Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast. Her reporting is wide-ranging, with particular focuses on gender politics, demographics, and economic policy.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Kurtzleben spent a year as a correspondent for Vox.com. As part of the site's original reporting team, she covered economics and business news.

Prior to Vox.com, Kurtzleben was with U.S. News & World Report for nearly four years, where she covered the economy, campaign finance and demographic issues. As associate editor, she launched Data Mine, a data visualization blog on usnews.com.

A native of Titonka, Iowa, Kurtzleben has a bachelor's degree in English from Carleton College. She also holds a master's degree in Global Communication from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

On July 27, Donald Trump created one of the most surreal moments of the presidential campaign, when he encouraged Russians to hack his opponent's email.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you'll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said, speaking about Hillary Clinton's deleted emails from her private email account from her time as secretary of state. "I think you'll probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

So it was a bit of a surprise when on Monday morning, he implied in a tweet that hacking hadn't been a major topic during the election:

Donald Trump kicked off his postelection "thank you tour" with a Thursday-night rally that sounded a lot like any of his campaign rallies. He said trade was dangerous, he warned about refugees, and his mention of his former opponent, Hillary Clinton, prompted supporters to chant "lock her up."

As was the case at many times on the campaign trail, Trump's presentation of facts requires some fact-checking and context. Here's a look at the president-elect's Thursday-night speech.

Consider it another Trump flip-flop: back in October, Donald Trump told a crowd, "I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win."

What do Democrats in West Virginia and Republicans in California have in common? Many likely knew that their presidential election votes wouldn't "count."

Of course, these votes were counted, but anyone with a minimal knowledge of U.S. politics could have guessed that California would vote Democratic in the presidential election (Clinton won it by 29 points) and that West Virginia would go Republican (Trump won by nearly 42 points).

Protests raged after Americans elected Donald Trump president. Another massive protest is planned for inauguration weekend. Online, his opponents express their dread that he could be "normalized."

Before the election, more Americans believed Trump's opponent had the better temperament and ability to serve as president.

And, yet, half of Americans now believe Trump will do a good job as president.

If you followed the presidential polls at all closely, chances are that you expected Hillary Clinton to win last week. So did all of the major prediction models that use polls to game out election outcome probabilities.

So perhaps everyone should have expected that in a year when all political norms were broken, the polls that the political world fixates upon would also prove to be flawed.

Even before any election happens, it's pretty easy to predict where the demographic fault lines will be: whites tend to vote more Republican than non-whites. Women tend to vote more Democratic than men. This year, it became clear that there was a growing gap between white voters with college degrees, who tend to vote more Democratic, and those without degrees, who vote more Republican.

Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

That's remarkable for all sorts of reasons: He has no governmental experience, for example. And many times during his campaign, Trump's words inflamed large swaths of Americans, whether it was his comments from years ago talking about grabbing women's genitals or calling Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally "rapists" and playing up crimes committed by immigrants, including drug crimes and murders.

Aside from the cliches that it all comes down to turnout and that the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day, one more truism that talking heads will repeat endlessly Tuesday is that demographics are destiny.

It may make you want to throw a shoe at the TV (or radio), but (as they say) cliches are cliches for a reason. Breaking the electorate into these smaller chunks tells a lot about what people like and dislike about a candidate, not to mention how a rapidly changing electorate is changing the fundamentals of U.S. presidential politics.

History could be made in next week's election — not only in the possibility of electing the first female president, but in the possibility of the largest gender voting gap in the modern era.

Women have voted far more heavily Democratic than men in presidential elections since 1996, and the biggest gap thus far has been in 2000, when women preferred Al Gore over George W. Bush by 10 points, while men chose Bush over Gore by 11 points — a 21-point total gap. This year's gender gap could be even wider, if recent polls are any guide.

It's that time again: time for Americans to figure out how, exactly, their presidential election works. "Electoral College" searches spike every four years, just before Election Day, according to Google ... and the search volume is picking up right now.

Long story short: To win the presidency, you don't have to win the majority of the popular vote. You have to win the majority of electoral votes — that is, 270 of them.* In most states, a candidate wins electoral votes by winning the most voters.

Speaking at a rally in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton told the story of a leukemia patient named Steven who "ditched his oxygen tank," as Clinton told it, to vote early.

"If Steven can do that, nobody has any excuses," she chided the crowd.

