Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

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It's All Politics
8:24 am
Thu September 27, 2012

2012 Gender Gap Could Be Historic, But Maybe Not For The Reason You'd Think

Supporters of Planned Parenthood wave banners during a rally for President Obama in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, ahead of the opening of the Democratic National Convention.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 11:26 am

A slew of new presidential polls released this week not only confirm a long-established gender gap among voters, but also suggest that the male-female preference divide in this year's presidential contest could hit historic levels.

It may surprise that that divide appears not driven by social issues and arguments over reproductive care or choices, analysts say, but largely by the national conversation over the size of government.

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It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

GOP Senate Takeover Hopes Dim, But Too Early To Put On Ice

Republican Rep. Todd Akin and incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill debate Friday in Columbia, Mo. McCaskill had once been considered among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats until Akin made comments about "legitimate rape." The candidates were asked about Akin's controversial statement at the start of Friday's debate.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 5:58 pm

Republican dreams of taking control of the U.S. Senate in November have been declared all but dead over the past several days by prognosticators pointing to trouble facing the party in unexpected places.

Missouri and Indiana come to mind.

But don't count Senate race analyst Jennifer Duffy among them.

"I'm not ready to call this done and over," Duffy said of the GOP's push to pick up four seats, which would definitely tip the Senate balance of power. "We seem to be in some period of transition. Whether it's permanent or not, we'll know in a couple weeks."

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It's All Politics
12:29 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Obama Has 8-Point Lead In Pew Poll; Big Advantage With Women, Blacks, Young

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:02 pm

President Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney by 8 points nationally — 51 to 43 percent among likely voters — as the race heads into the final stretch, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.

Obama's advantage, particularly among women, blacks and voters younger than 30, puts him "in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates," Pew reported.

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It's All Politics
11:50 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Republicans Race To Reframe Romney Comments As Campaign Opportunity

Mitt Romney speaks at a fundraiser in Dallas on Tuesday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 12:43 pm

Republicans scrambling to turn Mitt Romney's videotaped aspersions cast on 47 percent of Americans into a campaign opportunity are hoping for a "Chick-fil-A moment."

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It's All Politics
1:24 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney's '47 Percent' Comments Complicate Swing-State Fortunes

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks to reporters Monday in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:42 pm

The question of whether Mitt Romney's presidential campaign will be hurt by his characterization of 47 percent of Americans as people who believe they are victims, entitled to health care, food, housing, "you name it," is fairly settled.

Yes, it will — at least in the short run. Romney's problem? There's not much more campaign left than a short run.

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It's All Politics
4:21 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Despite Recent Romney Stumbles, Presidential Race Is Far From Over

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Monday in Los Angeles.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 4:53 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appears a man under siege.

His political strategists are feuding over the direction of the campaign. He bungled his "presidential moment" with an ill-timed and ill-informed response to violence in Libya that led to the death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

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It's All Politics
12:32 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Ryan Slams Obama On Social Issues And Foreign Policy

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan speaks Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 2:31 pm

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan used an appearance at an annual gathering of his party's social conservatives Friday to pointedly criticize President Obama's foreign policy record and to testify to his own Catholic faith and opposition to abortion.

"We're all in this together," said Ryan, a representative from Wisconsin, echoing a theme of Obama's convention speech. "It has a nice ring."

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It's All Politics
10:44 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Obama: 'Times Have Changed ... So Have I'

President Obama speaks Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Framing the coming election as a choice between fundamentally different visions, President Obama offered himself to the country Thursday as a fire-tested leader ready to finish the job he started.

"Our problems can be solved," Obama said. "Our challenges can be met."

It was an older, battle-scarred nominee who faced his party in Charlotte, N.C. This message of hope was tempered and longer-view — a good distance if not a full turn from the vision he offered four years ago when he accepted the nomination in a thundering Denver stadium.

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It's All Politics
11:45 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Wonky Clinton Wows Convention In Muscular Obama Sales Pitch

Former President Bill Clinton speaks Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 11:52 pm

President Obama still has a case to make for a second term, and specific people to whom he needs to make it.

But while it's two months too early to call former President Bill Clinton Obama's closer, he came about as close as it gets Wednesday night at the Democratic convention with a bravura defense of the current White House occupant.

"We are here to nominate a president," Clinton said after strolling onto the stage to tumultuous applause, "and I've got one in mind."

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It's All Politics
1:12 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Democrats' Most Interesting Man: Bill Clinton In A Word Or Five

New Mexico delegates Priscilla Chavez (left) and Carla Arellanes.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:13 pm

Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?

The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.

Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.

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It's All Politics
10:19 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Michelle Obama: "Being President ... Reveals Who You Are'

First lady Michelle Obama speaks Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:55 am

There were a lot of preliminaries, but it was Michelle Obama's show Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, and she used it masterfully — carrying a rapt crowd along with a narrative of family, hard work, and truth-telling.

