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.

Despite the vast differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there were some striking similarities between the economic speeches they delivered this week. They both spoke in Michigan, where they both talked a lot about manufacturing, with both of them insisting that they would obtain fairer trade deals.

When Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, introduced her father at the Republican National Convention, she emphasized gender equality, advocating for more equal pay and more affordable childcare.

That came as a surprise to some; those points made her speech sound more Democratic than Republican, as NPR's Asma Khalid noted.

On Dec. 13, 2000, after perhaps the most hotly contested presidential election in American history (and a Supreme Court decision that divided Americans), Al Gore did one of the most important things that keeps American democracy working: he conceded.

Protesters holding up pocket constitutions were reportedly ejected from a Donald Trump rally in Portland, Maine on Thursday. Video from the rally shows protesters standing and holding the booklets in the air. Campaign staffers shortly thereafter removed the protesters, CNN reports.

On Tuesday as Hillary Clinton's was officially nominated as the first major party female presidential nominee, women (and yes, some men) all over the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia danced, cried, embraced and howled with joy.

The Democratic National Convention erupted into a deafening celebration over a woman being thisclose to the presidency, 240 years after the U.S. was founded and nearly 100 years after women got the right to vote.

President Obama will make the case for Hillary Clinton Wednesday night with about as many Americans approving of him as disapprove of him.

That puts him somewhere in the middle of other outgoing presidents who have given convention speeches supporting their potential successors. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower were all relatively well liked when they left office. George W. Bush and Harry Truman, meanwhile, delivered their addresses even while their approval numbers were in the tank.

Bill Clinton had a formidable challenge on Tuesday: to sell the American people on one of the most disliked presidential nominees in U.S. history. He had to "humanize" her, in punditspeak — Hillary Clinton is more of an idea or icon to people than a person, as NPR's Steve Inskeep suggested Tuesday night.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Georgia Rep. John Lewis will formally nominate Hillary Clinton for the presidency on Tuesday night, PBS NewsHour's John Yang and NPR's Mara Liasson report.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had an abysmal weekend, and Monday morning started out no better for her.

Her fellow Floridians loudly booed her when she spoke at her home state's delegate breakfast Monday morning. And later the Democratic National Committee chairwoman confirmed she wouldn't even gavel in the start of the convention this afternoon in Philadelphia.

On Thursday night, Donald Trump will accept the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States. His brash, outsider persona might signal that his convention speech will be...well, unconventional. But his campaign is saying his speech will in fact be modeled on one from nearly 50 years ago: Richard Nixon's 1968 nomination acceptance speech.

The 2016 presidential campaign feels like a political science dissertation (or 1,000) waiting to happen: two massively unpopular major-party presumptive nominees; a strong challenge for the Democratic nomination from a self-proclaimed "democratic socialist"; and the way that Donald Trump has conducted so much of his campaign via Twitter should provide Ph.D. candidates ample material for decades.

The Democrats on Friday released an outline of their upcoming convention, and one of the main goals appears to be showing off the party's unity after a long primary fight.

After a divisive primary season between presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the convention schedule includes a speech from Sanders on the first night, Monday, July 25. That night's theme is "United Together" — indeed, of the four nights' themes, three include the word "together."

Tim Tebow, Peter Thiel and precisely zero former Republican presidential nominees — that's who will reportedly be speaking at the Republican convention next week.

So many things about this election are unprecedented — and one of the most obvious is how much voters dislike the candidates. By now, everyone knows that this year features the two most unpopular presumptive major-party candidates on record.

Every presidential election manages to feel new somehow. Even amid the wall-to-wall cable coverage and poll frenzies and day-before-the-election, man-on-the-street interviews with still-undecided voters and shock (shock!) when a candidate flip-flops, every four years, there's a sense that this time — this time — is different. (Remember that whole recount thing?)

And then there's 2016.

In the runup to this election season, The Party Decides seemed to be on every political science nerd's reading list.

Earlier this year, we noticed a pattern in which states were voting for Hillary Clinton and which were voting for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nominating contests. Sanders tended to win the states that had the highest income equality (as measured by the Gini index, a widely used measure of inequality), and Clinton tended to win states that were the most unequal.

