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.

Pages

U.S.
10:23 am
Mon December 15, 2014

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

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

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

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?

Read more
It's All Politics
5:08 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

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

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

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

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.

Read more
It's All Politics
7:55 am
Fri November 21, 2014

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

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

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

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.

Read more
Politics
5:21 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

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/.

Politics
6:05 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Get Ready To Watch This Lame-Duck Congress Sprint

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

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

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:

Read more
It's All Politics
8:03 am
Fri November 14, 2014

When Legislative Leaders Fail In Other Countries, They Lose Their Jobs

With the enthusiastic backing of his caucus, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., was reelected as the leader of the Senate Democrats this week following devastating midterm losses.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Last week, you may have heard, the Democrats took a historic drubbing in the midterm elections for Congress. They lost their majority in the Senate and saw their numbers in the House fall to their lowest point in nearly seven decades.

Read more
Color Decoded: Stories That Span The Spectrum
5:54 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

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

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

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

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?

Read more
Analysis
6:52 am
Wed November 5, 2014

With Necessary Victories, Republicans Take Over U.S. Senate

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 11:58 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's get some analysis now from NPR's senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving. Ron, good morning.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Steve.

Read more
It's All Politics
6:29 am
Wed November 5, 2014

We Need A New Word For The Latest Republican Wave

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

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

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'. "

Read more
It's All Politics
11:56 am
Tue November 4, 2014

The Most Reliable Guide To Campaign 2014? History

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

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

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.

Read more
Politics
4:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Runoffs Could Delay Answer Of Senate Control After Election

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 6:30 pm

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

Politics
4:28 am
Mon October 20, 2014

N.H. Senate Race Becomes Focal Point For Both Parties

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:32 am

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

Politics
6:54 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Did The Supreme Court Just Legalize Gay Marriage?

People wait to enter the Supreme Court in Washington Monday as it begins its new term. The justices cleared the way Monday for an immediate expansion of same-sex marriage by unexpectedly and tersely turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 8:29 pm

Technically, the Supreme Court Monday did not establish a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. It merely declined an opportunity to rule definitely one way or the other on the question.

But in the not-too-long run, the consequences may well be the same. Because the situation the court created — or acknowledged — will almost surely continue trending in favor of same-sex couples who want to marry.

Conversely, the legal ground is eroding for states that want to stop such marriages or deny them legal recognition.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:56 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

The White House Could Be Made A Fortress, But Should It Be?

Visitors take photos in front of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:46 am

It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.

Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.

But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?

Read more
It's All Politics
12:11 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Why We Won't See The Likes Of Eric Holder Again

President Obama, accompanied by Attorney General Eric Holder, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on Thursday to announce that Holder is resigning. Holder, who served as the public face of the Obama administration's legal fight against terrorism and weighed in on issues of racial fairness, is resigning after six years on the job.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 7:23 pm

When President Woodrow Wilson was casting about for an attorney general in 1919, his private secretary Joseph Tumulty wrote that the office "had great power politically ... we should not trust it to anyone who is not heart and soul with us."

Eric Holder's great qualification for the job he has just resigned was that he was with the president he served — heart and soul.

His complicated role in Barack Obama's administration was inextricably bound to race — he was the first African-American U.S. attorney general, appointed by the first African-American president.

Read more
It's All Politics
12:43 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

War Votes Bring Back Complex Risks For Members Of Congress

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (center left) is a Tea Party favorite, whom observers count as a possible 2016 presidential candidate. He voted against President Obama's plan to fight the Islamic State.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 3:02 pm

This week's war vote in the U.S. Senate presented each senator with a personal puzzle of competing political considerations.

In deciding whether to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight against the group called the Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL), senators had to judge the issue on its merits, of course and as always.

And, of course and as always, they had to reflect on how their votes might affect them politically.

Read more
Politics
6:49 am
Tue September 16, 2014

How To Measure Success Against The New Monster In The Middle East?

President Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House on Sept. 10. Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:06 pm

Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was asked on NBC's Meet the Press what victory would look like in the new struggle against Islamist extremists in Iraq.

"Success looks like an ISIL that no longer threatens our friends in the region, that no longer threatens the United States," McDonough said.

Vague as that is, it may be the best answer available at the moment. And that is a problem.

Read more
Politics
12:24 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

5 Questions About The 2 Weeks Congress Plans To Work This Fall

Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives return to work at the Capitol this week after a five-week vacation. They must get to work on a continuing resolution to extend funding for government agencies to prevent a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 7:45 am

Tanned and rested after a five-week summer vacation, Congress has returned for a brief session before returning home to campaign for re-election. This autumn session is expected to last a couple of weeks, give or take a couple of days.

What can be accomplished in so short a time? A great deal, if House and Senate choose to work together. Or nothing, if they don't. If you are wondering which will happen, you haven't been watching the 113th Congress up to now.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:01 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

If It's Not About Sex, It Must Be About Money — Unless It's About Power

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond on Aug. 28.
Steve Helber AP

With the stunning conviction of former Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife on corruption charges, people are once again posing that age old question: Why do so many politicians get into trouble with the law?

The list of reasons comes as a shock because it's so short. The mighty are laid low by the same three temptations, over and over.

Read more
Law
4:36 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Guilty Verdicts For Former Gov. McDonnell And Wife In Corruption Trial

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 6:51 pm

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

Pages