Largely wrung of politics, the first lady's speech plotted parallels in her life and that of her husband, President Obama. She pointedly tracked their humble beginnings and strivings in an unspoken but clear contrast to the privileged upbringing of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

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It's All Politics
5:19 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Mormon Democrats Battling Romney — And What Would Be Church History

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., attends a practice session at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. On Tuesday, Reid also attended a gathering with other Mormon Democrats.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 11:53 am

They billed the gathering in a Charlotte, N.C., Holiday Inn conference room Tuesday as the first national meeting of Mormon Democrats.

Don't laugh. Crystal Young-Otterstrom says she figures there are 1 million of them out there, and she's determined to find them.

"It's like a missionary effort," Young-Otterstrom said in a room packed with the curious, the media and a cadre of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints making the argument that the Democratic Party best represents their personal and religious values.

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It's All Politics
3:33 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Some Black Delegates Say Obama's Race A More Nuanced Factor In 2012

Dianne Hart and Marcus Wheeler are both Florida delegates. Said Wheeler, of President Obama: "I would have the same expectation for any president that I have for him."
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:27 pm

Over the past four years, the presidential narrative has shifted for African-Americans like Louisiana state Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith of Baton Rouge.

"I'm 66 years old," said Smith, at an event Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., for black state legislators here for the Democratic National Convention. "And before 2008, I didn't think I'd live to see a dream come true."

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It's All Politics
3:52 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Can Obama 'Reintroduce Hope' At Convention?

A delegate shows off her button on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:55 pm

It's been a rough four years since Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination during a celebratory Denver convention that launched the freshman Illinois senator to the White House.

Recovery from the worst economy since the Great Depression has been excruciatingly slow. The national unemployment rate has remained stubbornly above 8 percent.

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It's All Politics
12:58 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Political Analyst: N.C. Could Be Key, Regardless Of Electoral Outcome In State

Preparations continue Monday for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 2:51 pm

In 2008, Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate in more than three decades to carry North Carolina.

This week, as President Obama heads back to North Carolina to accept his party's nomination, polls show that he may be hard-pressed to repeat his Tar Heel State success of four years ago.

But in the state lies an opportunity for Obama, political analyst Charlie Cook said Monday during a poll briefing in Charlotte, where the Democratic National Convention opens Tuesday.

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It's All Politics
10:59 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

A Fine Night For Romney, But No Game Change

Mitt Romney accepts the Republican nomination for president at the party's convention Thursday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 11:17 pm

It's been the political world's obsession for weeks leading into the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Would nominee Mitt Romney manage what would be miraculous for any candidate, and in a handful of days and one big speech wash away the problems of a modern candidacy?

Turns out Romney's moment Thursday night was a fine one, if not a great one.

His speech continued the campaign's concerted effort to reach out to skeptical female voters, reminding the audience that his strong mother ran for Senate.

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It's All Politics
10:36 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Ryan Rips Obama, Sets Table For Romney

Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks Wednesday at the Republican National Convention.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:52 am

With a jutting chin and growing fearlessness, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan delivered a GOP convention takedown of President Obama Wednesday night, catapulting an already ugly campaign to a whole new level.

At times pugnacious, at times seemingly emotional (he wiped away tears when talking about his mother), Ryan, 42, a Wisconsin congressman, used his well-crafted speech to characterize the nation's president and his bright promise as old, played out.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Some Gay Republicans See Platform Setback As Sign 'Victory Is Near'

Log Cabin Republicans hosted a Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry brunch in Tampa on Wednesday.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 5:23 pm

A day after their party embedded a tough, anti-same-sex-marriage stance in its official platform — one shared by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney — gay Republicans shrugged (virtually) and suggested that the intensity of the intraparty fight over the issue means victory is near.

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It's All Politics
6:12 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Words, Good And Bad, Come Quickly To Mind For Many About Paul Ryan

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who tonight is set to accept his party's vice presidential nomination.
Jeffrey Phelps Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 8:07 am

When we arrived in Tampa for the Republican convention, much of the buzz centered on vice presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

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It's All Politics
10:56 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Ann Romney Delivers: 'She May Have Privilege, But She Understands'

Supporters react during Ann Romney's speech on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 6:17 am

A soft murmur of familiarity rippled through the packed GOP convention hall Tuesday night when Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, spoke not of their "storybook marriage" but of one touched by cancer, multiple sclerosis and the trials of raising five sometimes screaming children.

"A storybook marriage? Not at all," she said, during her much anticipated prime-time speech. "What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage."

It was that moment that encapsulated the job that Ann Romney had to do, and how well she managed it.

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It's All Politics
5:11 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

For One Young Delegate, Social Issues Are Not A Litmus Test

Alexander Reber, 21, a Virginia delegate and one of the youngest at the convention.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 5:40 pm

Alexander Reber may not be the youngest delegate at the Republican convention — that honor goes to his fellow Virginia delegate, 17-year-old high school senior Evan Draim.

