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.

The results from Tuesday's four primary and caucus states are in: three wins for Trump, one each for Clinton and Cruz, and one surprising, narrow victory for Sanders.

Bernie Sanders' tight win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan is the biggest news out of Tuesday night's presidential nomination races. Though Clinton had led consistently in recent polls, Sanders won by less than 2 percentage points with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

If voter turnout is any indicator of enthusiasm, this year's GOP voters are way, way more pumped than 2012 voters were. Democrats, meanwhile? Their excitement seems to have dimmed since 2008.

Last night, more than 8.5 million Republicans turned out to vote in the 11 GOP Super Tuesday states that reported results. That suggests far more enthusiasm than the last time Republicans picked a nominee. In those same 11 states in 2012, turnout totaled only around 4.7 million.

That makes this year's turnout in those 11 states 81 percent higher than four years ago.

It's the biggest voting night yet this year: Voters went to the polls and caucus sites in 13 states Tuesday, with 1,460 delegates at stake. And while results are still coming in, it's already clear: It's a great night for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Even across the wide array of states — diverse and not, high-income and low-income, ideological and moderate — there are a few big trends that explain the results.

1. Trump's support was broad

Donald Trump picked up his first congressional endorsements this week, and today he scored another major backer: one of his former rivals, Chris Christie.

"I've gotten to know all the people on that stage. And there is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs, both at home and around the world, than Donald Trump," the New Jersey governor said at a news conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

What exactly did we learn about the Latino vote this weekend? Take your pick of headlines.

  • "The entrance polls said Nevada's Latinos voted for Bernie Sanders. That's unlikely." (Vox)
  • "Did Bernie Sanders really just win the Hispanic vote in Nevada? There's good reason to think that, yes, he might have." (Washington Post)

Hillary Clinton will win the Nevada Democratic caucuses, the Associated Press is reporting.

With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, Clinton has 52.5 percent of the vote, compared to Sen. Bernie Sanders' 47.5 percent.

"Tens of thousands of men and women with kids to raise, bills to pay, and dreams that won't die — this is your campaign," she told a crowd at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. "And it is a campaign to break down every barrier that holds you back."

In the battle for primary votes, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a tight battle.

Recent claims about Bernie Sanders' economic proposals are hurting the Democratic Party, say four former White House economists.

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET to reflect revised delegate counts

Bernie Sanders delivered the second-biggest rout in New Hampshire Democratic primary history last night, besting Hillary Clinton by 22 percentage points.

Saturday's GOP debate was the final one before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. Here were five key moments:


1. That awkward start

One key thing has to happen before the debate starts: the candidates have to take the stage.

That proved more complicated than usual on Saturday night, as the ABC News Republican debate began with Ben Carson refusing to walk out to his podium, even after the moderators called his name.

At the start of the Democratic caucus in Earlham, Iowa, there were 40 Hillary Clinton supporters, 40 Bernie Sanders supporters and 11 Martin O'Malley supporters, all massed around their respective tables in the concrete-floored town community center.

O'Malley was — in the language of caucus rules — not viable: He needed at least 14 supporters to get a delegate in this Madison County gathering. It was time to see if O'Malley's 11 would move to someone else.

Stephanie Hundley is an enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporter. The 28-year-old from Waterloo is also enthusiastic about the fact that she's not going to vote for Hillary Clinton just because she's a woman.

Ted Cruz has one of the most overtly religious stump speeches on the Iowa campaign trail.

In Emmetsburg, Iowa, Friday the Texas senator quoted the Bible and exhorted his supporters to pray "each and every day" until Election Day.

"He's real," said Bobbie Clark, a Cruz supporter from Algona. "There's something there. There's substance behind it. It's not just talk."

Once again this week, an investigation into Planned Parenthood's alleged sale of fetal tissue came up empty.

Every four years, Iowans are deluged with the talking points, the stump speeches, the polls and, of course, the ads.

They also hear that they shouldn't be first. Iowans are too white, too old and too few to merit first-in-the-nation status, say the critics.

But if Iowa shouldn't be first, who should be? For more than a century, reformers have been proposing ideas for how to change the primary system. And they've been failing. And they'll probably continue to fail.

With a little more than a week to go until the Iowa caucuses, the Des Moines Register endorsed Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2016 presidential race.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Let's take a closer look now at what the candidates said in last night's Republican presidential debate. There were a lot of claims and counterclaims. We're going to break it down.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Hillary Clinton wants you to know she has a new tax proposal. She also wants you to know that Bernie Sanders does not.

Submitting to interviews is usually a big part of the presidential job description. Conducting interviews, on the other hand, falls pretty far down on the list.

"Pretty aggressive." That's how one might describe some of Donald Trump's political rhetoric. (Consider that the word of the day on the campaign trail Tuesday was "schlonged.") It's also how former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin described Trump's tax plan in September, when the reality TV star released it.

Ted Cruz is introducing some voters to what he says is a new term in the fight over immigration: "undocumented Democrats." Speaking in Las Vegas on Thursday, the Texas senator and GOP presidential candidate portrayed the idea of a path to citizenship as a ploy to beef up Democratic voter rolls.

In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting — the deadliest in recent U.S. history, with 49 victims — calls for gun control have once again grown louder. In fact, they were shouted on the House floor on Monday. After Speaker Paul Ryan led a moment of silence, Democrats yelled, "Where's the bill?" at him, asking for new gun control measures.

TV ads are unavoidable during a presidential election campaign — just ask the Iowans and New Hampshirites being bombarded with advertisements right now. So why aren't those TV spots seeming to do much good for some Republican candidates?

Tuesday night's Republican debate focused on economic issues. NPR reporters look at candidate claims about business creation, the minimum wage, trade and the length of the tax code.

NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley on the health of the economy:

Republican candidates painted a fairly bleak picture of the U.S. economy during the debate, offering a litany of discouraged workers, sluggish economic growth and children living on food stamps.

If you've paid attention to Donald Trump's speeches, you probably don't have to read his new book.

That's because Crippled America doesn't exactly break new ground. It reads like one of his teleprompter-free campaign speeches: loose, casual, disjointed and full of grandiose adjectives. You can almost hear him dictating it as you read his greatest-hits lines about "real Americans" and the economic threats that China poses to the U.S., mishmashed with a rundown of his policy ideas.

Right now, Americans have a front-row seat to one of the highest-profile job negotiations they will ever see.

Paul Ryan's list of demands before becoming speaker of the House includes a couple of things that few job applicants ever have to think about: party unity and a congressional rule change. But he has one demand that many workers can sympathize with: He wants time to see his kids.

This post was updated at 12:28 p.m. ET.

If Vice President Biden had announced his presidential candidacy today, he would have entered the race with 384 days until Election Day. But he said it was too late for him to be competitive.

Here's the thing: 384 days is an absurdly long time.

At least, it is when you compare American campaigns to those in other countries. The U.S. doesn't have an official campaign season, but the first candidate to jump into the presidential race, Ted Cruz, announced his candidacy on March 23 — 596 days before Election Day.

Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail call for an Obamacare repeal all the time. Plans to replace it are rarer, though. Obamacare is a fantastically complicated policy, and overhauling the health care system would likewise be a complicated business, affecting not only government spending and the economy, but people's very lives on an intensely personal level.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

No one knows who will lead House Republicans next, but for now, chaos reigns among the House GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy shocked Washington on Thursday when he dropped out of the race for speaker of the House.

If you aren't watching Capitol Hill closely, you might not know what the big deal is, or why the GOP is having such a hard time picking a speaker. Here's a quick rundown of what's going on.

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