The Clinton camp is putting a hard push on to turn out the vote before Nov. 8. The number of people taking advantage of early voting could hit record levels this year. Here's a primer on early voting:

1. How many people will vote early this year?

"There isn't a simple answer when it comes to Mormons and Trump," Stephanie Fowers said. "We are so torn right now that hardly anyone I know will even mention his name anymore because it's too depressing."

That makes her just another disenchanted voter in the endless slog that is Campaign 2016. Fowers, a writer from Cottonwood Heights, Utah — and a Mormon — said that among the Mormons she knows, she sees a lot of indecision.

Tens of millions of Americans gathered around TV sets to watch the debate last night. But how they thought it went may depend upon which networks they watched. That's because post-debate coverage can sway viewers' opinions, as a new study suggests.

Donald Trump is warning that the election will be rigged. He has precisely zero evidence to back up that claim. But he has a remarkably receptive audience.

Around 30 percent of Americans have "little or no confidence" that votes will be counted accurately — and Trump's voters are far less confident about that than Clinton's.

Updated Dec. 6, 2017, at 11:35 a.m. ET.

For the first time, President Trump publicly addressed allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore on Tuesday. The president defended Moore, who is accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward teenage girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30s.

"Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it," Trump said. "That's all I can say. He denies it. And by the way, he totally denies it."

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When we talk about evangelicals, who are we really talking about? Let's take a step back here with NPR political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben. She's been digging into the term and the numbers. Danielle, welcome to the studio.

When he released his medical records this month, Donald Trump appeared on the Dr. Oz show to reveal his health information. After doing a blase rundown of results, noting many of them "good" or "normal" or "low," Oz made one number stand out.

"Your testosterone is 441, which is actually --" Oz said, then paused. "It's good," he finished with a chuckle.

Trump gave a faint smile and a meaningful eyebrow raise. The crowd cheered.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton said some things that were flat out untrue — or misleading — in the first presidential debate Monday night. (Check out NPR's comprehensive fact check here.)

In September of last year, Donald Trump released his first tax plan, but now he has made another go of it. Over the last couple of months, he has released an overhaul that changes rates and includes newly announced child care deductions. The revised plan would still cost the government trillions in revenues, according to a new analysis, though not as much as his last plan.

Donald Trump finally addressed whether he believes the current president was, indeed, born in the United States. "President Obama was born in the United States. Period," he said Friday morning.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


It's time now for Platform Check, where we examine what the candidates say they will do if they become president.


HILLARY CLINTON: We should raise the national minimum wage.

The tables turned for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton over the weekend. For much of the campaign, Clinton has been sitting back, staying quiet and allowing Trump's gaffes, offensive statements and flip-flops to take up the news cycle.

This week on the campaign trail, Donald Trump and his surrogates are being haunted by the ghost of comments past.

Specifically, allegations the Republican presidential nominee made five years ago that President Obama lied about his birthplace to make him eligible for the presidency. (Obama was born in Hawaii.)

It's a theory that those close to Trump — who was one of the most well-known "birthers" — have tried to distance from the candidate.

Donald Trump raised $90 million in August, the campaign said Thursday.

That's a "record" haul for the Trump campaign and its joint fundraising committees, the campaign bragged in a Thursday statement, but it's no match for Hillary Clinton, who raised $143 million in August, as her campaign reported last week.

You've heard it a bajillion times at this point: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two most unpopular major party presidential candidates on record. Both of them have unfavorability ratings of more than 50 percent.

But here's one more place that unpopularity pops up: the number of people who simply don't choose either candidate. Especially when you compare this election with 2012, a massive number of people are either choosing third-party candidates or simply have not yet decided.

Donald Trump will give a speech Wednesday outlining his immigration stance. Given the last week of news coverage, he could have some serious explaining to do.

An immigration policy centered around extreme positions — mass deportation of 11 million immigrants in the country illegally, plus building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — initially helped Trump stand out in the massive Republican primary field.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are going to be all over America's TVs this week, but in very different ways.

Clinton has one day of campaigning on her schedule, plus an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Trump, meanwhile, has four big rallies planned. And if the rest of the campaign has been any template, Trump's many speeches will get many minutes of airtime.

Donald Trump often questions whether Hillary Clinton is honest or trustworthy enough to be president. This week, he took up another line of attack: that Clinton is in failing health.

Claims about Clinton's health have circulated for years but have gained new traction recently, in part thanks to a comment by Trump and questions raised by Fox News host Sean Hannity.