Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

Pages

5:16pm

Wed May 2, 2012
Election 2012

Before Recall, Wis. Dems Must Choose Walker's Rival

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 5:33 pm

A new poll shows Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett leading among Democrats vying to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a recall election in June. The Democratic primary is Tuesday.
Dinesh Ramde AP

The political civil war that has gripped Wisconsin since Republican Gov. Scott Walker's 2010 election will intensify next week when Democrats pick a candidate to post up against the governor in a historic recall election in June.

Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary has developed into a two-person race between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker in the GOP landslide of 2010, and former County Executive Kathleen Falk, the favorite of the state's public employee unions.

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5:16pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Presidential Race

The Obama-Romney Poll-A-Palooza: What's It Mean?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:25 am

Some voters may be choosing campaign buttons now, but most polling experts agree it's too early to predict November's winner.
Daniel Acker Landov

President Obama is leading presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney big in recent national polls.

No, wait. Polls show he's trailing Romney by a couple of percentage points.

Oh — this just in: Obama is actually leading Romney, but the race is tightening.

It's a general election poll-a-palooza out there, people.

But what do all the numbers mean?

"I have friends who support Obama, and friends who support Mitt Romney," says Scott Keeter, survey research director at Pew Research Center. "I tell them not to get too excited or too depressed at this point."

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8:33am

Wed April 4, 2012
It's All Politics

Will Pennsylvania Dash Santorum's Political Dreams (Again)?

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 9:07 am

The action was in Wisconsin Tuesday night, but Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, had already moved on to his home state of Pennsylvania. They greeted supporters at an election night rally in Mars.
Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

After going 0-for-3 in Tuesday's presidential primaries, a defiant Rick Santorum dismissed calls to drop out and predicted he'll win the next contest in his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24.

He'll have to — and not because it would put the former Pennsylvania senator on a path to defeat front-runner Mitt Romney, who has been racking up delegates and is increasingly seen as the inevitable nominee.

A loss in Pennsylvania, where recent polls show Santorum is weakening, would "destroy the rationale for him continuing," says Pennsylvania pollster G. Terry Madonna.

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4:07pm

Mon April 2, 2012
It's All Politics

Mitt Who? State Issues, Governor Eclipse Presidential Politics In Wisconsin

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 2:25 pm

Mitt Romney has campaigned in the shadow of embattled Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who faces a recall vote in June. Here, Romney speaks with Walker supporters at a phone bank during a campaign stop in Fitchburg, Wis., on Saturday.
Steven Senne AP

Voters in Wisconsin's GOP primary Tuesday are poised to help former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wrap up his dogged, well-financed quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

But the winner-take-all primary and Romney's drawn-out battle with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have been overshadowed by the campaign to recall GOP Gov. Scott Walker, whose anti-union efforts since his 2010 election have cleaved the Badger State.

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3:08pm

Wed March 28, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet Day 3: Scalia Unplugged

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 4:43 pm

Activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the court hears a third day of arguments on President Obama's health care law.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

On the final morning of its three-day health care law extravaganza, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the question of whether parts of the 2010 federal statute can survive if the justices strike down its central tenet: the individual insurance requirement.

In other words, if the nine justices find the insurance mandate unconstitutional when they rule by June, would that mean that the entire law also fails the constitutionality test?

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4:10pm

Tue March 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet: A Quick Guide To The Day 2 Arguments

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:11 pm

Opponents and supporters of President Obama's health care overhaul rallied outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Bob Mason shows support for the Tea Party by dressing in costume as one of the Founding Fathers.
John Rose NPR

A clearly divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took up the centerpiece of President Obama's health care law: its requirement that by 2014 individuals have insurance coverage or face a penalty.

In contrast to Monday's dense and technical arguments, Tuesday's session was filled with sharp rhetorical volleys and clever analogies. Here are some of the more telling exchanges between the lawyers and the high court justices.

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4:28pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Reading Between The Lines Of Monday's Supreme Court Arguments

Demonstrators in support of President Obama's health care overhaul march outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
John Rose NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday opened three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the insurance requirement embedded in President Obama's landmark health care law with a simple question and an obscure 1867 law.

The question: Does the court even have the right to hear the health care challenge, given that the Anti-Injunction Act prevents federal courts from taking cases where taxpayers are trying to prevent the government from "assessing or collecting" taxes?

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6:03am

Sun March 25, 2012
Judging The Health Care Law

In Health Case, Combustible Mix Of Politics And Law

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 8:33 am

The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week over President Obama's health care overhaul.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin hearing oral arguments Monday in a Republican-led challenge to the national health care law that has convulsed the country and its political class for more than two years — and may well define President Obama's tenure in the White House.