But Reber, 21, who is an alternate, is certainly doing his part to lower the average age in the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the convention opened Tuesday.

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

With A Roar And Some Rage, Ron Paul Rallies His Faithful

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, brought thousands to the Sun Dome in Tampa on Sunday for a "we are the future" rally.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Republican congressman Ron Paul on Sunday turned his presidential swan song into a feisty rage against the political machine of his own party for legally manipulating him out of presidential convention delegates.

"They've learned how to bend rules, break rules and now they want to rewrite the rules," Paul told a raucous crowd of nearly 10,000 supporters who nearly filled the Sun Dome arena in Tampa, the city hosting this week's hurricane-delayed Republican National Convention.

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Politics
3:47 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Romney Reboot? Convention Could Be The Ticket

Riggers load nets full of balloons for the Republican National Convention festivities inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday in Tampa, Fla.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Mitt Romney, 65, has spent the better part of a decade running for president. And as the son of a Michigan governor who headed a Detroit auto company, he's been in the public eye much longer.

Yet the former Massachusetts governor has remained an enigma to many voters, his political positions malleable, and much of his business and private life — including his Mormon religion — intentionally obscured.

Or simply declared off limits, like years of his tax returns.

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Poll: Ryan-As-Running-Mate Helps Romney In Wisconsin, But Just A Bit

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney campaign in Waukesha, Wis., on Aug. 12, the day after Romney made the Wisconsin congressman his vice presidential running mate.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:39 pm

Picking Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has helped GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the Badger State, but just a little, a new poll suggests.

Obama leads Romney among likely voters in Wisconsin, 49 percent to 46 percent, according to a Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday afternoon. The poll was conducted Aug. 16 through 19, following Ryan's selection as Romney's running mate on Aug. 11.

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It's All Politics
7:15 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Romney and GOP Strike Deal With Ron Paul Loyalists Before Convention

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, after speaking in Berkeley, Calif., in April.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 10:55 am

GOP officials and the Mitt Romney campaign have cut a deal with Texas Rep. Ron Paul's campaign to allow some — though not all — of Paul's delegates from Louisiana and Massachusetts to be seated at the Republican National Convention. The status of Maine's delegates remains unsettled.

The compromise would appear to avert a potential public clash with Paul supporters during the convention's opening day Monday.

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Election 2012
12:46 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Medicare And Medicaid: How The Campaigns Differ

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., discusses Medicare, Medicaid and the federal budget last year, in Kenosha, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 3:07 pm

Since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, seems all we've been hearing about is Medicare and its future.

No surprise, of course: Ryan is the author of the GOP budget plan that would dramatically remake how the health care insurance program for seniors is managed and funded. He also calls for big changes to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor, including elderly Americans who have exhausted their means.

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It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Ryan Role In Thompson Win Debated

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson at his primary election night party Tuesday in Waukesha, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 2:47 pm

The question of whether GOP vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will ultimately help or hurt Mitt Romney's quest for the White House is the subject of fierce debate.

But some politicos are calling Ryan a kingmaker following former longtime Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson's slim victory Tuesday in the hotly contested, four-way Republican U.S Senate primary.

Why? Ryan gave Thompson a shout-out at a Badger State homecoming rally Sunday, and the former governor quickly incorporated the veep pick's endorsement-of-sorts into a campaign ad.

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It's All Politics
7:04 am
Wed August 15, 2012

It's Incumbent Vs. Incumbent In Iowa, And Washington Is Watching

Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell (left) talks with Republican Rep. Tom Latham on May 7, 2010, in Des Moines, Iowa. Redistricting is now pitting the longtime Iowa congressmen in a general election battle.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 8:24 am

One of the candidates is House Speaker John Boehner's close friend and golfing buddy.

The other is an ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Both have their roots in rural Iowa, have long served together in the U.S. House, and are pretty darn well-liked by their constituents.

But Iowa, the focus of the political world this week, lost a House seat in congressional redistricting that came after the 2010 census.

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Presidential Race
12:44 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Tale Of The Tape: The VP And His Challenger

Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Evan Vucci/Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 12:49 pm

Who Is He?

Joe Biden: Biden, whose own presidential aspirations sputtered in 1988 and again in 2008, brought to the Democratic ticket foreign policy chops and an ability to relate to working-class voters. In his 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, he became known as more pragmatist than ideologue. He has also made a somewhat dubious name for himself because of his volubility and not infrequent verbal stumbles. But he has parlayed those potential liabilities into an effective, if occasionally unpredictable, campaign trail presence.

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It's All Politics
8:53 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Ryan Boosts Romney's Conservative Credentials, But Also Mobilizes Opponents

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin shakes hands with Mitt Romney as he's introduced as Romney's vice presidential running mate Saturday in Norfolk, Va. The USS Wisconsin is in the background.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 1:09 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discarded his increasingly inert better-safe-than-sorry campaign strategy Saturday when he named budget hawk and Democratic bete noire Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate.

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