Danielle Kurtzleben | KUOW News and Information

Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. In her current role, she writes for npr.org's It's All Politics blog, focusing on data visualizations. In the run-up to the 2016 election, she used numbers to tell stories that went far beyond polling, putting policies into context and illustrating how they affected voters.

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.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump changed his position on abortion twice in the span of three hours.

In an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Trump advocated for a society in which women would have to seek abortions through illegal avenues.

"Well, you know, you will go back to a position like they had where people will perhaps go to illegal places [to get an abortion]," he said, adding. "But you have to ban it."

When pressed by Matthews about consequences for the women seeking abortion under those circumstances, Trump advocated punishment.

Every election, there's that chorus of people who insist they are moving to Canada if candidate so-and-so wins. Everyone knows these people. They're tweeting and Googling about it as you read this. One Nova Scotia island is even specifically appealing to the anti-Trump crowd.

Here's one of the biggest strengths Donald Trump has going for him: His voters decide, and they stay decided.

That matters as the GOP race moves to Wisconsin and beyond. Ted Cruz and John Kasich are looking to thwart Trump's chance, but they may be too late to change many voters' minds in those places.

According to exit polling data, most GOP primary voters decide on a candidate well before they vote, and the earliest-deciding voters have thus far almost always leaned toward Trump.

If you knew nothing about American politics and were seeing the 2016 campaign for the first time, you might reasonably assume that American voters really dislike trade deals.

When it comes to turnout, the tables have...uh, turned.

In 2008, Democrats had the historic turnout numbers. GOP voters, meanwhile, came out in modest numbers in 2008 and 2012. But this year, Democrats are seeing their turnout figures fall off since 2008. Republicans, meanwhile, are coming out in droves.

Donald Trump says he has good evidence he'd beat Hillary Clinton in a general election.

"I beat Hillary — and I will give you the list — I beat Hillary in many of the polls that have been taken," he said at last Thursday's Republican debate. "And each week, I get better and better."

And Bernie Sanders says he'd beat Trump.

"Not all, but almost every poll has shown that Sanders versus Trump does a lot better than Clinton versus Trump," Sanders said at the Democratic debate in Flint, Mich., last week.

It used to be that marriage was when adulthood began for American women. Moving straight out of their parents' house (or a college dorm) and into a house with a husband was simply the expected, preordained path for many women.

But in the past few decades, wedding rings have become optional accessories. And as the American single woman flourished, she also profoundly changed (and is still changing) the economy, politics and the basic social fabric of the U.S.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Republicans continued to post stunning voter-turnout numbers Tuesday night. In the four states that voted on the GOP side, turnout far exceeded what the party saw in 2012.

Here's the short version of Tuesday night's primaries (and one caucus): Donald Trump won big, Bernie Sanders pulled off a major upset, and Marco Rubio had a bad, bad night.

Those were the outcomes, but how did they happen? Here are four big takeaways from the exit polls in Michigan and Mississippi that explain how Tuesday night went down. (Edison Research, the polling firm that conducts exit polls, did not poll in Hawaii or Idaho.)

Wait. Haven't we seen these exit polls before?

The results from Tuesday's four primary and caucus states are in: three wins for Trump, one each for Clinton and Cruz, and one surprising, narrow victory for Sanders.

Bernie Sanders' tight win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan is the biggest news out of Tuesday night's presidential nomination races. Though Clinton had led consistently in recent polls, Sanders won by less than 2 percentage points with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

If voter turnout is any indicator of enthusiasm, this year's GOP voters are way, way more pumped than 2012 voters were. Democrats, meanwhile? Their excitement seems to have dimmed since 2008.

Last night, more than 8.5 million Republicans turned out to vote in the 11 GOP Super Tuesday states that reported results. That suggests far more enthusiasm than the last time Republicans picked a nominee. In those same 11 states in 2012, turnout totaled only around 4.7 million.

That makes this year's turnout in those 11 states 81 percent higher than four years ago.

