NPR: 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 for 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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5:57pm

Thu January 10, 2013
It's All Politics

For Young Republican, Defying Boehner In Washington Plays Well Back Home

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:50 pm

Republican House Speaker John Boehner administers the oath of office to Amash during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 5, 2011, at the start of Amash's first term.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

When the rumored rebellion against House Speaker John Boehner's bid for a second term played out last week, the very first Republican to not vote for Boehner was Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., just three names into the alphabetical roll call.

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2:57am

Fri December 7, 2012
Politics

Tea Party May Be Losing Steam, But Issues Still Boil

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:56 am

The battle over how to avoid the looming cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff is a frustrating one for the Tea Party. The movement is still a force within the GOP, even as its popularity has fallen over the past two years.

But in the current debate, there have been no big rallies in Washington, and Tea Party members in Congress seem resigned to the fact that any eventual deal will be one they won't like — and one they'll have little influence over.

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5:21pm

Fri November 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Rice Controversy Raises Ayotte's Profile

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:44 pm

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain, discusses the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has been standing side by side with colleagues John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in questioning the Obama administration's version of events about the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

It is just the latest in a series of high-profile moments for Ayotte, who is seen as a rising star in a party struggling to win female voters.

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8:45am

Tue November 6, 2012
Election 2012

Update From Ohio: Ballot Dispute

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:18 pm

Ohio is possibly the most important state in this presidential race. A challenge over early voting there has turned into a dispute over provisional ballots.

4:06am

Mon November 5, 2012
It's All Politics

America's Changing Face Presents Challenges For The GOP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 10:07 am

Voters cast their ballots during the first day of early voting at the Meadows Mall on Oct. 20 in Las Vegas, Nev.
David Becker Getty Images

The final days of an election cycle bring an obsession with the short term — the very short term. Daily tracking polls. A relentless get-it, post-it, blog-it news cycle. Trending topics on Twitter telling us something (though it's not always clear what).

But for just a moment, let's slow it down, look at what's happening over a somewhat longer time frame, and see what it tells us about what the country will look like for the winner of the presidential race.

The Long View

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10:19am

Sun October 21, 2012
Remembrances

McGovern Legacy Offers More Than A Lost Presidency

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:03 am

McGovern listens to a constituent in 1974.
Jim Mone AP

Former Sen. George McGovern died early Sunday in his hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90 years old, and had been in failing health. McGovern served two terms in the House and three in the Senate, but was best known as the Democratic Party's ill-fated nominee against President Nixon in the election of 1972.

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4:51am

Mon October 15, 2012
Election 2012

Volunteers Labor To Get Early Voters Out In Iowa

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

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6:45am

Sun October 14, 2012
Election 2012

Strict Private School Prepped Romney To 'Aim High'

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 2:14 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lived in Stevens Hall while he was attending Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

From now until November, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at Cranbrook, an all-boys prep school in Michigan.

Cranbrook has been coed since the mid-1980s, its overall diversity is quite evident and the dress code is casual. None of that was true when Mitt Romney, class of 1965, was a student there.

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4:23am

Fri October 12, 2012
Election 2012

No. 2s, Biden, Ryan, Square Off In Combative Debate

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Last night's vice presidential debate offered a reminder about American politics. It can be infuriating, misleading and irrelevant, but at its best politics becomes a spectacle - a highly informative show - which is what the vice presidential candidates delivered last night in a debate in Kentucky.

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7:21am

Sat September 22, 2012
Presidential Race

Nev. Voters Scrutinize Candidates' Economic Messages

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns yesterday after months of pressure, and this week President Obama and his opponent sparred over remarks secretly recorded at a recent Romney fundraiser. Mr. Romney was in Nevada again yesterday. Both candidates have spent a lot of time in that battleground state. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea talked to voters in Reno.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: The battle for Nevada will likely be settled in Washoe County, which is home to Reno.

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6:01am

Sat September 15, 2012
Politics

Paul Ryan A Star Attraction For Values Voters

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

Paul Ryan addresses the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

In this election, Christian conservatives seem to be more against President Obama than they are for Mitt Romney. But they do like GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who used a speech Friday to vouch for Romney.

At the annual gathering of religious conservatives in Washington, D.C., there was also talk of this week's violence in the Middle East.

The Values Voter Summit got under way first thing Friday morning, with a speech from Tony Perkins, whose Family Research Council organizes this event.

