Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR's White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress. In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe. He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

Gonyea has filed stories from around the globe, including Moscow, Beijing, London, Islamabad, Doha, Budapest, Seoul, San Salvador, and Hanoi. He attended President Bush's first ever meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Slovenia in 2001, and subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava. He also covered Mr.Obama's first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the BBC, CBC, AP Radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. He periodically teaches college journalism courses.

Gonyea has won numerous national and state awards for his reporting. He was part of the team that earned NPR a 2000 George Foster Peabody Award for the All Things Considered series "Lost & Found Sound."

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.

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Politics
5:23 am
Fri February 27, 2015

CPAC Attendees Hear From GOP Presidential Hopefuls

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 7:42 am

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It's All Politics
12:38 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

What We're Watching At The Conservative Political Action Conference

Ben Carson talks with media after his CPAC speech.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:48 pm

This week's Conservative Political Action Conference has drawn a huge crowd of activists and politicos, per usual — but it's also a prime spot for 2016 presidential hopefuls. The GOP's potential candidates — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Bobby Jindal — are rolling on and off the main stage, hoping to fire up the conservative audience. And how well they do with this crowd — an important part of their base — may say a lot about 2016. Here are five things I'll be watching for at CPAC:

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Politics
5:49 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Gallup Ranks Red And Blue States

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:04 pm

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Politics
6:12 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Jeb Bush Delivers Big Speech In Detroit

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 6:47 pm

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Politics
4:37 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Jeb Bush Continues To Test Campaign Waters In Detroit

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 2:45 pm

For his first major speech since confirming that he's exploring a presidential run, Jeb Bush chose an interesting location: Detroit.

Speaking to the city's Economic Club, an establishment institution in the Motor City for more than eight decades, he praised the city's emergence from bankruptcy.

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Politics
4:42 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Gov. Scott Walker Eyes 2016, But Can He Get Past Labor's Loathing?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker spoke about taking on public employee unions, and the protests that followed, at a recent candidates forum in Iowa. He said what people may not know is that protesters — as many as 1,000 of them — showed up outside his home while his family was there. He says he also received death threats.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 6:30 pm

There is not a lot of love between the U.S. labor movement and those on the long list of potential 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls. But there is one name among the GOP prospects that labor truly despises — and fears. He is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who weakened unions in his own state and appears ready to make his battles with labor a centerpiece of a bid for the White House.

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Politics
6:21 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Possible GOP Presidential Candidates Woo Iowa

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 3:22 pm

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It's All Politics
5:06 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Iowa Freedom Summit Looks Something Like 2016 Is Underway

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, seen here at the inauguration of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, will attend the Iowa Freedom Summit.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 9:00 am

Take a nearly century-old theater in downtown Des Moines. Fill it to capacity — that's 1,200 audience members and another 200 credentialed media — bring in a lineup that includes almost 10 would-be, might-be, could-be Republican presidential hopefuls, and it's looking like the 2016 campaign is officially underway.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a conservative from the northwest corner of the state, is hosting the Iowa Freedom Summit Saturday along with Citizens United.

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Politics
5:21 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Georgia Pushes For An SEC Presidential Primary

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:58 am

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Politics
4:09 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Obama Can Expect An Unfriendly Audience — But There's A History Here

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:32 pm

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Business
5:12 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Federal Watchdog To Let Teamsters Union Off Its Leash

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 3:31 pm

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Music News
5:25 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Remembering When Johnny Cash Stopped To Talk To A Young Reporter

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 7:52 am

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It's All Politics
5:12 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Congress Says Goodbye To Its Last World War II Vets

Rep. John Dingell (from left), D-Mich., Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., Rep. Ralph Regula, R- Ohio, Rep. Ralph Hall, D-Texas, Rep. Cass Ballenger, R-N.C., and Rep. Amo Houghton, R-N.Y., stand at a House ceremony honoring World War II veterans in 2004.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 6:47 pm

The World War II era is about to officially draw to a close in the United States Congress. This comes after seven full decades during which there was always a veteran of that war in the legislative body.

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Politics
4:30 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Is The Election Over Yet?

The Republican candidate for Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, Martha McSally, speaks at a news conference on Nov. 5, the morning after the election. McSally's race against Democrat Ron Barber is so close it triggered a recount.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:31 am

The election is over, right? Republicans gained control of the U.S. Senate and padded their majority in the House.

So the big drama of the campaign may have subsided, but there is still a handful of congressional contests up in the air.

There are runoff elections scheduled. A couple of races that are still too close to call. And at least one official recount coming.

U.S. Senate Races

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Politics
7:48 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Record Numbers Of Women, Minorities Make Up Incoming Congress

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 7:54 am

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Politics
4:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Congress' Newest Members Come To Washington

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Politics
5:20 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Republicans Gain Seats In State Legislatures, Governors Mansions

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 11:15 am

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Politics
4:29 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Getting Out The Vote A More Challenging Task In The Midterms

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 6:23 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
5:04 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Iowa Senate Candidates Get In Last-Minute Campaigning

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:49 am

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Politics
7:23 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

The Devastating History Of Midterm Elections

U.S. President Ronald Reagan quiets a cheering crowd at a Republican rally in November 1986.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

History tells us that midterm elections are bad — sometimes very bad — for the party that controls the White House. President Obama and the Democrats are pushing for voter turnout in the final days before next Tuesday's midterm election. But they are also bracing for what could be a rough night of ballot counting.

