Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR's White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress. In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe. He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

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, and subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava. He also covered Mr.Obama's first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 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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Election 2012
5:14 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Voter Turnout Efforts Going Full Steam In Wisconsin

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:15 pm

Wisconsin is in the small group of remaining battleground states that could determine the outcome of the presidential election. Turnout operations are an important part of the Mitt Romney and President Obama campaigns in all the critical states. But in Wisconsin, get-out-the-vote efforts grew out of the state's hard-fought gubernatorial recall election.

Remembrances
10:06 am
Sun October 21, 2012

McGovern Legacy Offers More Than A Lost Presidency

McGovern listens to a constituent in 1974.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:03 am

Former Sen. George McGovern died early Sunday in his hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90 years old, and had been in failing health. McGovern served two terms in the House and three in the Senate, but was best known as the Democratic Party's ill-fated nominee against President Nixon in the election of 1972.

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Election 2012
6:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Campaigning In Ohio, Bill Clinton Opens For 'The Boss'

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

There are some sure signs that a presidential election is fast approaching: Get out the vote rallies take on a new urgency and the really big names show up. That was all on display yesterday in Parma, Ohio, where Bill Clinton and Bruce Springsteen were the co-headliners. NPR's Don Gonyea was there.

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Election 2012
4:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Take-Charge Obama Shows Up For Second Debate

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:31 am

Two weeks ago, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was seen as the clear winner of that debate. A very different President Obama showed up for the second debate. He went hard after his Republican opponent from the very start.

Election 2012
4:51 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Volunteers Labor To Get Early Voters Out In Iowa

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

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Election 2012
6:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Strict Private School Prepped Romney To 'Aim High'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lived in Stevens Hall while he was attending Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 2:14 pm

From now until November, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at Cranbrook, an all-boys prep school in Michigan.

Cranbrook has been coed since the mid-1980s, its overall diversity is quite evident and the dress code is casual. None of that was true when Mitt Romney, class of 1965, was a student there.

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Election 2012
4:23 am
Fri October 12, 2012

No. 2s, Biden, Ryan, Square Off In Combative Debate

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Last night's vice presidential debate offered a reminder about American politics. It can be infuriating, misleading and irrelevant, but at its best politics becomes a spectacle - a highly informative show - which is what the vice presidential candidates delivered last night in a debate in Kentucky.

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Presidential Race
4:49 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Obama Leads In Nevada Despite State's Poor Economy

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

Nevada is one of the eight most hotly contest battleground states of the 2012 election. President Obama carried it by a wide margin four years ago. But since he took office, the Nevada unemployment rate has gotten significantly worse and is now at 12.1 percent. Still, polls continue to show the race is very close there, with Mr. Obama holding a narrow lead, while Mitt Romney has so far been unable to capitalize on the state's deep economic woes.

Presidential Race
4:59 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Biden A Vital Surrogate For Obama On Campaign Trail

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:09 pm

Vice President Joe Biden has been an important surrogate for President Obama this year, as he was four years ago. Biden especially excels at connecting with white, working-class voters — a group with which the president has struggled.

Politics
6:01 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Paul Ryan A Star Attraction For Values Voters

Paul Ryan addresses the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

In this election, Christian conservatives seem to be more against President Obama than they are for Mitt Romney. But they do like GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who used a speech Friday to vouch for Romney.

At the annual gathering of religious conservatives in Washington, D.C., there was also talk of this week's violence in the Middle East.

The Values Voter Summit got under way first thing Friday morning, with a speech from Tony Perkins, whose Family Research Council organizes this event.

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It's All Politics
3:36 am
Thu September 13, 2012

In The Ohio River Valley, Voters Aren't Sure Either Candidate Can Help

Towns near the Ohio River, including Steubenville, seen here in 2009, are home to many undecided voters. One of them, Brian Snider, says, "This is pretty much a ghost town."
Rick Gershon Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 10:17 pm

Most of the election-year attention Ohio gets is focused on the heavily Democratic areas in the northeast around Cleveland, or in GOP strongholds in rural areas and in the south around Cincinnati.