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3:36am

Thu September 13, 2012
It's All Politics

In The Ohio River Valley, Voters Aren't Sure Either Candidate Can Help

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 10:17 pm

Towns near the Ohio River, including Steubenville, seen here in 2009, are home to many undecided voters. One of them, Brian Snider, says, "This is pretty much a ghost town."
Rick Gershon Getty Images

Most of the election-year attention Ohio gets is focused on the heavily Democratic areas in the northeast around Cleveland, or in GOP strongholds in rural areas and in the south around Cincinnati.

But it's also worth keeping a close eye on the state's less-traveled southeastern border with Pennsylvania and West Virginia — the Ohio River Valley. It's a place where there is a lot of doubt about how much either candidate can help.

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4:44am

Fri August 31, 2012
Election 2012

GOP Uses Convention To Reach Out To Female Voters

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 12:48 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. So the president is focused on young voters. At the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney and his supporters were focused on women. Their effort is driven by the big deficit that Romney has had among women in poll matchups with the president. And that's why the GOP convention featured one high-profile female speaker after another. Here's NPR's Don Gonyea.

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4:30am

Mon August 20, 2012
Around the Nation

Janesville Library Prepared For Inquiring Reporters

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:50 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For the residents of Janesville, Wisconsin, Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate was a story of a local man becoming the biggest news in the country. But for the librarians of Janesville, it meant something else entirely, as NPR's Don Gonyea found out last week.

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5:14am

Wed August 15, 2012
Election 2012

In Colorado With Rep. Ryan

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:03 am

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan continues to introduce himself to voters. Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Ryan would be his running mate. So far, Ryan has campaigned exclusively in battleground states that were carried by Democrats in 2008.

6:15pm

Wed August 8, 2012
It's All Politics

In Brawl Over Romney's Tax Returns, Harry Reid Gets Marquee Billing

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:57 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. speaks to the media at the Capitol in March.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's decision not to release more of his past tax returns has fueled countless attacks and counterattacks.

The former Massachusetts governor has released his 2010 tax return and promises that his 2011 return is forthcoming. He says that's enough.

But that's not enough for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The result is an increasingly ugly fight.

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3:26am

Tue August 7, 2012
Election 2012

Older, Tougher — But Will The Tea Party Be Stronger?

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 pm

Ted Cruz, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at a rally organized by the Tea Party Express in San Antonio in May.
Hernan Rozemberg AP

The 2010 elections were a coming of age for the Tea Party, with big gains in Congress and in statehouses. As 2012 approached, the movement was looking for similar success. Then came this year's GOP presidential primaries, with no surviving Tea Party favorite.

Polls showed public support for the movement falling off significantly after several nasty showdowns in Congress. But the Tea Party remains a force in many states. Its favored candidate for the U.S. Senate won big in Texas last week, sending the strongest signal yet that the movement will be a factor this fall.

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6:29am

Sun July 22, 2012
Election 2012

He's A Long Shot, But Don't Count Huckabee Out

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 11:08 am

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee delivers remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference in February in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Among the many contenders who could wind up becoming presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's running mate, there are some potential surprises — like former presidential candidate-turned TV and radio host Mike Huckabee.

Putting Huckabee on the GOP ticket could certainly liven up the presidential race. In addition to being a respected former governor of Arkansas, he's well known for his good-natured public persona. At a Huckabee campaign event, you might find him playing an electric bass with the old-time rock 'n' roll band Capitol Offense.

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5:09am

Fri July 13, 2012
Politics

NAACP Applauds Biden's Voting Rights Message

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Voting rights have been a big topic at this year's convention of the NAACP in Houston. Republicans across the country have been pushing for tougher voter I.D. laws, which the nation's oldest civil rights organization contends are aimed at hurting voter turnout among African-Americans. Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden joined a long list of convention speakers addressing that issue, as NPR's Don Gonyea reports.

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5:36pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Politics

Tea Party Sees Ruling As New Rallying Cry

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

The Supreme Court is reflected in the sunglasses of Susan Clark on Thursday as she demonstrates against President Obama's health care law.
David Goldman AP

Some of the earliest and most vocal opponents of President Obama's health care law were members of the Tea Party. In fact, health care quickly became the issue fueling the rise of the movement.

Anger over the Affordable Care Act drove the Tea Party and Republicans to big gains in the 2010 elections, but since then the movement has seen its prominence and influence wane.

