Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast. She is covering the 2020 presidential election, with particular focuses on on economic policy and gender politics.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Kurtzleben spent a year as a correspondent for Vox.com. As part of the site's original reporting team, she covered economics and business news.

Prior to Vox.com, Kurtzleben was with U.S. News & World Report for nearly four years, where she covered the economy, campaign finance and demographic issues. As associate editor, she launched Data Mine, a data visualization blog on usnews.com.

A native of Titonka, Iowa, Kurtzleben has a bachelor's degree in English from Carleton College. She also holds a master's degree in global communication from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

A hard-fought primary wraps up Tuesday in Ohio's 11th Congressional District, a race that has seen national Democrats descend on the Cleveland area to take sides as two competing factions of the party fight for a historic Democratic seat.

While 13 people are on the party ballot, two have emerged at the front of the pack:

There's an inescapable tension in the upcoming Democratic primary for Ohio's 11th Congressional District.

On the one hand, there are voters making personal, locally informed decisions about whom to support.

DeWayne Williams, for example, says he will support Nina Turner, a former state senator and co-chair of Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

It's an election off-year. November is still months away, but people, money and energy are flooding from across the country into one Democratic House primary in the Cleveland area. NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben reports.

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Updated July 1, 2021 at 11:55 AM ET

We know that President Biden won the 2020 election (regardless of what former President Donald Trump and his allies say). We just haven't had a great picture of how Biden won.

When The Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender wrote his book about former President Donald Trump's 2020 defeat, one section stuck out as particularly difficult: telling the story of what Bender dubbed "Hell Week and a Half."​

"It was the 10 days in 2020 that started with the superspreader event in the Rose Garden, included Trump's disastrous debate with Joe Biden in Cleveland, and then Trump himself obviously testing positive for COVID a few days later," Bender said.

When Ronald Reagan accepted the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, he ended his speech with a pious request.

"I'll confess that I've been a little afraid to suggest what I'm going to suggest — I'm more afraid not to — that we begin our crusade joined together in a moment of silent prayer," he said.

Amazon was already an economic behemoth before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But when many Americans ramped up their shopping from home, the company saw explosive growth. In short, ProPublica journalist Alec MacGillis writes in Fulfillment, its fortunes diverged from the nation's economic fortunes.

There's a sort of time warp going on at The Villages, the enormous retirement community in Florida.

On streets made up to look like small-town Main Streets, it's maybe an idealized, slickly varnished version of the 1950s — albeit with legions of golf carts.

At a hotel ballroom on Friday night, it was something like 2017.

"I just got to check something; I just want to make sure I'm in the right place. Tell me, who is your president?" Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene yelled to a packed ballroom of mostly maskless supporters.

"Donald Trump!" they yelled in response.

President Bill Clinton had his eye on the future when he nominated Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court in 1994.

"Judge Breyer will bring to the court a well-recognized and impressive ability to build bridges in pursuit of fairness and justice," Clinton said in announcing his nomination. "In the generations ahead, the Supreme Court will face questions of overriding national importance, many of which we cannot today even imagine."

It's not just the things the court has ruled on that have changed; the atmosphere around Supreme Court confirmations has shifted dramatically.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Persist sent me digging for some old tape, from the February 2019 annual gathering of the National Action Network, a major civil rights organization. Most of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates gave their stump speeches an early test-drive that day.

In at least 30 states nationwide, lawmakers have introduced bills aiming to keep transgender girls and women from participating on girls' and women's sports teams. These type of restrictions have become a major culture war battle, with Republican lawmakers being the loudest proponents of such bills, while Democrats often oppose them.

One recent tweet from New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — along with its reams of snarky responses — sums up a key divide over infrastructure in Washington right now.

"Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure," she wrote.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a blunt initial response to the prospect of a new, climate-focused infrastructure package weighing in at around $2 trillion.

"The size of it is disappointing. It's not enough," she said.

When the South Dakota state legislature passed HB 1217 in early March, South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted that she was "excited" to sign it.

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Here are two trends that very well may be preoccupying the White House right now:

One, midterms tend to be rough for a president. The more seats the president's party holds in Congress, the more they tend to lose, according to data from the UCSB's American Presidency Project. In fact, if you plot seats lost or gained against seats held, the slope points decidedly downward.

Updated March 11, 2021 at 4:59 PM ET

There was an impassioned debate in the South Dakota State Senate this week over a proposed bill that would restrict transgender female students from participating in female sports.

Legislators supporting the bill framed their arguments around fairness.

Updated Feb. 25, 4:39 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also substantially expand the areas to which those discrimination protections apply.

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