national politics

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden takes a selfie with supporters during a campaign rally in Durham's historically-black Hillside High School on Sunday, October 27, 2019.
Peyton Sickles / For WUNC

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is ramping up its advertising and deploying some of its high-profile surrogates as it tries to solidify a broad battleground map that his advisers see as giving him multiple paths to an Electoral College majority.

Congress returns from a summer recess Monday as many states experience spikes in confirmed coronavirus cases.

State governments face a precipitous drop in revenue, parents and teachers are debating how kids will return to school in the fall, and millions of unemployed workers face the prospect of their pandemic assistance running out at the end of the month.

Self-declared presidential candidate Kanye West delivered a winding and unconventional campaign introduction speech in which he proposed a $1 million payout to each new mother and decried Harriet Tubman for her work on the Underground Railroad.

But whether the rapper and fashion designer is actually seeking the nation's highest office remains a question.

U.S. Congress

A week before the U.S. stock market started to slump, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr sold off a significant portion of his portfolio — while reassuring the public that the nation was prepared for a pandemic. 

A map of North Carolina showing which counties went for former Vice President Joe Biden and which went for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
North Carolina State Board of Elections

Super Tuesday narrowed the Democratic presidential field to a race between two men: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The majority of Democratic North Carolinians cast their ballots for Biden, giving him the state and adding fuel to his comeback after a landslide win in the South Carolina primary. And today former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he is suspending his campaign and endorsing Biden.

Counterpoint Press

As algorithms replace our news diet of local papers with each person’s favorite flavor of digital fervor, what happens to our political system? Online finger-pointing and illegitimate journalism are the product of a fractured American identity.

Warren gesturing toward Bloomberg
John Locher / AP

Democratic candidates were at each other’s throats this week in the latest presidential debate in Las Vegas as the stakes of the race continue to climb. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his first debate appearance, and his fellow candidates targeted him on stage with several different attacks. 

A photo of Attorney General William Barr smiling
Evan Vucci / AP

Three Democratic presidential candidates have dropped out of the race in the last week: former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and Andrew Yang all suspended their campaigns.

Gordon Sondland's face in focus, with his nameplate reading 'Ambassador Sondland' out of focus in front of him.
Andrew Harnik / AP

This week’s impeachment hearings featured bombshell testimony, but is it reliable? Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, testified Wednesday and confirmed a quid pro quo with Ukrainian leaders —  a meeting with President Donald Trump in exchange for investigations into the president’s political rivals.

Hagan sitting with three uniformed military service members.
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matt Davis

Former U.S. Senator Kay Hagan died unexpectedly at her home in Greensboro Monday after suffering from a prolonged illness.

Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff at a press conference.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Impeachment is once again at the center of this week’s newscycle. Now Congress has text messages from U.S. diplomats discussing President Donald Trump’s interactions with the Ukraine.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump accused Jewish Americans of being disloyal if they vote for Democrats. The comments evoke the anti-Semitic idea of “dual loyalty” and that Jewish citizens are more loyal to Israel than to their own countries. What kind of impact will this have on the 2020 election?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that she will step down as press secretary by the end of June 2019.
Evan Vucci / AP

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be stepping down at the end of June, as announced through tweets from President Donald Trump. Sanders has been in Trump’s press office since his 2016 presidential campaign.

Joe Biden
Jeff Tiberii

With the release of the Mueller report, some Democrats are calling for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. Several Democratic presidential candidates have gone on record to say they support impeachment including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

Women members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., center, cheer after President Donald Trump acknowledges more women in Congress during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech struck analysts as both bipartisan and deeply divided. He called for unity and shared bipartisan victories, and he also promised he would build a border wall and warned lawmakers that there cannot be peace and legislation while there are ongoing investigations. 

Photo: 'Vote Here' sign in English and Spanish
Erik Hersman / Flickr

Eleven percent of all voters on Election Day in 2018 were Latinx, based on exit poll estimates. According to internal analytics from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Latinx early voting participation was up 174 percent compared to the 2014 midterms. 

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman Democrat representing New York's 14th Congressional District, takes a selfie with Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-NH, and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., on the first day of the 116th Congress with Democrats holding t
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

What political shifts will 2019 bring? Democrats have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives, while Republicans maintain control of the U.S. Senate. How will things change with a divided federal government? And the newly-sworn in congressional class is the most diverse in the nation’s history with a record number of women and people of color now in office. Will this new energy bring substantive change? 

North Carolina with red and blue in the background
NPR

North Carolina Republicans lost their supermajority in the General Assembly but declared victory in three competitive U.S. House seats. Meanwhile state voters approved four of six constitutional amendments including photo voter ID, but they repudiated the Republican plan to give the legislature more control over judicial and state board appointments.

In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, people hold signs during a protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Washington
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

How will the disappearance of a Saudi journalist and dissident affect the relationship between the United States and oil-rich Saudi Arabia? Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Turkey over two weeks ago and hasn’t been seen since. Turkish officials say they have audio and video recordings proving a gruesome death.

flag-draped casket of Sen. John McCain
Alex Brandon / AP

Federal judges ruled again that North Carolina’s Congressional map is unconstitutional due to partisan gerrymandering. In their ruling, the judges left open the option to order redrawing the districts before the 2018 election. What impact could this ruling have on the midterm elections and congressional control?