Now, Tea Party activists say the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law will reignite that original passion in time for this fall's election.

Call For Repeal Continues

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4:46am

Wed June 20, 2012
Election 2012

Mitt Romney Wraps Up Bus Tour To Battleground States

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Mitt Romney has wrapped up his most extensive campaign trip since becoming the all-but-official Republican nominee for president. Over the past five days, he visited six potential battleground states, touring each by bus. Along the way, he honed his attacks on President Obama, while also trying to show voters a more relaxed Mitt Romney than they've seen so far.

The tour, called Every Town Counts, stayed mostly in counties friendly to Republicans, ending with three stops in Michigan yesterday, the state where Romney was born.

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5:23pm

Tue June 19, 2012
It's All Politics

With Polka Band And Pie, Romney Wraps Up Small-Town Tour In Michigan

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 4:00 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes a pie shell with store owner Linda Hundt during a campaign stop Tuesday in DeWitt, Mich.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a five-day, six-state tour in Michigan on Tuesday.

Each of the states he visited was won by President Obama in the 2008 election. Each is also shaping up as a potential battleground this year.

In Michigan, the state where Romney was born, he avoided big cities and stayed in places friendly to the GOP. As he traveled east to west across central Michigan by bus, there were some pockets of protesters, but mostly at a distance.

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5:39am

Tue June 5, 2012
Politics

For Wisconsin Voters, Recall Day Is Here

Republican Gov. Scott Walker faces Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election Tuesday that has attracted a lot of outside money. The attempt to remove Walker came after he successfully pushed to limit collective bargaining rights for public sector unions.

4:26pm

Tue May 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Fueled By Outside Money, Ad Blitz Hasn't Stopped For Weary Iowans

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 pm

6:18am

Sat May 12, 2012
Presidential Race

Iowa On Same-Sex Marriage: It's Complicated

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 9:17 pm

Iowans attend a marriage rally sponsored by The Family Leader on Tuesday at the Statehouse in Des Moines. The head of the organization says President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage could cost him the election.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Immediately after President Obama announced his support this week for same-sex marriage, attention turned to politics. The outcome of this year's election will be determined by a handful of states — one of them is Iowa, where the politics of same-sex marriage are complicated.

Same-sex marriage is legal here, but three of the state Supreme Court justices upholding that 2009 decision were removed from office by voters a year later.

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5:54pm

Fri April 27, 2012
Election 2012

Obama Team Changes Line Of Attack Against Romney

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:02 pm

Vice President Biden defends the administration's foreign policy --€” and questions Mitt Romney's ideas — on Thursday at New York University.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

General-election battle lines are taking shape between President Obama and likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Romney is sticking with his long-standing attack on the president as someone not up to the huge job of turning around the economy.

But the Obama campaign has recently changed its message: Instead of portraying Romney as a flip-flopping, say-anything politician, it is now arguing that the former Massachusetts governor is a man with extreme positions far outside the American mainstream.

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5:04pm

Mon April 23, 2012
Around the Nation

President Obama Takes Steps To End Mass Atrocities

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:39 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama toured the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington today joined by Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel. Mr. Obama said the U.S. must never again allow such atrocities to take place.

As NPR's Don Gonyea reports, the president also announced new tools to punish countries that use technology to track and target their citizens.

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3:41am

Mon April 23, 2012
Mitt Romney

Immigration Remains A Dicey Issue For Romney, GOP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 8:29 am

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday.
Jae C. Hong AP

At a Republican candidates' forum in Wisconsin before the state's primary earlier this month, a speaker who wasn't on the ballot had strong words for the GOP regarding its low standing among Hispanic voters.

"The way the party ... talks about immigration is going to impact the future course of this party and the future course of this nation," said former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the first Hispanic to hold the nation's highest law enforcement post.

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8:50am

Tue April 17, 2012
It's All Politics

Other Options Gone, Tea Party Members Warm Up To Romney

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 12:26 pm

Courting Tea Party voters in Philadelphia on Monday night, Mitt Romney speaks next to a large statue of Benjamin Franklin at the Franklin Institute.
Tim Shaffer Reuters/Landov

Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. On Monday night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.

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4:00am

Tue April 17, 2012
Election 2012

Tri-State Tea Party Welcomes Romney To Philly

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:27 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. Last night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. And as NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports, what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.

Read more

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