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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2:35pm

Thu May 10, 2012
Election 2012

Mourdock's Demeanor Masks Conservative Fervor

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 4:08 pm

Richard Mourdock is the first to admit he's lacking in the political flash-and-dash department.

"I never got hit with the charisma stick when I was lying there in the nursery," the newly crowned Indiana Republican Senate candidate told NPR in a recent interview.

But Mourdock, 60, who on Tuesday toppled six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in a GOP primary, is a determined if not dynamic campaigner, those who know him say, and no newcomer to the trail.

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8:05am

Tue May 8, 2012
It's All Politics

Voters Tuesday To Decide Lugar's Fate, Walker's Wisconsin Recall Opponent

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 10:00 am

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., meets with voters Tuesday outside of a polling place in Greenwood, Ind. Lugar is being challenged in the Republican primary by Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Darron Cummings AP

Voters in Indiana, Wisconsin and North Carolina on Tuesday will decide the outcome of battles many see as proxy wars going into the fall elections.

-- In Indiana, voters will determine the fate of six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, 80, a respected legislator who has run afoul of Tea Party activists.

-- In Wisconsin, they'll pick a Democrat from a field of four whose aim it will be to oust anti-union Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a June recall election prompted by his slashing of collective bargaining rights.

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12:51pm

Sun May 6, 2012
It's All Politics

Big Money, Free-Marketers, And The Fight Of Sen. Lugar's Career

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 11:27 am

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., attends a state dinner at the White House on Oct. 13, 2011.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

The end of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar's 35-year career representing Indiana in the U.S. Senate could be imminent.

A new Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll shows the octogenarian trailing State Treasurer Richard Mourdock by 10 percentage points ahead of Tuesday's GOP Senate primary. The survey also finds that the venerable Lugar is increasingly viewed by home-state voters in a negative light.

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4:04pm

Wed May 2, 2012
Election 2012

Before Recall, Wis. Dems Must Choose Walker's Rival

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 4:33 pm

A new poll shows Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett leading among Democrats vying to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a recall election in June. The Democratic primary is Tuesday.
Dinesh Ramde AP

The political civil war that has gripped Wisconsin since Republican Gov. Scott Walker's 2010 election will intensify next week when Democrats pick a candidate to post up against the governor in a historic recall election in June.

Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary has developed into a two-person race between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker in the GOP landslide of 2010, and former County Executive Kathleen Falk, the favorite of the state's public employee unions.

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4:16pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Presidential Race

The Obama-Romney Poll-A-Palooza: What's It Mean?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:25 am

Some voters may be choosing campaign buttons now, but most polling experts agree it's too early to predict November's winner.
Daniel Acker Landov

President Obama is leading presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney big in recent national polls.

No, wait. Polls show he's trailing Romney by a couple of percentage points.

Oh — this just in: Obama is actually leading Romney, but the race is tightening.

It's a general election poll-a-palooza out there, people.

But what do all the numbers mean?

"I have friends who support Obama, and friends who support Mitt Romney," says Scott Keeter, survey research director at Pew Research Center. "I tell them not to get too excited or too depressed at this point."

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7:33am

Wed April 4, 2012
It's All Politics

Will Pennsylvania Dash Santorum's Political Dreams (Again)?

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 8:07 am

The action was in Wisconsin Tuesday night, but Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, had already moved on to his home state of Pennsylvania. They greeted supporters at an election night rally in Mars.
Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

After going 0-for-3 in Tuesday's presidential primaries, a defiant Rick Santorum dismissed calls to drop out and predicted he'll win the next contest in his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24.

He'll have to — and not because it would put the former Pennsylvania senator on a path to defeat front-runner Mitt Romney, who has been racking up delegates and is increasingly seen as the inevitable nominee.

A loss in Pennsylvania, where recent polls show Santorum is weakening, would "destroy the rationale for him continuing," says Pennsylvania pollster G. Terry Madonna.

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3:07pm

Mon April 2, 2012
It's All Politics

Mitt Who? State Issues, Governor Eclipse Presidential Politics In Wisconsin

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 1:25 pm

Mitt Romney has campaigned in the shadow of embattled Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who faces a recall vote in June. Here, Romney speaks with Walker supporters at a phone bank during a campaign stop in Fitchburg, Wis., on Saturday.
Steven Senne AP

Voters in Wisconsin's GOP primary Tuesday are poised to help former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wrap up his dogged, well-financed quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

But the winner-take-all primary and Romney's drawn-out battle with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have been overshadowed by the campaign to recall GOP Gov. Scott Walker, whose anti-union efforts since his 2010 election have cleaved the Badger State.

