Don Gonyea

You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.

Gonyea has been covering politics full-time for NPR since the 2000 presidential campaign. That's the year he chronicled a controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battle in Florida that awarded the White House to George W. Bush. Gonyea was named NPR White House Correspondent that year and subsequently covered the entirety of the Bush presidency, from 2001-2008. He was at the White House on the morning of Sept. 11, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the 2004 campaign, he traveled with both Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. He has served as co-anchor of NPR's election night coverage, and in 2008 Gonyea was the lead reporter covering Barack Obama's presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago.

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, as well as subsequent — and at times testy — meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai, and Bratislava. He also covered Obama's first trip overseas as president. During the 2016 election, he traveled extensively with both GOP nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. His coverage of union members and white working class voters in the Midwest also gave early insight into how candidate Trump would tap into economic anxiety to win the presidency.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Michigan on labor unions and the automobile industry. His first public radio job was at station WDET in Detroit. He has spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes at the major US auto companies, along with other labor disputes. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium.

He serves as a fill-in host on NPR news magazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Weekend All Things Considered.

Over the years, Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour, 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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Sarah Palin is back in the presidential race. Today, she endorsed Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

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Ever have a great run of great ideas — one after another?

Ben Carson and Donald Trump have very different personalities — one is as low-key as the other is over-the-top bombastic. They currently lead the rest of the field in the GOP presidential race and, unlike many political newcomers, each is building an organized ground game in Iowa to make sure his supporters actually turn out for the Feb. 1 caucuses.

At a recent Trump rally at a Sioux City high school, loudspeakers blasted an unofficial head-banging campaign anthem by Twisted Sister, to pump up the crowd for the candidate who wouldn't speak for another hour.

These are critical days for the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush.

The former Florida governor has been traversing Iowa this week, in effect reintroducing himself to voters, with the first-in-the-nation caucuses in that state now less than four months away.

This is not where Bush and his advisers expected to be when he got into the race early this year. Back then he was quickly labeled the front-runner — the man to beat.

No one calls Bush that anymore, with the topsy-turvy, crowded GOP field and its outsiders named Trump, Carson and Fiorina sitting atop the polls.

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So a little history. And for events of today, we have Don Gonyea here live in the studio now. Good morning.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

The meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama at the White House continues a tradition going back nearly a century between U.S. presidents and the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

The talks are private, often personal and, always, they take place against the backdrop of the politics of the time. That was the case at the very first such meeting, at the Vatican, as Europe was recovering from World War I.

Woodrow Wilson, the growing Catholic Democrats in the U.S. and the first awkward moment between a president and pope

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For months, one name at a time, the Republican presidential field grew.

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Now it's shrinking. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was at one time considered a leading contender. Yesterday, he officially called it quits.

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The still-huge GOP presidential field just got a little smaller. One of the candidates considered early on to be a top-tier contender is out - Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose battles with labor unions in his own state made him a hero to Republicans, is now proposing huge restrictions on unions nationally as he seeks to revitalize his presidential campaign.

On Monday, Walker released an eight-page plan to take on unions, titled "My Plan to Give Power to the People, Not the Union Bosses."

He's vowing to:

  • Eliminate the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB.

Jeb Bush likes to tell audiences that he's his own man. It's a way to put distance between himself and the two members of the Bush family who've already won the White House.

Evangelical voters are courted every presidential election by Republicans, especially in Iowa. But this year, they could have an even larger impact.

That's because a slew of Southern states are holding primaries on the same day in March of next year, just a month after Iowa votes. And one candidate is making a bold early effort to win them over — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

No Republican presidential hopeful this year has more riding on Iowa than Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

After leading in polls in Iowa most of the year, Walker is suddenly slumping. And he might have Donald Trump to blame.

It's not necessarily that the support Walker had earlier in the summer, when he was the clear front-runner in Iowa polls, has gone to the real estate mogul. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz have seen something of a surge since the first presidential debate.

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Democratic presidential candidates played to a full house in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Friday night — in the same ballroom where in 1959 Buddy Holly played his last-ever show. At the historic Surf Ballroom, with a vintage mirror ball dangling from the ceiling, candidates offered up a version of their own greatest hits.

In her speech, Hillary Clinton took a new approach, going after those who have been attacking her over her email accounts and over her actions during the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

You might have heard of the famous butter cow — a life-sized cow made of butter that headlines every Iowa State Fair. But perhaps you didn't know that in 1952, the fair also featured butter sculptures of that year's presidential candidates Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.

It's just another example of the symbiotic relationship between politicians and the fair — and it's only gotten deeper over the decades.

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In the summer of 1975, Teamsters President James Riddle Hoffa — Jimmy Hoffa — was already a legendary figure in both U.S. labor history and in American pop culture.

As a teenager in Detroit, he took to union organizing early on in the grocery business. He was smart and tough. With an emphasis on tough. A master strategist, he knew how to pick his targets, organize strikes and boycotts, and he rose through the Teamster ranks earning the deep loyalty of truckers and warehouse workers in a city that was becoming an industrial powerhouse.

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

This post was updated at 6:13 p.m. ET

When tragedies happen, like the shooting in Charleston, they usually find their way into the realm of politics eventually.

This time is no different, as Democrats and Republicans are finding very different ways of talking about what happened in South Carolina. Democrats see race and gun control as issues at the center of it. Republicans, on the other hand, largely point to mental illness and label what happened a tragic but random act.

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