Ron Elving

Ron Elving is the NPR News' Senior Washington Editor directing coverage of the nation's capital and national politics and providing on-air political analysis for many NPR programs.

Elving can regularly be heard on Talk of the Nation providing analysis of the latest in politics. He is also heard on the "It's All Politics" weekly podcast along with NPR's Ken Rudin.

Under Elving's leadership, NPR has been awarded the industry's top honors for political coverage including the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a 2002 duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence in broadcast journalism, the Merriman Smith Award for White House reporting from the White House Correspondents Association and the Barone Award from the Radio and Television Correspondents Association. In 2008, the American Political Science Association awarded NPR the Carey McWilliams Award "in recognition of a major contribution to the understanding of political science."

Before joining NPR in 1999, Elving served as political editor for USA Today and for Congressional Quarterly. He came to Washington in 1984 as a Congressional Fellow with the American Political Science Association and worked for two years as a staff member in the House and Senate. Previously, Elving served as a reporter and state capital bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He was a media fellow at Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Over his career, Elving has written articles published by The Washington Post, the Brookings Institution, Columbia Journalism Review, Media Studies Journal, and the American Political Science Association. He was a contributor and editor for eight reference works published by Congressional Quarterly Books from 1990 to 2003. His book, Conflict and Compromise: How Congress Makes the Law, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1995. Recently, Elving contributed the chapter, "Fall of the Favorite: Obama and the Media," to James Thurber's Obama in Office: The First Two Years.

Elving teaches public policy in the school of Public Administration at George Mason University and has also taught at Georgetown University, American University and Marquette University.

With an bachelor's degree from Stanford, Elving went on to earn master's degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of California-Berkeley.

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10:27am

Fri January 16, 2015
It's All Politics

Iowa's Sen. Ernst Grabs Spotlight That's Often Proven Too Hot

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 10:43 am

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, will deliver the GOP response to the president's State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 20.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

On the one hand, having the just-elected senator from Iowa, Joni Ernst, deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address next week makes perfect sense.

On the other hand, you have to wonder why anyone would want the job. As often as not, the opportunity to speak right after the president does has been the kiss of death for aspiring politicians — especially in the GOP during the Obama years.

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10:13am

Wed January 14, 2015
It's All Politics

What If Mitt And Jeb Really Do Go At It, Hammer And Tongs?

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 3:44 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (right) talks with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Romney's campaign plane in 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

Pity the poor guys who are trying to run for president while still serving as governors.

All the media attention this week went to former Govs. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, because Romney suddenly decided to call in his chits and get back in the presidential conversation for 2016. Virtually every news organization in North America instantly got wide-eyed about it.

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11:26am

Fri January 9, 2015
It's All Politics

Still Just A Bill: Why Being Senate Bill 1 Doesn't Guarantee Success

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 2:37 pm

Legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is the latest Senate Bill 1. President Obama has vowed to veto it.
Sue Ogrocki AP

On his first day in his new job, freshly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., designated the Keystone XL pipeline bill as Senate Bill 1 --the first legislation introduced under his leadership.

That signaled more than just McConnell's own support for the bill. The prestige of being S-1 also conveys a sense of the priority and urgency Senate Republicans in general attach to the project, which would permit the pipeline to cross the U.S.-Canada border and carry crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf Coast.

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5:17pm

Mon January 5, 2015
Politics

6 Reasons Size Matters To The New GOP Majorities In Congress

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 1:12 pm

The 114th Congress opens Tuesday, swearing in the most House Republicans since 1947. But how much does the numbers game really matter now?
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The 114th Congress opens Tuesday with 246 Republicans taking the oath of office in the House. That's the most the GOP has sworn in since 1947, when the same number arrived for the 80th Congress intent on challenging Democratic President Harry Truman.

For a time, it had appeared that the new 114th majority would eclipse that of the 80th by one. But then Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges and, after a sit-down with Speaker John Boehner a week ago, agreed to resign.

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1:30pm

Fri January 2, 2015
It's All Politics

Was Cuomo Destined To Be President Or Just Political Poet Laureate?

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 1:55 pm

New York Gov. Mario Cuomo gives a thumbs-up gesture with both hands during his July 16, 1984, keynote address to the opening session of the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.
AP

When he died of heart failure on New Year's Day, Mario Cuomo had been out of office exactly 20 years. But his impact endured, in part because he articulated his political philosophy so powerfully while at his peak and in part because he never fulfilled the destiny many envisioned for him on the national stage.

The New York governor's national moment in the sun came at night, in a San Francisco convention hall. On July 16, 1984, Cuomo gave the keynote address, mesmerizing a crowd of thousands in the Moscone Center and intriguing millions more on TV.

