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
8:36 am
Thu November 1, 2012

If Presidential Election Held Today, Clint Would Beat Oprah

A life-sized cardboard cutout of actor, director and politician Clint Eastwood stands next to an empty chair cutout north of Los Angeles, California. Eastwood's 12-minute conversation with an empty chair representing President Obama sparked much attention at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 10:12 am

File this under "I didn't really think there was anything else I could learn about or care about swing state voters, and then came this."

Swing state voters by 42-38 percent would prefer a President Clint Eastwood over a President Oprah Winfrey.

Republican swing state voters would prefer President Stephen Colbert over President Jon Stewart by a 3-to-1 margin. Flip that for swing state Democrats.

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It's All Politics
4:35 am
Tue October 30, 2012

How To Read The Post-Sandy Polls

Air Force One arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Monday. President Obama returned from campaigning to monitor the storm.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:58 am

Hurricane Sandy's on-the-ground devastation has yet to be cataloged, and how the violent storm may affect the presidential campaign with just a week to Election Day is equally uncertain.

Will President Obama's response to the disaster help or hurt his re-election prospects? Or will the campaign's new trajectory — canceled appearances, postponed early voting — ultimately benefit Republican Mitt Romney?

Not really thinking much about that, are you?

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Gay Marriage On Ballot In Four States; Obama Endorses Measures

Supporters rally for a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage, Sept. 10 in Portland, Maine.
Joel Page AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 1:17 pm

Six states and the nation's capital have recognized the legality of same-sex marriages, either by law or by court order.

But over the past decade and a half, each of the 30 states to consider constitutional amendments that would outlaw such unions has adopted the ban — from Alaska in 1998 to North Carolina earlier this year.

That may change on Election Day, when voters in Maryland, Washington, Maine and Minnesota — awash in money, messages and advertisements from both sides of the issue — will make their decision on whether to recognize gay marriage.

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It's All Politics
11:38 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Rape Comments Complicate But Don't End GOP Senate Takeover Chances

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock holds a news conference Wednesday in Indianapolis to address his comments about rape and abortion.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 12:00 pm

The enthusiasm with which Democrats seized upon Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's philosophizing about God's plan for unborn children of women impregnated by rape may have suggested the Indiana Republican's election chances had just ended.

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It's All Politics
8:03 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Despite Obama's Nevada Advantages, Romney Campaign Betting On State

Culinary Union members Emilia Cabrera (left) and Dallany Santos canvass in Las Vegas for the union's get-out-the-vote effort for President Obama.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:35 am

Pundits and prognosticators have long opined about President Obama's built-in advantages in Nevada, where he captured more than 55 percent of the vote in 2008. And with good reason.

Democrats have a commanding voter registration lead, including among Latinos, and Obama's on-the-ground effort is fueled by the 55,000-member Culinary Union and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid's formidable state party organization.

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It's All Politics
11:25 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama Battling To Maintain Women's Vote, Seen As His Key To Victory

The crowd joins Republican Mitt Romney in singing the national anthem at a rally Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:54 am

After President Obama's self-described somnolent first debate performance, his female supporters lit up social media and tagged the campaign with complaints about his failure to talk about their issues, from pay equity to health and reproductive rights.

He's been playing catch-up ever since, focusing on shoring up his party's two-decade-long domination with female voters who are key to Obama's hold on the White House.

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It's All Politics
5:32 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Debate Watchers Get A Town Brawl

Debate watchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, check out President Obama's performance Tuesday night.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:27 am

There will be blood.

Or at least a lot of aggressive walking and glaring, vigorous head-shaking and interruptions, all glazed with equal parts feigned respect and visceral distaste.

This season's presidential debates between incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, including Tuesday's engagement, have evolved into base-rousing spectacles of their dislike for each other.

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It's All Politics
7:15 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Debate Decision: A Family Still Divided In Swing State Ohio

Tom Barnes
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 7:51 am

Tom Barnes is a 70-year-old retired grain farmer born in Ohio. He's the son of a school teacher turned farmer, and now himself the father of four, grandpa of eight.

It's clear that he adores his daughter, Becky Barnes, 30, and takes pride in describing how she's taken a piece of the big family farm south of Columbus and turned it into an organic vegetable operation by dint of hard work and sheer determination.

"It's an amazing project out there," he says. What he says distresses him, however, are her political leanings.

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It's All Politics
10:19 am
Thu October 11, 2012

How Ohio Could Swing The Election

A campaign charter flight carrying Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan arrives in Ohio, which has seen nearly nonstop visits from the candidates in recent weeks.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:52 am

Kentucky may be the site for tonight's debate between the vice presidential candidates, but the monster swing state of Ohio remains the focus of White House dreams for President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Both the incumbent and his challenger have been in and out of the state with increasing frequency; GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans a trip to the Buckeye State on Friday, after his tangle with Vice President Joe Biden.

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Election 2012
8:24 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Old Dominion May Hold Keys To White House, Senate

President Obama takes the stage Friday during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:50 am

Barack Obama made history in Virginia four years ago when, on his way to winning the White House, he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to capture the state in more than four decades.

His surprisingly comfortable 53-46 percent win over Republican John McCain mirrored more closely than any other state the 2008 national result and provided potent evidence of demographic and economic changes that have been sweeping the Old Dominion.

It's more diverse, wealthier, better educated than ever before.

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It's All Politics
7:21 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Swing State Debate Watchers Give First Round To Romney, And Lehrer The Loss

Kim Deal (left) and Connie Moser, at Deal's house in Occoquan, Va.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:09 pm

We headed to Virginia's Prince William County, a swing county in a swing state, to watch Wednesday night's presidential debate with four undecided voters — three of whom voted for Barack Obama in 2008, one who voted for Republican John McCain.

They gathered in the Occoquan home of Kim Deal and Jim Drakes, and were joined by Connie Moser of Dale City and Al Alborn of Manassas.

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It's All Politics
5:24 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 8:26 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
11:50 am
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 2:58 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
9:29 am
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 10:02 am

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
8:50 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 9:43 am

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
10:24 am
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 11:42 am

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
1:21 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 1:53 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
9:32 am
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 11:31 am

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
7:44 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
8:39 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 8:52 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
10:12 am
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 1:13 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
7:19 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 3:55 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
2:19 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 8:53 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
12:50 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Some Black Leaders Say Dream Realized, Focus Now On Work

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 1:27 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
12:52 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 1:55 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
9:58 am
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 11:51 am

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
7:53 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 8:17 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
7:36 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 1:52 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
11:37 am
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 2:23 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
3:08 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 5:07 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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