Jessica Taylor | WGLT

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.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee ended his long-shot presidential bid on Friday.

"As you know, I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace. But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today," Chafee announced at the Democratic National Committee Women's Leadership Forum.

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.

The positions are set for next Wednesday's third GOP debate — and it's going to look a lot like the last one.

CNBC announced Wednesday that 10 candidates would qualify for the main debate at 8 p.m. ET in Boulder, Colo. Again at center stage will be billionaire businessman Donald Trump, who's continued to dominate the GOP field. He'll be flanked by second-place neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has surged to third since the last debate and will be on Trump's other side.

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.

What motivates someone to give money to a foundering, long-shot campaign?

Just 10 people were major donors to Lincoln Chafee's presidential campaign. By contrast, more than 650,000 people have donated to Bernie Sanders.

NPR called up several listed on his third-quarter financial report, and three explained why they decided to pony up for the former Rhode Island governor.

Updated at 1:30 p.m.

Jim Webb ended his Democratic campaign for president on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility he could still run as an independent.

Decrying how far both parties had moved from the center, the former Virginia senator acknowledged that there was no path forward for him in the current 2016 field.

Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb announced Monday he is considering running for the White House as an independent instead.

The moderate former Virginia senator has struggled to gain traction in a field that's so far been dominated by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the surprisingly strong performance from Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Fundraising is one of the most concrete indicators we have of whether campaigns are catching fire and how well they're allocating their funds — and for several White House hopefuls, the news isn't good.

Among the standouts from the newly released third-quarter fundraising numbers, there are some sober truths to be derived for several candidates — your campaign is on life support. Here are some hopefuls who should be very, very worried.

Lincoln Chafee

Republicans handed more ammo to Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, with another congressman suggesting the purpose of the House Benghazi committee was to harm the Democrat's presidential bid.

New York Rep. Richard Hanna was the latest to fuel the fire, telling local radio station WIBX:

Biding his time may have cost Joe Biden after Tuesday's Democratic primary debate — but it could also be a welcome relief for the would-be candidate who never really seemed like he wanted to be a candidate.

As the vice president continues a Hamlet-like exploration of a White House bid, his self-imposed deadlines have come and gone, and yet he appears no closer to making a final decision.

A bruised Hillary Clinton will have much to prove as she takes the debate stage Tuesday evening alongside four of her Democratic presidential challengers. The former secretary of state has been damaged by lingering questions about her private email server and doubts about her trustworthiness.

That has partly enabled Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders to ride a wave of progressive support to a lead over her in New Hampshire and an impressive $25 million fundraising haul last quarter.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you three items.

From Sam Sanders, a reporter on NPR's Washington Desk:

The nail in the coffin of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's hopes of being the next speaker was opposition from the House Freedom Caucus. The rogue conservative group of about 30 members instead wants it to be Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.

But Webster might not even be coming back to the House in 2017, thanks to a redrawing of his congressional district that might make it unwinnable for the GOP.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was supposed to win the GOP leadership election to succeed retiring House Speaker John Boehner easily. Wrong.

Faced with a conservative revolt and an inability to win over his caucus, McCarthy made a stunning announcement Thursday that he was withdrawing from the race.

Democrats rejoiced in the ensuing chaos. There was reportedly crying in the halls of Congress. And 2016 contenders even offered up their thoughts on successors.

Here are some of the best reactions.

This post was updated at 4:25 p.m.

In a shocking move Thursday afternoon, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pulled out of the race for speaker of the House, throwing the GOP leadership race into chaos and confusion.

According to Republican congressmen coming out of the caucus meeting — where lawmakers were expected to pick a successor to retiring House Speaker John Boehner — McCarthy told Republicans he didn't have a path to victory.

After months of not committing to a position on President Obama's proposed Asia trade deal, Hillary Clinton came out against it Wednesday.

Republican presidential candidates have remained firmly opposed to more gun control measures in the wake of last week's tragic shooting at an Oregon community college.

Instead, most are urging a renewed focus on mental health with a caution not to react too quickly before all the facts are known — but some of them have reacted inartfully at best.

This post was updated at 4:45 p.m.

Hillary Clinton unveiled her gun-control proposals on Monday in New Hampshire, calling for what she sees as "common-sense approaches" to minimize gun violence less than a week after the latest mass shooting.

Joe Biden is flying high as speculation swirls around his joining the race for the White House.

But while the vice president may have soaring popularity in the polls right now, the true test of whether he can keep his favorables afloat comes after he becomes a candidate.

Jeb Bush sparked controversy yet again with his word choice on the campaign trail Friday.

When asked about Thursday's shooting at an Oregon community college, the former Florida governor argued for caution against more gun control as an instant reaction, saying that "stuff happens, there's always a crisis" you have to respond to when in leadership.

President Obama passionately pleaded for stricter gun laws in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting Thursday. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and others renewed their calls for stricter gun control measures.

This post was updated at 12:48 p.m.

The latest release of more than 3,800 emails totaling more than 6,000 pages from Hillary Clinton's time at the State Department contained revelations into both the security of her controversial personal server, her dealings with her aides and top officials, and, of course, some humorous insights into the now-Democratic candidate for president.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul could be on the chopping block and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham may not even make the undercard debate under criteria released Wednesday by CNBC ahead of its Oct. 28 GOP presidential debate.

The rules would limit the prime-time debate to any candidates polling above 3 percent. That's of an average of national polls released between Sept. 17 and Oct. 21. Surveys from NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN and Bloomberg will be used to make the determination.

There are more Catholics running for the GOP nomination for president than ever before, but the historic visit of Pope Francis to the United States has put them in an uncomfortable position.

Six candidates are Catholic — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Scott Walker may have never had a big "oops" moment like then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry did in 2012. Instead, the Wisconsin governor had lots of little "oopses" that contributed to his political downfall and eventual withdrawal from the GOP presidential race on Monday.

For as much promise as the two-term Midwestern governor showed, there were also noticeable missteps and alarming falters along the way. After a surge in Iowa at the beginning of the year, the nascent beginnings of a campaign seemed ill-prepared to get him up to speed or correct the troubling signs.

Updated at 6:40 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ended his campaign for president Monday, capping off a rapid rise and equally rapid fall in the GOP race.

At a brief 6 p.m. ET press conference in Madison, Wis., Walker said he was suspending his White House bid, in part, to stop the current GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

"Today I feel I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field," Walker said.

It was only a matter of time before this presidential campaign literally came to blows.

That's what a top aide to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul alleges happened Thursday night between him and an aide to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

The fallacy that President Obama is a Muslim has tripped up many a politician, and on Thursday night, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump was its latest victim.

At a town hall in New Hampshire, a man stood up and asked the billionaire businessman this question:

"We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he's not even an American. We have training camps growing when they want to kill us. My question: When can we get rid of them?"

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dominated the undercard debate Wednesday night, with witty, passionate jabs against his fellow candidates and to argue for a robust national defense.

A deep-pocketed conservative group is going on the attack against Donald Trump, spending $1 million on TV ads in Iowa in an effort to weaken the GOP presidential front-runner.

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