Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR's White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress. In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe. He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

Gonyea has filed stories from around the globe, including Moscow, Beijing, London, Islamabad, Doha, Budapest, Seoul, San Salvador, and Hanoi. He attended President Bush's first ever meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Slovenia in 2001, and subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava. He also covered Mr.Obama's first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the BBC, CBC, AP Radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. He periodically teaches college journalism courses.

Gonyea has won numerous national and state awards for his reporting. He was part of the team that earned NPR a 2000 George Foster Peabody Award for the All Things Considered series "Lost & Found Sound."

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.

Pages

It's All Politics
3:27 am
Sat January 26, 2013

For GOP Comeback, Leaders Urge Stepped-Up Outreach

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, has been re-elected to another two-year term.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

In their first big party gathering since Election Day, Republican leaders from around the country met in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

The GOP is promising a great deal of change in advance of the next election, but one area where there will be no change for the party is in its leadership. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was elected to another two-year term.

In his acceptance speech, he cited a simple reason why Republicans failed to win the White House and lost seats in the House and Senate in November.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

At Winter Gathering, GOP Asks: Where Do We Go From Here?

Reince Priebus, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, says Republicans need to "grow our party without compromising our principles."
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 3:22 pm

Some soul-searching is on the agenda as the Republican National Committee holds its winter meetings in Charlotte, N.C.

November's elections were a big disappointment for the GOP. The party has now lost the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:32 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Latino Voters Urge Obama To Keep Immigration Promise

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:35 am

Latino voters were a key to President Obama's victory in November, turning out in big numbers and supporting Obama by more than 2 to 1 over Republican Mitt Romney.

Now, many of those voters say it's time for Obama to do something he did not do in his first term: push hard for and sign a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

Let's start with a group of Latinos — young and old, some U.S. citizens, some not — heading from Florida to Washington, D.C., for Obama's inauguration and for meetings with members of Congress. As caravans go, it's a small one: 13 people in two vans.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:57 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

For Young Republican, Defying Boehner In Washington Plays Well Back Home

Republican House Speaker John Boehner administers the oath of office to Amash during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 5, 2011, at the start of Amash's first term.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:50 pm

When the rumored rebellion against House Speaker John Boehner's bid for a second term played out last week, the very first Republican to not vote for Boehner was Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., just three names into the alphabetical roll call.

Read more
Politics
12:57 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Tea Party May Be Losing Steam, But Issues Still Boil

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 7:56 am

The battle over how to avoid the looming cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff is a frustrating one for the Tea Party. The movement is still a force within the GOP, even as its popularity has fallen over the past two years.

But in the current debate, there have been no big rallies in Washington, and Tea Party members in Congress seem resigned to the fact that any eventual deal will be one they won't like — and one they'll have little influence over.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:21 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Rice Controversy Raises Ayotte's Profile

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain, discusses the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:44 pm

Freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has been standing side by side with colleagues John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in questioning the Obama administration's version of events about the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

It is just the latest in a series of high-profile moments for Ayotte, who is seen as a rising star in a party struggling to win female voters.

Read more
Presidential Race
6:38 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Update From Ohio: Ballot Dispute

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:18 am

Ohio is possibly the most important state in this presidential race. A challenge over early voting there has turned into a dispute over provisional ballots.

It's All Politics
2:06 am
Mon November 5, 2012

America's Changing Face Presents Challenges For The GOP

Voters cast their ballots during the first day of early voting at the Meadows Mall on Oct. 20 in Las Vegas, Nev.
David Becker Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:07 am

The final days of an election cycle bring an obsession with the short term — the very short term. Daily tracking polls. A relentless get-it, post-it, blog-it news cycle. Trending topics on Twitter telling us something (though it's not always clear what).

But for just a moment, let's slow it down, look at what's happening over a somewhat longer time frame, and see what it tells us about what the country will look like for the winner of the presidential race.

The Long View

Read more
Remembrances
8:08 am
Sun October 21, 2012

McGovern Legacy Offers More Than A Lost Presidency

McGovern listens to a constituent in 1974.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:03 am

Former Sen. George McGovern died early Sunday in his hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90 years old, and had been in failing health. McGovern served two terms in the House and three in the Senate, but was best known as the Democratic Party's ill-fated nominee against President Nixon in the election of 1972.

Read more
Election 2012
2:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Volunteers Labor To Get Early Voters Out In Iowa

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 5:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

Read more
Election 2012
4:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Strict Private School Prepped Romney To 'Aim High'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lived in Stevens Hall while he was attending Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:14 pm

From now until November, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at Cranbrook, an all-boys prep school in Michigan.