Tuesday is Donald Trump's 70th birthday. If he wins the election in November, that means he would be the oldest newly elected president in U.S. history, putting him ahead of Ronald Reagan, who was just shy of 70 on Inauguration Day 1981.

If Hillary Clinton were elected, she wouldn't be far behind. She will turn 69 in October. Come Inauguration Day 2017, that would put her not far behind Reagan when he was inaugurated, making her the second-oldest president.

Here's how those two candidates compare with America's past presidents:

Hillary Clinton declared victory on Tuesday night, but Bernie Sanders fights on.

"The struggle continues. We are going to fight for every vote in Tuesday's primary in Washington, DC, and then we will bring our political revolution to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia," he wrote in a fundraising email sent Wednesday morning, adding, "we will continue to fight for every vote and every delegate we can get."

Sanders pledged to keep campaigning through the District of Columbia primary on June 14.

If D.C.'s builders put parlors into overpriced luxury apartments and condos — and, we guess, if people played games in them — the city's current favorite parlor game would be figuring out who likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would pick for their running mates.

Hooray! It's that time of election season again, when (depending on whom you support) every single poll is cause for either panic or triumphantly punching the air.

Election Day, by the way, is Nov. 8. That's almost half a year more of hyperventilation over polls.

That sounds exhausting.

Almost no one saw Donald Trump coming a year ago, it seems. And there's all sorts of finger-pointing as to why: Journalists blew it. Or maybe it was political scientists' fault.

But there's one big reason why so many smart people overlooked him: He's the opposite of what many of the loudest voices in the Republican Party said they wanted.

Bernie Sanders has some of the most ambitious and sweeping policy proposals of all the presidential candidates. His campaign has centered on a promise of "revolution."

Bernie Sanders is staying in the race until the last primary and the nation will be better off for it, he told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview that will air Thursday on Morning Edition.

Inskeep, passing on questions he had invited on Twitter, asked Sanders if he is "threatening [his] revolution" by continuing to run, potentially scaring some voters away from supporting Hillary Clinton — the likely Democratic nominee — in November.

The Democratic Party is looking the worse for wear these days. And that's putting it mildly. The party's net favorability rating has fallen off steeply in the past few years, and it's been negative or near-negative since 2010, according to multiple polls.

That would be cause for concern, except for one thing: The GOP looks much worse.

A five-primary victory on Tuesday night seemed to embolden Donald Trump Tuesday night. Taking questions after his victory speech, the Republican front-runner went after Hillary Clinton, his most likely opponent in November, on her gender.

"Well, I think the only card she has is the woman's card," he said. "She's got nothing else going on. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the women's vote. And the beautiful thing is that women don't like her, OK?"


Last week, an NPR analysis found Hillary Clinton outperforms Bernie Sanders in the states with the most income inequality. This weekend on Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked about that trend we discovered: Why would Sanders do worse in those states when income inequality is his signature issue?

Sanders responded that "poor people don't vote."

We decided to look into that claim.

The Claim:

John Kasich says the nation has a choice between "two paths." On one path is "fear" and "darkness." On the other path is — guess who? — a President Kasich.

In a speech on Tuesday, Kasich presented a stark choice between pessimism and optimism. The "path to darkness," he said, is a "political strategy based on exploiting Americans instead of lifting them up [that] inevitably leads to divisions, paranoia, isolation, and promises that can never, ever be fulfilled."

A listener named Josh recently sent us a clip of him talking politics with his daughter, Penelope. The bit that caught our attention (and that we highlighted in our last weekly roundup podcast) was where Penelope finds out that a "girl" is running for president, then insists that her father vote for her.

He presses Penelope on this:

"What if I said I'm voting for Ted Cruz just because he's a man?" he asks.

"If he was the first man to be president," she says.

A listener named Josh recently sent us a clip of him talking politics with his daughter, Penelope. The bit that caught our attention (and that we highlighted in our last weekly roundup podcast) was where Penelope finds out that a "girl" is running for president, then insists that her father vote for her.

He presses Penelope on this:

"What if I said I'm voting for Ted Cruz just because he's a man?" he asks.

"If he was the first man to be president," she says.