But it's also worth keeping a close eye on the state's less-traveled southeastern border with Pennsylvania and West Virginia — the Ohio River Valley. It's a place where there is a lot of doubt about how much either candidate can help.

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Election 2012
5:17 am
Mon September 10, 2012

After Convention, Obama Hits The Campaign Trail

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Over the weekend, two very different approaches to campaigning by President Obama and Mitt Romney.

INSKEEP: The Republican challenger was mostly out of sight, preparing for next month's presidential debates. Romney did, however, appear on Sunday morning TV shows and we'll have more on that in a moment.

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Election 2012
4:44 am
Fri August 31, 2012

GOP Uses Convention To Reach Out To Female Voters

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 12:48 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. So the president is focused on young voters. At the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney and his supporters were focused on women. Their effort is driven by the big deficit that Romney has had among women in poll matchups with the president. And that's why the GOP convention featured one high-profile female speaker after another. Here's NPR's Don Gonyea.

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Election 2012
6:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Ryan Won't Get All The Votes In Janesville, Wis.

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

People have been thinking quite a bit about politics in Janesville, Wisconsin, home of the freshly nominated Republican vice presidential candidate. Paul Ryan still lives in Janesville. His hometown is near the Illinois border. Its politics lean Democratic, although Ryan's own congressional district votes Republican. NPR's Don Gonyea talked to some of those who know and knew Ryan well.

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Around the Nation
4:30 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Janesville Library Prepared For Inquiring Reporters

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:50 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For the residents of Janesville, Wisconsin, Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate was a story of a local man becoming the biggest news in the country. But for the librarians of Janesville, it meant something else entirely, as NPR's Don Gonyea found out last week.

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Election 2012
5:14 am
Wed August 15, 2012

In Colorado With Rep. Ryan

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:03 am

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan continues to introduce himself to voters. Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Ryan would be his running mate. So far, Ryan has campaigned exclusively in battleground states that were carried by Democrats in 2008.

Election 2012
4:45 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Hecklers Interrupt Ryan At Iowa State Fair Stop

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:09 am

On Monday, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan made his first solo campaign trip since being named Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate. Ryan went to the Iowa State where candidates are a common sight. Ryan drew a big crowd but it wasn't always friendly.

It's All Politics
6:15 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

In Brawl Over Romney's Tax Returns, Harry Reid Gets Marquee Billing

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. speaks to the media at the Capitol in March.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:57 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's decision not to release more of his past tax returns has fueled countless attacks and counterattacks.

The former Massachusetts governor has released his 2010 tax return and promises that his 2011 return is forthcoming. He says that's enough.

But that's not enough for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The result is an increasingly ugly fight.

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Election 2012
3:26 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Older, Tougher — But Will The Tea Party Be Stronger?

Ted Cruz, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at a rally organized by the Tea Party Express in San Antonio in May.
Hernan Rozemberg AP

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 2:39 pm

The 2010 elections were a coming of age for the Tea Party, with big gains in Congress and in statehouses. As 2012 approached, the movement was looking for similar success. Then came this year's GOP presidential primaries, with no surviving Tea Party favorite.

Polls showed public support for the movement falling off significantly after several nasty showdowns in Congress. But the Tea Party remains a force in many states. Its favored candidate for the U.S. Senate won big in Texas last week, sending the strongest signal yet that the movement will be a factor this fall.

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Election 2012
7:19 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Presidential Race Zeroes In On Nevada

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Nevada has just six electoral votes, but it's a state that's much fought over in presidential elections. In 2008, Nevada gave an unexpectedly big boost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama. He carried the state by more than 12 points, thanks to unions and the Hispanic vote.

This year, the contest is shaping up to be much closer, as Nevada copes with both the worst unemployment in the nation and one of the country's highest home foreclosure rates.

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Election 2012
6:05 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Romney Attacks Obama's Foreign Policy

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney attacked President Obama's foreign policy during a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Tuesday. He spoke a day after the president addressed the same group's national convention in Reno, Nevada.