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7:01am

Wed March 21, 2012
It's All Politics

In Winner-Take-All Wisconsin, Looming GOP Primary Is Just A Sideshow

Volunteers at the Wisconsin Democratic Party's recall office in Waukesha entered names from petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker into their voter databases on March 20.
Liz Halloran NPR

Mary Beth Kopidlansky of Waukesha says she knows who she'll vote for in Wisconsin's upcoming GOP presidential primary (Mitt Romney), but that's not really what she's interested in talking about.

For Kopidlansky, and most potential voters in this most Republican of Wisconsin counties, the contest that is consuming them and the rest of the state is not the state's April 3 presidential primary when 42 potentially crucial delegates will be awarded.

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9:01am

Wed March 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum Gains Momentum As GOP Slog Continues

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:50 pm

After Rick Santorum won primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, he addressed supporters in Louisiana, which holds its primary on March 24.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

Rick Santorum won two Southern state GOP presidential primaries Tuesday, embarrassing Mitt Romney who had predicted he'd take one.

Second-place finisher Newt Gingrich vowed to fight on to Tampa, tag-teaming Romney along with Santorum. The "three-way dynamic," as he put it, is a winner for Gingrich and, perhaps, his dream of deal-making at the convention, and for Romney, too, whose Southern result could have been much worse if he'd been posting up against Santorum alone.

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4:29pm

Mon March 12, 2012
Presidential Race

Hey, Y'all: Why Romney Might Just Win In The South

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 6:08 pm

Carla Castorina of Hurley, Miss., holds a sign supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney after a campaign rally at the Port of Pascagoula in Pascagoula, Miss., on March 8. Polls show a tight race in the state, which holds its primary on Tuesday.
Dan Anderson Reuters/Landov

Mitt Romney's stilted efforts to relate to Dixie voters by tossing off a few "y'alls" and references to grits have been roundly mocked as awkward pandering.

And rightfully so, says political scientist Marvin King, who cringed at the GOP candidate's sprinkling of vernacular and Southern stereotypes into his patter during appearances in Mississippi and Alabama. The two states hold their Republican presidential primaries Tuesday.

"You can tell Romney wasn't expecting to campaign down here, and it shows," says King of the University of Mississippi.

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6:05pm

Wed March 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Ron Paul's In-It-To-Win-It Strategy Is 'Not Far-Fetched,' Campaign Manager Says

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 10:34 am

Texas Rep. Ron Paul (right) talks with the his presidential campaign manager, Jesse Benton, backstage at the Republican Party's Iowa straw poll last August.
Charles Dharapak AP

Texas Rep. Ron Paul hasn't won any of the 23 Republican presidential primaries or caucuses already in the 2012 history books.

He's captured only 29 delegates, just 5 percent of those awarded in contests to date. (Front-runner Mitt Romney has 340 committed delegates, 58 percent of those officially allotted, according to NPR calculations.)

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1:18pm

Wed March 7, 2012
Presidential Race

Can Republicans Win Over Women In November?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:58 am

Romney supporters celebrate in Boston on Super Tuesday. Exit polls from Super Tuesday's GOP presidential contests suggest that front-runner Mitt Romney does best with women voters.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

For the first presidential cycle in years, Republicans seemed to have a shot at overcoming Democrats' long-standing edge with women voters.

They fared better than Democrats among women overall in the 2010 midterm election — the Republicans' best overall national result among women in 18 years.

And 2012 seemed to have the potential to turn that good showing into a trend, a key advantage in an electorate where women make up the majority of all voters.

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6:08pm

Wed February 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Says He Opposes Contraceptive Bill, But His Campaign Says Otherwise

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 8:21 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a reporter Wednesday that he opposes a measure being considered by the Senate that would allow employers to decline to provide contraception coverage to women.

"I'm not for the bill," Romney said during an interview with Ohio News Network reporter Jim Heath. "But, look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I'm not going there."

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6:08pm

Wed February 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Evangelicals Still Cool On Romney, Exit Poll Analysis Shows

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 8:52 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pauses during a visit to St. Paul's Lutheran Church while campaigning in Berlin, N.H., on Dec. 22.
Charles Krupa AP

A next-day analysis of the Republican presidential primaries in Michigan and Arizona won by Mitt Romney underscores one of his weaknesses with his party's base, especially with the ascent of his now-chief rival Rick Santorum: He fares more poorly with born-again and evangelical voters than with nonevangelicals.

