Ken Rudin

Ken Rudin is NPR's Political Junkie. For most of the past 20 years, Rudin has been the eyes and ears of political coverage as political editor. Rudin focuses on all aspects of politics, from presidential elections with the primaries, national conventions, debates and general election, to the races for the House, Senate and state governors. He has analyzed every congressional race in the nation since 1984.

In 2011, Rudin added to his duties by becoming part of the network's StateImpact project. This local-national journalism initiative will add editorial resources and reporters to NPR member stations in all 50 states, to better inform the public about the impact that the actions of state governments has on citizens and communities. Rudin mentors and advises these reporters on covering the effects politics and politicians have on people.

In addition to his role with StateImpact, Rudin continues to contribute NPR's political coverage. Every Wednesday, he can be heard on Talk of the Nation in the "Political Junkie" segment. In his "Political Junkie" weekly column on, Rudin previews the politics of the week, and delves into campaign history, strategy and trivia, including the popular ScuttleButton contest.

Rudin was a key player on the NPR team that won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton award for excellence in broadcast journalism in 2002 for coverage of campaign finance.

From 1983 through 1991, Rudin worked at ABC News, serving first as deputy political director and later as the off-air Capitol Hill reporter covering the House. He first joined NPR in 1991, as its first political editor. Rudin returned to NPR in 1998, after a three-year absence during which he was the managing editor of the Hotline, a daily political newsletter. He also wrote the "Political Graffiti" column for The Hill, a newspaper covering Capitol Hill.

A political junkie for many decades, Rudin has one of the most extensive collections of campaign buttons in the country, a collection that now surpasses 70,000 items. Rudin is a graduate of Pace University in New York.

The issue of same-sex marriage will long continue to fascinate and infuriate politics watchers everywhere, but this past week was especially impossible to ignore, starting last Sunday, with Vice President Biden's candid statement on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he is "absolutely comfortable" with it, through the Administration's torturous couple of days of attempting to "clarify" Biden's remarks, and culminating on Wednesday's interview for ABC's "Good Morning America, where President Obama "evolved" into embracing gay marriage once and for

When Richard Lugar, the mayor of Indianapolis, first ran for the Senate, against Democratic incumbent Birch Bayh in 1974, a big part of his problem was that he was a partisan Republican.

In fairness, there was nothing wrong with being a partisan Republican in good GOP years ... in, say, 1972, when President Richard Nixon was on his way to a landslide re-election and Lugar was the keynote speaker at the GOP national convention.

With Mitt Romney having all but sewn up the Republican presidential nomination, there is only one task left for restless political junkies and reporters for the next four months: predict Romney's running mate.

Pennsylvania is often described as a swing state for November's presidential battle, as polls there show a very tight contest shaping up between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Of course, the Keystone State was also thought to be in play four years ago, when Obama easily dispatched John McCain by a 55-44 percent margin.

The battle for the Republican presidential nomination may or may not be decided by the end of this month. The battle for control of the Senate, on the other hand, is likely to go on all the way until the final votes are cast in November.

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Jan 9, 2012

There was a lot of talk about God and religion during last week's Republican caucuses in Iowa.

Then came the miraculous victory Sunday in the playoffs by the Denver Broncos and their quarterback, Tim Tebow.

There are no coincidences when it comes to politics, sports and religion.

A handful of new polls are out, all of which have Mitt Romney ahead in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary by varying margins.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

The Iowa caucuses have come and gone, and that leaves New Hampshire the better part of a week to consider the candidates before the primary on January 10th.

Here to help us sort out New Hampshire’s changing role in the political landscape is NPR’s Political Editor Ken Rudin. He talked about the primary with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson. 

So now it's Newt Gingrich.

In what has become the most improbable result of a most improbable campaign season, Gingrich, the former speaker of the House who has been out of public office since 1998, has benefited from a series of well-reviewed debate performances to catapult himself to the top of the GOP presidential pack. Not just the leading "Anybody But Mitt (Romney)" candidate. The leader, period.