Cranbrook has been coed since the mid-1980s, its overall diversity is quite evident and the dress code is casual. None of that was true when Mitt Romney, class of 1965, was a student there.

Read more
Election 2012
3:36 am
Fri October 12, 2012

No. 2s, Biden, Ryan, Square Off In Combative Debate

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Last night's vice presidential debate offered a reminder about American politics. It can be infuriating, misleading and irrelevant, but at its best politics becomes a spectacle - a highly informative show - which is what the vice presidential candidates delivered last night in a debate in Kentucky.

Read more
Presidential Race
3:10 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Biden A Vital Surrogate For Obama On Campaign Trail

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:09 pm

Vice President Joe Biden has been an important surrogate for President Obama this year, as he was four years ago. Biden especially excels at connecting with white, working-class voters — a group with which the president has struggled.

Politics
4:01 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Paul Ryan A Star Attraction For Values Voters

Paul Ryan addresses the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 8:55 am

In this election, Christian conservatives seem to be more against President Obama than they are for Mitt Romney. But they do like GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who used a speech Friday to vouch for Romney.

At the annual gathering of religious conservatives in Washington, D.C., there was also talk of this week's violence in the Middle East.

The Values Voter Summit got under way first thing Friday morning, with a speech from Tony Perkins, whose Family Research Council organizes this event.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:36 am
Thu September 13, 2012

In The Ohio River Valley, Voters Aren't Sure Either Candidate Can Help

Towns near the Ohio River, including Steubenville, seen here in 2009, are home to many undecided voters. One of them, Brian Snider, says, "This is pretty much a ghost town."
Rick Gershon Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 8:17 pm

Most of the election-year attention Ohio gets is focused on the heavily Democratic areas in the northeast around Cleveland, or in GOP strongholds in rural areas and in the south around Cincinnati.

But it's also worth keeping a close eye on the state's less-traveled southeastern border with Pennsylvania and West Virginia — the Ohio River Valley. It's a place where there is a lot of doubt about how much either candidate can help.

Read more
Election 2012
3:17 am
Mon September 10, 2012

After Convention, Obama Hits The Campaign Trail

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Over the weekend, two very different approaches to campaigning by President Obama and Mitt Romney.

INSKEEP: The Republican challenger was mostly out of sight, preparing for next month's presidential debates. Romney did, however, appear on Sunday morning TV shows and we'll have more on that in a moment.

Read more
Election 2012
2:44 am
Fri August 31, 2012

GOP Uses Convention To Reach Out To Female Voters

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 10:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. So the president is focused on young voters. At the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney and his supporters were focused on women. Their effort is driven by the big deficit that Romney has had among women in poll matchups with the president. And that's why the GOP convention featured one high-profile female speaker after another. Here's NPR's Don Gonyea.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:30 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Janesville Library Prepared For Inquiring Reporters

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:50 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For the residents of Janesville, Wisconsin, Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate was a story of a local man becoming the biggest news in the country. But for the librarians of Janesville, it meant something else entirely, as NPR's Don Gonyea found out last week.

Read more
Election 2012
3:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

In Colorado With Rep. Ryan

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:03 am

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan continues to introduce himself to voters. Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Ryan would be his running mate. So far, Ryan has campaigned exclusively in battleground states that were carried by Democrats in 2008.

It's All Politics
4:15 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

In Brawl Over Romney's Tax Returns, Harry Reid Gets Marquee Billing

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. speaks to the media at the Capitol in March.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 4:57 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's decision not to release more of his past tax returns has fueled countless attacks and counterattacks.

The former Massachusetts governor has released his 2010 tax return and promises that his 2011 return is forthcoming. He says that's enough.

But that's not enough for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The result is an increasingly ugly fight.

Read more
Election 2012
1:26 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Older, Tougher — But Will The Tea Party Be Stronger?

Ted Cruz, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at a rally organized by the Tea Party Express in San Antonio in May.
Hernan Rozemberg AP

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

The 2010 elections were a coming of age for the Tea Party, with big gains in Congress and in statehouses. As 2012 approached, the movement was looking for similar success. Then came this year's GOP presidential primaries, with no surviving Tea Party favorite.

Polls showed public support for the movement falling off significantly after several nasty showdowns in Congress. But the Tea Party remains a force in many states. Its favored candidate for the U.S. Senate won big in Texas last week, sending the strongest signal yet that the movement will be a factor this fall.

