Ken Rudin, NPR

Ken Rudin is NPR's Political Junkie. For most of the past 20 years, Rudin has been the eyes and ears of political coverage as political editor. Rudin focuses on all aspects of politics, from presidential elections with the primaries, national conventions, debates and general election, to the races for the House, Senate and state governors. He has analyzed every congressional race in the nation since 1984.

In 2011, Rudin added to his duties by becoming part of the network's StateImpact project. This local-national journalism initiative will add editorial resources and reporters to NPR member stations in all 50 states, to better inform the public about the impact that the actions of state governments has on citizens and communities. Rudin mentors and advises these reporters on covering the effects politics and politicians have on people.

In addition to his role with StateImpact, Rudin continues to contribute NPR's political coverage. Every Wednesday, he can be heard on Talk of the Nation in the "Political Junkie" segment. In his "Political Junkie" weekly column on, Rudin previews the politics of the week, and delves into campaign history, strategy and trivia, including the popular ScuttleButton contest.

Rudin was a key player on the NPR team that won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton award for excellence in broadcast journalism in 2002 for coverage of campaign finance.

From 1983 through 1991, Rudin worked at ABC News, serving first as deputy political director and later as the off-air Capitol Hill reporter covering the House. He first joined NPR in 1991, as its first political editor. Rudin returned to NPR in 1998, after a three-year absence during which he was the managing editor of the Hotline, a daily political newsletter. He also wrote the "Political Graffiti" column for The Hill, a newspaper covering Capitol Hill.

A political junkie for many decades, Rudin has one of the most extensive collections of campaign buttons in the country, a collection that now surpasses 70,000 items. Rudin is a graduate of Pace University in New York.

2012 Presidential Election
10:50 am
Mon January 9, 2012

New Hampshire And The Expectations Game

Romney's N.H. victory celebration four years ago was premature. But it may not be this time.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 1:09 pm

A handful of new polls are out, all of which have Mitt Romney ahead in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary by varying margins.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
10:06 am
Tue January 3, 2012

As Iowa Goes, So Goes What? Past Losers Still Won The GOP Nomination

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 12:57 pm

The next sounds you hear will be Iowa Republicans rendering their judgment for 2012. The road to the magic number of 1,145 — delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination — begins Tuesday. The caucuses, all 1,774 of them, start at 7 pm Central time (8 Eastern), and results may start to trickle in within the hour.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
10:10 am
Mon November 14, 2011

How Important Is Iowa?

Eric Thayer Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 6:00 am

We have been witnessing a very odd and somewhat surreal battle for the Republican presidential nomination this year, with candidates consistently rising and falling, and no doubt there will be many more surprises to come. There is a recurring theme, however, one which we hear every four years: how important of a role should Iowa play?

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
2:28 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

Don't Count On A Third Political Party

Texas billionaire Ross Perot discusses his prospective independent presidential run at the American Newspapers Publishers Association convention in May 1992.
TIM CLARY AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 5:58 am

In this period of discontent, with polls showing the public's unhappiness with President Obama rising to a record level and their approval of Congress sinking towards single digits — and nearly everyone agreeing that Washington simply does not work — there is no shortage of those who say the answer is a viable third-party (or independent) presidential candidate next year.

Read more
10:15 am
Mon September 12, 2011

Have The Media Already Decided The GOP Race?

Our politics have gone in different directions since Sept. 11.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue September 13, 2011 10:48 pm

There's another Republican debate being held Monday night, this one in Tampa, Fla., sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express. And if what happened after last Wednesday's event is any indication, we're in for another round of Perry vs. Romney analyses.

Read more
2:46 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

The GOP Race Begins Now

Polls months in advance of the primaries and caucuses may mean little, as Mitt Romney learned in 2008.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue September 6, 2011 5:00 am

Ignore all that other stuff.

Yes, we've had months and months of non-stop activity by the Republicans who would like to take on President Obama next year. We've had a few debates, a bunch of straw polls, campaign finance reports, visits to the early primary and caucus states, some almost candidacies and even a major dropout.

Read more