of the White House fell short.

Thursday was one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton's political career. The Democratic presidential candidate faced grilling for more than eight hours over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The questions from the 12 House Select Committee members — seven Republicans and five Democrats — split mostly along partisan lines.

Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will not be a candidate for president in 2016, sparing Democrats from a shake-up in the race for the White House and removing a potential stumbling block for Hillary Clinton.

The vice president's decision comes after a long, and very public, struggle with whether or not to make a third run for the White House. Overcome with grief after the death of his eldest son, Beau, in May from brain cancer, at many times Biden seemed far from ready for the rigors of the campaign trail.

This post was updated at 11:15 p.m.

After two rollicking Republican debates, the Democrats' first face-off delivered punches but was policy-focused and far more civil.

Compared to the crowded GOP debates, the stage this evening in Las Vegas seemed bare. Just five Democrats faced off: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The inaugural 2016 debate for the White House on Thursday will be the first time many voters will be tuning into the volatile GOP campaign, and candidates are praying they'll get a boost and not a bust from the face-off.

"The level of engagement has been very low," said Rick Wilson, a Florida-based national GOP strategist. "This will be a week where we will probably have record viewership on Fox News for a primary debate, and it's going to get a lot of attention and a lot of focus."

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz intends to make his opposition to the Supreme Court's decision last week to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide "front and center" in his presidential campaign.

In an interview with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep on Sunday in New York City, the GOP presidential hopeful doubled down on his belief that the court had overstepped its bounds in both the marriage decision and in upholding Obamacare. And as a result, Cruz said, the justices should be subject to elections and lose their lifetime appointments.

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