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7:05am

Wed February 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Super Tuesday: Which Candidates Can Win Outside Their 'Comfort Zones'?

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 3:56 pm

Mitt Romney narrowly won in Michigan Tuesday night. For Super Tuesday, he'll set his sights on Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney notched two big wins Tuesday, upping his Republican presidential delegate count and taking modest-plus momentum into the week leading up to Super Tuesday on March 6.

With the Michigan and Arizona primaries in the history books as Romney's fifth and sixth victories, we're looking ahead to Super Tuesday, when presidential contests will be held in 10 states and 413 delegates will be up for grabs.

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9:57am

Tue February 28, 2012
It's All Politics

As Michigan Heads To Polls, Romney Buoyed By Santorum Stumbles

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 11:14 am

In a final bit of campaigning before Tuesday's vote, Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, wave to his supporters during a campaign stop in Royal Oak, Mich., on Monday night.
Rebecca Cook Reuters /Landov

Less than a month ago, it seemed inconceivable that Mitt Romney would have to fight for his political life in his home state of Michigan.

But fast-moving economic changes, the candidate's verbal stumbles and event venue blunders, and the ascent of flamethrower social conservative Rick Santorum have left Romney sweating to eke out a win Tuesday in Michigan's Republican presidential primary, where the latest polls show a tight race.

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5:50pm

Fri February 10, 2012
It's All Politics

At CPAC, Gingrich Takes Aim At 'Republican Establishment'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Newt Gingrich was the last presidential candidate to speak Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

And he kept his Romney powder dry, preferring instead to attack establishment Republicans who have not embraced the Gingrich campaign. To put it mildly.

That establishment, Gingrich charged, is "managing the decay" of the party, and sees his campaign as a "mortal threat" to their insider Washington lives.

"We intend to change Washington," said the former House speaker, "not accommodate it."

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3:37pm

Fri February 10, 2012
It's All Politics

In Plea To The Right, Romney Bills Himself As 'Severely Conservative'

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 3:49 pm

Hoping to inspire the conservative base that hasn't warmed to him, Mitt Romney made his case to the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday.
Jim Bourg Reuters/Landov

They may not be ready to accept GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's invitation to stand with him "shoulder to shoulder," but conservatives at their biggest annual gathering gave him a reception Friday that at times rose to rousing.

Tacitly acknowledging that his past positions on abortion rights and health care mandates have made him suspect with a swath of his party's base, Romney used his speech to describe his "path to conservatism" as a mix of family values, faith and his "life's work" in business.

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5:09pm

Thu February 9, 2012
It's All Politics

The GOP's 'Meh' Moment On Full Display At Conservative Confab

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 5:20 pm

Enthusiasm for the candidates may have been low, but their portraits were on display at the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Thursday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The Republican presidential candidates won't argue their cases to thousands of conservatives gathered in Washington until Friday when Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are scheduled to speak.

(Ron Paul is skipping the event.)

But if Thursday's opening day of the American Conservative Union's annual star-studded Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC — is any indication, they all have a lot of persuading to do.

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5:35pm

Tue February 7, 2012
Law

Calif. Decision Puts Marriage Politics In Spotlight

Couple John Lewis (left) and Stuart Gaffney celebrate the gay-marriage ruling outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 in San Francisco. The pair had married during the brief time in 2008 when same-sex unions were legal in California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The 9th Circuit Court's 2-1 decision Tuesday to strike down California's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional could propel the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It also promises to inject marriage politics into an election year during which states from New Jersey to Minnesota to Washington will grapple with the issue of gay citizens' right to legally marry.

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9:01am

Tue February 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Why Bother With Caucuses?

Caucuses have been plagued by embarrassing problems this election season, but they're an American tradition. Here, a ballot from Nevada precinct 3726 shows a vote for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
David Becker Getty Images

Republican voters in Colorado and Minnesota Tuesday will engage in the truly American political invention called the caw-cawaasough.

Make that the "caucus," the oft-maligned system in which party members gather to discuss and declare their preferences for a candidate by scribbling a name on a piece of paper for hand-count by party officials.

Why maligned?

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11:37am

Fri February 3, 2012
The Swing State Project

Battered By The Bust, Nevada Voters Search For Slivers Of Hope

Las Vegas resident Jillian Batchelor, 29, voted for Obama in 2008 but says now, "I'm voting Republican all the way this time."
Becky Lettenberger NPR

The brutal recession has wracked Nevada, where soaring unemployment and foreclosure numbers tell the story of the state's misery. But its importance as a swing state in the 2012 presidential contest has only been enhanced in the four years since it went for Democrat Barack Obama.