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2:08pm

Wed March 28, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet Day 3: Scalia Unplugged

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 3:43 pm

Activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the court hears a third day of arguments on President Obama's health care law.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

On the final morning of its three-day health care law extravaganza, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the question of whether parts of the 2010 federal statute can survive if the justices strike down its central tenet: the individual insurance requirement.

In other words, if the nine justices find the insurance mandate unconstitutional when they rule by June, would that mean that the entire law also fails the constitutionality test?

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3:10pm

Tue March 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet: A Quick Guide To The Day 2 Arguments

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:11 pm

Opponents and supporters of President Obama's health care overhaul rallied outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Bob Mason shows support for the Tea Party by dressing in costume as one of the Founding Fathers.
John Rose NPR

A clearly divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took up the centerpiece of President Obama's health care law: its requirement that by 2014 individuals have insurance coverage or face a penalty.

In contrast to Monday's dense and technical arguments, Tuesday's session was filled with sharp rhetorical volleys and clever analogies. Here are some of the more telling exchanges between the lawyers and the high court justices.

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3:28pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Reading Between The Lines Of Monday's Supreme Court Arguments

Demonstrators in support of President Obama's health care overhaul march outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
John Rose NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday opened three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the insurance requirement embedded in President Obama's landmark health care law with a simple question and an obscure 1867 law.

The question: Does the court even have the right to hear the health care challenge, given that the Anti-Injunction Act prevents federal courts from taking cases where taxpayers are trying to prevent the government from "assessing or collecting" taxes?

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5:03am

Sun March 25, 2012
Judging The Health Care Law

In Health Case, Combustible Mix Of Politics And Law

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 7:33 am

The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week over President Obama's health care overhaul.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin hearing oral arguments Monday in a Republican-led challenge to the national health care law that has convulsed the country and its political class for more than two years — and may well define President Obama's tenure in the White House.

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6:01am

Wed March 21, 2012
It's All Politics

In Winner-Take-All Wisconsin, Looming GOP Primary Is Just A Sideshow

Volunteers at the Wisconsin Democratic Party's recall office in Waukesha entered names from petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker into their voter databases on March 20.
Liz Halloran NPR

Mary Beth Kopidlansky of Waukesha says she knows who she'll vote for in Wisconsin's upcoming GOP presidential primary (Mitt Romney), but that's not really what she's interested in talking about.

For Kopidlansky, and most potential voters in this most Republican of Wisconsin counties, the contest that is consuming them and the rest of the state is not the state's April 3 presidential primary when 42 potentially crucial delegates will be awarded.

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8:01am

Wed March 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum Gains Momentum As GOP Slog Continues

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 12:50 pm

After Rick Santorum won primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, he addressed supporters in Louisiana, which holds its primary on March 24.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

Rick Santorum won two Southern state GOP presidential primaries Tuesday, embarrassing Mitt Romney who had predicted he'd take one.

Second-place finisher Newt Gingrich vowed to fight on to Tampa, tag-teaming Romney along with Santorum. The "three-way dynamic," as he put it, is a winner for Gingrich and, perhaps, his dream of deal-making at the convention, and for Romney, too, whose Southern result could have been much worse if he'd been posting up against Santorum alone.

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3:29pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Presidential Race

Hey, Y'all: Why Romney Might Just Win In The South

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 5:08 pm

Carla Castorina of Hurley, Miss., holds a sign supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney after a campaign rally at the Port of Pascagoula in Pascagoula, Miss., on March 8. Polls show a tight race in the state, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
Dan Anderson Reuters/Landov

Mitt Romney's stilted efforts to relate to Dixie voters by tossing off a few "y'alls" and references to grits have been roundly mocked as awkward pandering.

And rightfully so, says political scientist Marvin King, who cringed at the GOP candidate's sprinkling of vernacular and Southern stereotypes into his patter during appearances in Mississippi and Alabama. The two states hold their Republican presidential primaries Tuesday.

"You can tell Romney wasn't expecting to campaign down here, and it shows," says King of the University of Mississippi.

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5:05pm

Wed March 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Ron Paul's In-It-To-Win-It Strategy Is 'Not Far-Fetched,' Campaign Manager Says

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 9:34 am

Texas Rep. Ron Paul (right) talks with the his presidential campaign manager, Jesse Benton, backstage at the Republican Party's Iowa straw poll last August.
Charles Dharapak AP

Texas Rep. Ron Paul hasn't won any of the 23 Republican presidential primaries or caucuses already in the 2012 history books.

He's captured only 29 delegates, just 5 percent of those awarded in contests to date. (Front-runner Mitt Romney has 340 committed delegates, 58 percent of those officially allotted, according to NPR calculations.)

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