Read more
Election 2012
4:29 am
Sun July 22, 2012

He's A Long Shot, But Don't Count Huckabee Out

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee delivers remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference in February in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 9:08 am

Among the many contenders who could wind up becoming presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's running mate, there are some potential surprises — like former presidential candidate-turned TV and radio host Mike Huckabee.

Putting Huckabee on the GOP ticket could certainly liven up the presidential race. In addition to being a respected former governor of Arkansas, he's well known for his good-natured public persona. At a Huckabee campaign event, you might find him playing an electric bass with the old-time rock 'n' roll band Capitol Offense.

Read more
Politics
3:44 am
Fri July 13, 2012

NAACP Applauds Biden's Voting Rights Message

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 9:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Voting rights have been a big topic at this year's convention of the NAACP in Houston. Republicans across the country have been pushing for tougher voter I.D. laws, which the nation's oldest civil rights organization contends are aimed at hurting voter turnout among African-Americans. Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden joined a long list of convention speakers addressing that issue, as NPR's Don Gonyea reports.

Read more
Politics
3:29 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Tea Party Sees Ruling As New Rallying Cry

The Supreme Court is reflected in the sunglasses of Susan Clark on Thursday as she demonstrates against President Obama's health care law.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:26 pm

Some of the earliest and most vocal opponents of President Obama's health care law were members of the Tea Party. In fact, health care quickly became the issue fueling the rise of the movement.

Anger over the Affordable Care Act drove the Tea Party and Republicans to big gains in the 2010 elections, but since then the movement has seen its prominence and influence wane.

Now, Tea Party activists say the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law will reignite that original passion in time for this fall's election.

Call For Repeal Continues

Read more
Election 2012
4:28 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Romney's Every Town Counts Tour Ends In Michigan

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 6:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Mitt Romney has wrapped up his most extensive campaign trip since becoming the all-but-official Republican nominee for president. Over the past five days, he visited six potential battleground states, touring each by bus. Along the way, he honed his attacks on President Obama, while also trying to show voters a more relaxed Mitt Romney than they've seen so far.

The tour, called Every Town Counts, stayed mostly in counties friendly to Republicans, ending with three stops in Michigan yesterday, the state where Romney was born.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:45 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

With Polka Band And Pie, Romney Wraps Up Small-Town Tour In Michigan

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes a pie shell with store owner Linda Hundt during a campaign stop Tuesday in DeWitt, Mich.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 2:00 pm

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a five-day, six-state tour in Michigan on Tuesday.

Each of the states he visited was won by President Obama in the 2008 election. Each is also shaping up as a potential battleground this year.

In Michigan, the state where Romney was born, he avoided big cities and stayed in places friendly to the GOP. As he traveled east to west across central Michigan by bus, there were some pockets of protesters, but mostly at a distance.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:29 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Gov. Walker Survives Recall, Vows To Unite Wisconsin

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Wisconsin's combative Governor Scott Walker has survived an attempt to remove him from office. Labor unions, angry over the Republican governor's successful push to strip them of most collective bargaining rights, had battled Scott Walker and hoped Wisconsin voters would oust him.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:26 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Fueled By Outside Money, Ad Blitz Hasn't Stopped For Weary Iowans

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 6:45 pm

Read more
Presidential Race
4:18 am
Sat May 12, 2012

Iowa On Same-Sex Marriage: It's Complicated

Iowans attend a marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader on Tuesday at the Statehouse in Des Moines. The head of the organization says President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage could cost him the election.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 7:17 pm

Immediately after President Obama announced his support this week for same-sex marriage, attention turned to politics. The outcome of this year's election will be determined by a handful of states — one of them is Iowa, where the politics of same-sex marriage are complicated.

Same-sex marriage is legal here, but three of the state Supreme Court justices upholding that 2009 decision were removed from office by voters a year later.

Read more
Election 2012
3:54 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Obama Team Changes Line Of Attack Against Romney

Vice President Biden defends the administration's foreign policy --€” and questions Mitt Romney's ideas — on Thursday at New York University.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:02 pm

General-election battle lines are taking shape between President Obama and likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Romney is sticking with his long-standing attack on the president as someone not up to the huge job of turning around the economy.

But the Obama campaign has recently changed its message: Instead of portraying Romney as a flip-flopping, say-anything politician, it is now arguing that the former Massachusetts governor is a man with extreme positions far outside the American mainstream.

Read more

Pages