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4:26pm

Wed December 31, 2014
Politics

6 Reasons Steve Scalise Will Survive His Speech Scandal

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 5:26 pm

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks during a campaign rally for U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., on Nov. 1 in Abita Springs, La.
Scott Threlkeld AP

Barring new and jarring developments, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is going to survive the story that he addressed a conference of white supremacists in 2002.

Unless further evidence emerges of liaisons with the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO, Scalise will take his oath next week for the 114th Congress as the No. 3 leader of the chamber's GOP — the party's largest majority since 1928.

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5:01am

Mon December 29, 2014
It's All Politics

Obama Finds Reset Button With 2 Years To Go: Is It Too Late?

As he looks toward his seventh year in the White House, President Obama still believes there is time to make his presidency a transformational moment in history.

In an interview recorded shortly before he left for Christmas vacation in Hawaii, the president told NPR's Steve Inskeep that 2014 had been "a bumpy ride" but also the "breakthrough year" he himself had predicted.

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10:23am

Mon December 15, 2014
U.S.

Is Ted Cruz Running For President ... In 2008?

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:37 pm

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Friday, as the Senate considered a spending bill.
Lauren Victoria Burke AP

Yes, we know the 2008 presidential election is years in the past and will not come around again. The question is, does Sen. Ted Cruz know this?

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4:23pm

Tue December 2, 2014
It's All Politics

Should We Rue Rob Portman's Decision Not To Run For President?

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:51 pm

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, conducts a town hall meeting with employees after an October 2014 tour of Harris Products Group in Mason, Ohio.
Al Behrman AP

This just in: At least one Republican in Washington has decided he doesn't want to be president.

OK, that's not exactly what Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said. He said he wasn't running for president. Obviously, there is a difference. Nothing is more common in politics than a would-be mayor/governor/president who wishes he or she could just be appointed to the job.

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7:55am

Fri November 21, 2014
It's All Politics

Who's Dreaming Now? Obama Opponents Do A Weapons Check On Immigration

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 8:20 am

Even though they were sitting close together at a White House luncheon earlier this month, Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on many issues including immigration. From left are House Speaker John Boehner, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Evan Vucci AP

Even before President Obama actually announced his new deferred deportation policy for millions of people in the country illegally, Republicans were everywhere denouncing it and threatening retaliation.

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5:21pm

Thu November 20, 2014
Politics

Obama's Immigration Action Has Roots In Reagan Policy

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 6:30 pm

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

6:05am

Sat November 15, 2014
Politics

Get Ready To Watch This Lame-Duck Congress Sprint

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 10:21 am

U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., speaks Wednesday as U.S. military veterans, service members and immigration reform advocates look on during a press conference urging President Obama to move forward with immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Maybe this duck won't be so lame after all.

Judging by what we've seen so far, the "zombie Congress" that returned to town this week (the reelected and the not-so-lucky) will do more business in the weeks following the election than it did in many months preceding.

Consider these trains — all long-sidetracked, all suddenly leaving the station on Capitol Hill:

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5:00pm

Thu November 13, 2014
Color Decoded: Stories That Span The Spectrum

The Color Of Politics: How Did Red And Blue States Come To Be?

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

NBC employees change Nebraska to red in the electoral map of the United States in 2008. All the TV news operations, including NBC News, settled on red for Republicans and blue for Democrats in 2000.
Mary Altaffer AP

Americans grow up knowing their colors are red, white and blue. It's right there in the flag, right there in the World Series bunting and on those floats every fourth of July.

So when did we become a nation of red states and blue states? And what do they mean when they say a state is turning purple?

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7:01am

Wed November 5, 2014
It's All Politics

We Need A New Word For The Latest Republican Wave

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 3:22 pm

President Obama stumped for gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf this weekend in Philadelphia. Wolf's victory Tuesday was among the few bright spots for Democrats.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

In 2010, President Obama lost six seats in the Senate and 63 in the House and called it "a shellacking." Four years before that, President George W. Bush lost six seats in the Senate and 30 in the House and called it a "thumpin'. "

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11:56am

Tue November 4, 2014
It's All Politics

The Most Reliable Guide To Campaign 2014? History

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 12:56 pm

Then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas was all smiles after Republicans took over the Senate in an eight-seat rout in 1994.
John Duricka AP

Still wondering where to put your money on the Senate races tonight?

There's been a lot of contradictory data flying around in the final hours and days of Campaign 2014, so don't feel alone. You can find polls in swing states that say the races are too close to call, and you can find others that show the Republican candidate opening a lead. You can, of course, listen to the party advocates and pundits, but while highly expert they are always pushing a given point of view.

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