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Politics
4:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

With Biden By His Side, Minnesota Democrat Mines For Blue-Collar Vote

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 1:38 pm

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Politics
4:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Senate Race Delivers A Surprise Jolt To Conservative South Dakota

Democratic candidate Rick Weiland, a businessman, plays at a union hall in Sioux Falls, S.D. "We've tried to make this campaign fun," he told the crowd. "We're enjoying it. I hope you are."
Don Gonyea NPR

Originally published on Sun October 19, 2014 7:21 pm

An unlikely place has become the scene of an unexpectedly close U.S. Senate race this year: South Dakota. It's complicating all efforts to predict which party will emerge from the midterm elections with control over the chamber.

South Dakota is a conservative state where the conservative Republican was expected to win easily. And one that no one, not even Democrats, thought would be a battleground in the campaign's final weeks.

From Sioux Falls, the suddenly rollicking Senate race sounds a lot like music and poetry.

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Politics
4:53 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Ducking Social Issues, GOP Struggles To Keep Conservatives Close

Iowa's Westside Conservative Club holds breakfast meetings at a Machine Shed restaurant outside Des Moines. Longtime GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley spoke at a recent breakfast.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 1:25 pm

The push to get out the vote is in full force. Midterm elections are just over three weeks away, and early voting has already started in some states.

Rallying voters is always a major undertaking. But this year is proving even tougher, with trust in government at rock bottom. That includes both the Democratic president and the Republican House.

The GOP still expects to do very well in November. But that doesn't mean the Republican base is all that excited.

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Politics
5:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

In Michigan, A Low-Key Campaign For A High-Stakes Senate Seat

Terri Lynn Land walks in the Labor Day Parade in Romeo, Mich., on Sept. 1. Land has made some public appearances like this one but overall is running a low-key race in the state.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 2:33 pm

Republicans see a chance for a takeover of the Senate this November, and they are hoping the path to victory leads through Michigan. That's where six-term Democratic Sen. Carl Levin is retiring.

Even though Democrats dominate the state in the presidential elections, the GOP does much better in midterms when voter turnout is lower.

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Politics
7:13 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Hillary Clinton Keeps Iowa Crowd Guessing About Her Presidential Plans

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin work the grill during Harkin's annual fundraising steak fry in Indianola, Iowa, on Sunday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:10 pm

Hillary Clinton, who has a huge lead in many early presidential polls, returned to Iowa on Sunday. The woman who says she has not yet decided on a 2016 presidential run appeared along with former President Bill Clinton in a state she has not visited since she lost the 2008 Iowa caucuses to Barack Obama.

Her speech at the annual steak fry hosted by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, a must-attend event for state Democratic activists, revealed little about her intentions — but also did nothing to dampen the widespread belief that she will indeed run.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

A Promise Fulfilled Upends Kansas Governor's Race

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback (left) listens while his Democratic challenger Paul Davis answers a question during their first debate at the Kansas State Fair.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 9:00 am

Kansas has become such a reliably red state in presidential elections that when other election years roll around, the results still seem a foregone conclusion. But the governor's mansion has switched parties often in the past 60 years, and Democrats may take it back this November.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is running for re-election, and for months now, polls have shown him consistently running well behind his Democratic challenger.

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Politics
6:06 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Once Low-Key, U.S. Senate Race In Kansas Suddenly Volatile

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts (left) and independent candidate Greg Orman shake hands after a debate at the Kansas State Fair on Saturday in Hutchinson, Kan.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 3:06 pm

There are a couple of things we've long known to be true of the state of Kansas: the stormy weather (just ask a little girl named Dorothy and her dog, Toto), and the politics. In presidential elections, Kansas is deep red. And the state's entire congressional delegation is Republican.

But this year, there's sudden volatility in Kansas politics. As a result, some longtime Republican officeholders are fighting to keep their jobs, including U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Guns Boom In 2014 Campaign Ads

Image from Montana congressional hopeful Matt Rosendale's campaign ad, in which he shoots what he calls a government drone out of the sky.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 9:35 am

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It's All Politics
4:09 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

State Democrats Play Defense Ahead Of Midterm Elections

MHJ iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:29 pm

Democrats are bracing for the 2014 election, now fewer than 10 weeks away.

What has them worried this year?

There's the president's slumping approval scores, the public view that the country is on the wrong track, and frustration that the economic recovery hasn't eased the nation's economic anxiety.

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History
4:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Forget Tea Pot Dome: Harding's Love Letters Make For A New Steamy Scandal

A letter from Warren G. Harding to his lover, Carrie Fulton Phillips, dated Jan. 24, 1916.
Don Gonyea NPR

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 7:50 pm

President Warren G. Harding presided over Prohibition, died before completing his first term, and is consistently ranked by historians and the public as one of the worst U.S. presidents.

But suddenly he's getting a lot of attention, thanks to a cache of steamy love letters he wrote to a mistress over 15 years. Sealed for a half-century, today the Library of Congress made the entire collection available to the public.

James Hutson, chief archivist of the manuscript division at the library, pulled a box of the letters from the collection this morning.

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