12:05am

Wed February 1, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum Reacts To Romney Romp In Florida By Going After Gingrich

Rick Santorum poses for photos with supporters in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum chose to characterize his distant third-place finish in Florida's Republican presidential primary as a victory, of sorts.

"Speaker Gingrich spent 5 or 6 million bucks in the state of Florida and walked away with no delegates," he told NPR after a packed primary night event at his Nevada headquarters in Las Vegas. "I didn't spend a penny."

"We are in a cash-positive position," he said, adding that his campaign on Tuesday raised $200,000 online.

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3:18pm

Fri January 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Vs. Gingrich? More Reasons GOP Fears The Matchup

Pundits say former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had a mediocre performance in the Jacksonville, Fla., debate on Thursday.
Scott Audette Reuters /Landov

It's not that the panicked Republican establishment needed more fodder for its attack on GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as the wrong man to take on President Obama this fall.

They've managed quite nicely themselves over the past few days, piling on the pugnacious former House speaker, circa mid-1990s, in direct proportion to Gingrich's rise in the polls in Florida and nationwide.

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12:24am

Fri January 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum: No Money, No Organization, No Quit

Left to right: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney debate Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Rick Santorum may be running an anemic third in Republican presidential primary polls in Florida, but his influence in Tuesday's crucial Sunshine State contest – and perhaps beyond – continues to outpace his survey numbers.

His performance during Thursday's GOP debate in Jacksonville provided perhaps the best view yet of the former Pennsylvania senator's increasing potential to play spoiler (see: Mitt Romney) or savior (see: Mitt Romney), and to take his unlikely quest for the White House deeper into the primary season than anyone every predicted.

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6:00am

Wed January 25, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama, At Crossroads, Takes Different Route Than Clinton Chose In '96

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 4:24 pm

In the final State of the Union address of his term, President Obama called for an economy "where everyone gets a fair shot."
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

As the president delivered the final State of the Union address of his term before a looming re-election battle, he looked out at a sea of angry and skeptical Republicans who had fought him on budgets, government shutdowns, and whether or not to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

And what did President Bill Clinton do in 1996?

He delivered his "the era of big government is over" speech, which The Washington Post summed up this way: "Clinton Embraced GOP Themes in Setting Agenda."

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10:02am

Mon January 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Rollicking Republican Battle On For 'Swing Part Of The Swing State' Of Florida

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 11:32 am

Patriotic paraphernalia at a "Conservatives United 2012" rally on Saturday in Orlando, Fla.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Mitt Romney is reeling. Newt Gingrich is surging. Rick Santorum is hanging on. And Ron Paul continues to zig while others zag.

So goes the rollicking but inconclusive — so far — Republican presidential contest, as it moves from small ball to big time in Florida for a Jan. 31 primary in which some 4 million state Republicans are eligible to vote.

Perspective? More Florida Republicans have already cast early ballots than all New Hampshire votes tallied for the top three finishers in that state's Jan. 10 GOP primary, about 197,000.

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5:00am

Fri January 13, 2012
Presidential Race

In Search Of An 'Anti-Romney': Guide To The Players

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is among the evangelicals who will meet to talk about GOP alternatives to Mitt Romney.
Lee Celano Reuters /Landov

More than 150 leaders in the conservative evangelical Christian community are getting together Friday and Saturday at a private ranch west of Houston in a last-ditch effort to derail Mitt Romney's march to the Republican nomination.

The meeting, which will feature state and regional leaders as well as prominent pastors and national-profile evangelical stars, is not intended as a Romney-bashing event, says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a big voice among conservative evangelicals.

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12:43pm

Thu January 5, 2012
It's All Politics

Young Conservatives In New Hampshire: A Conversation At The Dartmouth Review

Editors of the conservative Dartmouth Review, from left to right: Sterling Beard, 22, from Abilene, Texas, the Review's editor-in-chief; Benjamin Riley, 20, from New York City; Blake Neff, 21, from Sioux Falls, S.D.
John Winslow Poole, John W. Pool NPR

The theme of the 2012 GOP presidential contest has been dissatisfaction with the candidates, and a rollicking battle for the honor of being the anti-Mitt Romney alternative.

We were curious about what young conservatives have been thinking about the race, which moved to New Hampshire Wednesday after Iowa's decidedly non-decisive caucuses.

So NPR photographer John Poole and I, after a night at former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's headquarters in Bedford, N.H., decided to head west to Dartmouth College in Hanover.

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