Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

Each election year, Liasson provides key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races. During her tenure she has covered six presidential elections — in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondents Association's Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989-1992 Liasson was NPR's congressional correspondent.

Liasson joined NPR in 1985 as a general assignment reporter and newscaster. From September 1988 to June 1989 she took a leave of absence from NPR to attend Columbia University in New York as a recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism.

Prior to joining NPR, Liasson was a freelance radio and television reporter in San Francisco. She was also managing editor and anchor of California Edition, a California Public Radio nightly news program, and a print journalist for The Vineyard Gazette in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Liasson is a graduate of Brown University where she earned a bachelor's degree in American history.

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4:11pm

Wed September 24, 2014
Politics

Shifting Stance, Some GOP Candidates Back State Minimum Wage Hikes

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 5:15 pm

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says under certain conditions, he would support a higher minimum wage in his state.
Seth Perlman AP

Here's another entry in the strange bedfellows political show, 2014 edition: As Election Day gets closer, some Republicans in battleground races seem to be moving to the center on a number of issues. Their latest sea change is the minimum wage.

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2:30am

Fri September 12, 2014
Health

Changing Tack, GOP Candidates Support Over-The-Counter Birth Control

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 1:32 pm

iStockPhoto

A string of Republican candidates for Senate are supporting an issue usually associated with Democrats: easier access to contraception.

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4:17pm

Tue September 9, 2014
NPR Story

In An Era Of Gridlock, Does Controlling The Senate Really Matter?

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 6:41 pm

Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell has reportedly been talking privately about what he'd do as majority leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Republicans are increasingly confident that when this year's midterm elections are over, they will control both houses of Congress. But in this period of polarization and gridlock, what difference would it make?

This midterm election doesn't seem to be about anything in particular other than whether you like President Obama or not. There's no overarching issue, no clashing national agendas. Instead, it's just a series of very expensive, brutally negative races for Congress.

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4:35pm

Tue August 26, 2014
National Security

Obama Considers Widening Strikes Against Islamic State Militants

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 7:12 pm

During a speech at the American Legion's National Convention on Tuesday, President Obama again called the extremist group the Islamic State a "cancer."
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama is considering widening military strikes against the extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley. The U.S. has been bombing the Islamic State's positions in Iraq, and may decide to extend those strikes to Syria.

Three years after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and a year after President Obama tried to turn the page on the open-ended war on terror, the U.S. is facing a threat from a group even more extreme than al-Qaida.

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3:35pm

Fri July 25, 2014
Politics

As Political Disenchantment Soars, Lines At The Polls Grow Shorter

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:40 pm

An official assists a voter at a polling station inside Fort Garrison Elementary School in Pikesville, Md., on primary day, June 24. As in many states this primary election season, turnout was low in Maryland.
Patrick Semansky AP

Several new surveys show voter interest is low, anti-incumbent sentiment is high, and voters from both parties are questioning whether their elected leaders should return to Congress next year.

In short, the electorate is disengaged and disgusted with politics.

Voter turnout in the 2010 primaries was only about 18 percent, and now it's even lower. Less than 15 percent of eligible citizens cast ballots in the 25 states that have held statewide primaries this year, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate.

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3:14pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Law

Obamacare's Split Decisions Spell Law's Possible Return To Supreme Court

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 7:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Let's talk now about policy ramifications and political reactions to today's court ruling. For that, we're joined by NPR national correspondent Mara Liasson. Hey there, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi Audie.

CORNISH: So we have, in effect, a split decision. Two appeals courts ruling in different ways. What's the political spin so far?

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3:28pm

Mon July 21, 2014
News

Obama Signs Order To Protect Against Anti-LGBT Bias

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama signed an executive order today giving new employment protections to gay and transgender people. And this is for people who work for the government. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports that the move comes after years of pressure from LGBT activists.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: At the White House today, President Obama signed the order saying we're on the right side of history. He said it was time to address this injustice for every American.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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3:53pm

Thu July 17, 2014
Politics

Amid Roiled Landscape Of Border Politics, Obama's Plans May Change

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

The Obama administration's request for more funds on immigration could get a congressional vote soon. Meanwhile, the crisis at the border is complicating Obama's plan to take unilateral action to ease deportations. The politics of immigration are shifting quickly.

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3:13pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Politics

Obama Requests Nearly $4 Billion In Funds To Speed Deportations

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:10pm

Tue July 1, 2014
Politics

On The Waterfront, Obama Contends Bridge Repair Coffers Beg Refilling

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 6:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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4:14am

Thu June 19, 2014
It's All Politics

NPR Poll: In Senate Battleground States, Obama Ratings Lag

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:30 pm

NPR

In the key battleground states that will decide control of the Senate this November, President Obama's approval numbers are lower than they are nationally — but not much lower.

That's the key finding in a new poll, conducted by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, that sampled likely voters for NPR.

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7:31pm

Tue June 10, 2014
Politics

Tea Party Challenger Upsets Eric Cantor In GOP Primary

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:25 pm

In a surprise result, voters in Virginia's 7th Congressional District have dealt a defeat to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, nominating Tea Party challenger David Brat instead in the GOP primary.

3:06pm

Mon June 9, 2014
Education

With New Order, Obama Aims To Combat Student Debt Pressures

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:42 pm

President Obama is signing an executive order Monday, which will expand a loan forgiveness program for college debt. NPR's Mara Liasson looks at the program and the political salience of the issue.

12:31pm

Sat May 10, 2014
She Votes

Easy On The Ears: GOP Ads Adapt To Reach Women Voters

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 9:02 am

Dr. Monica Wehby, pediatric neurosurgeon, is among the Republican candidates turning up the emotions in campaign ads.
Dave Killen The Oregonian/Landov

It's only April, but it looks and sounds like October. More than $80 million has been spent on political advertising in only about a dozen Senate battleground states.

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3:49am

Mon May 5, 2014
She Votes

All The Single Ladies: 5 Takeaways About Unmarried Female Voters

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 3:11 pm

Democrats have an urgent problem this year: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.
iStockphoto

In a midterm election that's expected to hinge on the demographic composition of the electorate, single women could be the key to Democratic chances to hold on to the Senate in November.

While Republicans have a longstanding problem with female voters, this year it's Democrats who have the more urgent problem: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.

Here are five things to know about single female voters.

They're Not Up For Grabs

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