It's the biggest voting night yet this year: Voters went to the polls and caucus sites in 13 states Tuesday, with 1,460 delegates at stake. And while results are still coming in, it's already clear: It's a great night for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Even across the wide array of states — diverse and not, high-income and low-income, ideological and moderate — there are a few big trends that explain the results.

1. Trump's support was broad

Donald Trump picked up his first congressional endorsements this week, and today he scored another major backer: one of his former rivals, Chris Christie.

"I've gotten to know all the people on that stage. And there is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs, both at home and around the world, than Donald Trump," the New Jersey governor said at a news conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

What exactly did we learn about the Latino vote this weekend? Take your pick of headlines.

  • "The entrance polls said Nevada's Latinos voted for Bernie Sanders. That's unlikely." (Vox)
  • "Did Bernie Sanders really just win the Hispanic vote in Nevada? There's good reason to think that, yes, he might have." (Washington Post)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Hillary Clinton will win the Nevada Democratic caucuses, the Associated Press is reporting.

With 84 percent of the precincts reporting, Clinton has 52.5 percent of the vote, compared to Sen. Bernie Sanders' 47.5 percent.

"Tens of thousands of men and women with kids to raise, bills to pay, and dreams that won't die — this is your campaign," she told a crowd at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. "And it is a campaign to break down every barrier that holds you back."

In the battle for primary votes, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a tight battle.

Recent claims about Bernie Sanders' economic proposals are hurting the Democratic Party, say four former White House economists.

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET to reflect revised delegate counts

Bernie Sanders delivered the second-biggest rout in New Hampshire Democratic primary history last night, besting Hillary Clinton by 22 percentage points.

Saturday's GOP debate was the final one before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. Here were five key moments:


1. That awkward start

One key thing has to happen before the debate starts: the candidates have to take the stage.

That proved more complicated than usual on Saturday night, as the ABC News Republican debate began with Ben Carson refusing to walk out to his podium, even after the moderators called his name.

At the start of the Democratic caucus in Earlham, Iowa, there were 40 Hillary Clinton supporters, 40 Bernie Sanders supporters and 11 Martin O'Malley supporters, all massed around their respective tables in the concrete-floored town community center.

O'Malley was — in the language of caucus rules — not viable: He needed at least 14 supporters to get a delegate in this Madison County gathering. It was time to see if O'Malley's 11 would move to someone else.

Stephanie Hundley is an enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporter. The 28-year-old from Waterloo is also enthusiastic about the fact that she's not going to vote for Hillary Clinton just because she's a woman.

Ted Cruz has one of the most overtly religious stump speeches on the Iowa campaign trail.

In Emmetsburg, Iowa, Friday the Texas senator quoted the Bible and exhorted his supporters to pray "each and every day" until Election Day.

"He's real," said Bobbie Clark, a Cruz supporter from Algona. "There's something there. There's substance behind it. It's not just talk."

Once again this week, an investigation into Planned Parenthood's alleged sale of fetal tissue came up empty.

Every four years, Iowans are deluged with the talking points, the stump speeches, the polls and, of course, the ads.

They also hear that they shouldn't be first. Iowans are too white, too old and too few to merit first-in-the-nation status, say the critics.

But if Iowa shouldn't be first, who should be? For more than a century, reformers have been proposing ideas for how to change the primary system. And they've been failing. And they'll probably continue to fail.

With a little more than a week to go until the Iowa caucuses, the Des Moines Register endorsed Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2016 presidential race.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Let's take a closer look now at what the candidates said in last night's Republican presidential debate. There were a lot of claims and counterclaims. We're going to break it down.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Hillary Clinton wants you to know she has a new tax proposal. She also wants you to know that Bernie Sanders does not.

Here are a few safe bets for Tuesday's State of the Union: There will be dozens of applause breaks, endless GIF-worthy moments and a laundry list of proposals (not to mention lots of reporters using the phrase "laundry list" for the first — and maybe only — time this year).

One more bet: Most of those proposals won't be successful.

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