NPR Story
6:48 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Obama To Vets: Tough Fights Abroad, At Home

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Mitt Romney speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada today, and he's expected to call for a stronger military, as well as no cuts to the defense budget. He's also likely to criticize President Obama's policies on Iran and Syria. Yesterday was President Obama's day at the VFW convention, and NPR's Don Gonyea was there.

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Election 2012
6:29 am
Sun July 22, 2012

He's A Long Shot, But Don't Count Huckabee Out

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee delivers remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference in February in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 11:08 am

Among the many contenders who could wind up becoming presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's running mate, there are some potential surprises — like former presidential candidate-turned TV and radio host Mike Huckabee.

Putting Huckabee on the GOP ticket could certainly liven up the presidential race. In addition to being a respected former governor of Arkansas, he's well known for his good-natured public persona. At a Huckabee campaign event, you might find him playing an electric bass with the old-time rock 'n' roll band Capitol Offense.

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Presidential Race
4:58 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Romney, Obama Question Each Other's Records

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 6:22 pm

President Obama answered questions from voters at a town-hall-style campaign event in Cincinnati on Monday. Meanwhile, his rival Mitt Romney suggested in a Fox News interview that the president's record should be subjected to greater scrutiny. The Romney campaign has spent the past several days responding to conflicting reports about when the former Massachusetts governor left the private equity firm Bain Capital.

Presidential Race
5:02 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

After Romney Is Booed, Biden Is Cheered At NAACP

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 6:10 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. And we begin the hour with presidential politics in two venues, on stage and on screen. First, the stage. In Houston, Vice President Joe Biden addressed the annual gathering of the NAACP, the nation's oldest civil rights organization. Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, was booed at that meeting yesterday when he called for repeal of President Obama's health care law.

Today, Biden delivered a fiery defense. Here's NPR's Don Gonyea.

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Election 2012
5:40 am
Thu July 12, 2012

NAACP Boos Romney's Pledge To Repeal Obamacare

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 12:21 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Nobody can accuse the audience at the NAACP convention of sitting quietly yesterday. Republican Mitt Romney attended that conference.

MONTAGNE: He said he's willing to come back next to address the civil rights group, which a past Republican president, George W. Bush, often declined to do. Romney also promised to repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

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Presidential Race
5:15 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Friendly Skepticism Greets Romney At NAACP

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 5:33 pm

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP on Wednesday. Rather than reach for common ground, he touted his opposition to issues the group cares about deeply. Romney drew sustained boos when he called for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Election 2012
5:34 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Romney Campaigns In Conservative Parts Of Colorado

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in Houston Wednesday to address a convention of the NAACP. On Tuesday, he was in Colorado, one of the most hotly contested swing states. Romney, who unexpectedly lost to Rick Santorum in the Colorado caucuses earlier this year, is working to shore up support among the GOP base

Politics
5:36 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Tea Party Sees Ruling As New Rallying Cry

The Supreme Court is reflected in the sunglasses of Susan Clark on Thursday as she demonstrates against President Obama's health care law.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Some of the earliest and most vocal opponents of President Obama's health care law were members of the Tea Party. In fact, health care quickly became the issue fueling the rise of the movement.

Anger over the Affordable Care Act drove the Tea Party and Republicans to big gains in the 2010 elections, but since then the movement has seen its prominence and influence wane.

Now, Tea Party activists say the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law will reignite that original passion in time for this fall's election.

Call For Repeal Continues

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Election 2012
4:46 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Mitt Romney Wraps Up Bus Tour To Battleground States

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Mitt Romney has wrapped up his most extensive campaign trip since becoming the all-but-official Republican nominee for president. Over the past five days, he visited six potential battleground states, touring each by bus. Along the way, he honed his attacks on President Obama, while also trying to show voters a more relaxed Mitt Romney than they've seen so far.

The tour, called Every Town Counts, stayed mostly in counties friendly to Republicans, ending with three stops in Michigan yesterday, the state where Romney was born.

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