Ken Rudin

Ken Rudin is NPR's Political Junkie. For most of the past 20 years, Rudin has been the eyes and ears of political coverage as political editor. Rudin focuses on all aspects of politics, from presidential elections with the primaries, national conventions, debates and general election, to the races for the House, Senate and state governors. He has analyzed every congressional race in the nation since 1984.

In 2011, Rudin added to his duties by becoming part of the network's StateImpact project. This local-national journalism initiative will add editorial resources and reporters to NPR member stations in all 50 states, to better inform the public about the impact that the actions of state governments has on citizens and communities. Rudin mentors and advises these reporters on covering the effects politics and politicians have on people.

In addition to his role with StateImpact, Rudin continues to contribute NPR's political coverage. Every Wednesday, he can be heard on Talk of the Nation in the "Political Junkie" segment. In his "Political Junkie" weekly column on NPR.org, Rudin previews the politics of the week, and delves into campaign history, strategy and trivia, including the popular ScuttleButton contest.

Rudin was a key player on the NPR team that won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton award for excellence in broadcast journalism in 2002 for coverage of campaign finance.

From 1983 through 1991, Rudin worked at ABC News, serving first as deputy political director and later as the off-air Capitol Hill reporter covering the House. He first joined NPR in 1991, as its first political editor. Rudin returned to NPR in 1998, after a three-year absence during which he was the managing editor of the Hotline, a daily political newsletter. He also wrote the "Political Graffiti" column for The Hill, a newspaper covering Capitol Hill.

A political junkie for many decades, Rudin has one of the most extensive collections of campaign buttons in the country, a collection that now surpasses 70,000 items. Rudin is a graduate of Pace University in New York.

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6:33am

Mon November 12, 2012
Political Junkie

Who Gets The Blame For The Romney Loss? The Tea Party Has A Theory.

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 7:38 am

Tea Party favorites: Bachmann (Minn.) barely survived; Mourdock (Ind.) lost a previously safe GOP seat; West (Fla.) refuses to concede.
Ken Rudin collection

It was an election that, once upon a time, many thought was stacked in Mitt Romney's favor.

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6:33am

Mon November 5, 2012
Political Junkie

What To Look For On Election Day: The Battle For The White House & Congress

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 8:02 am

A voter reads her ballot as she prepares to cast her vote during the last day of early voting in Miami on Nov. 3.
Alan Diaz AP

Tuesday, as those who follow politics probably know, is Election Day. The battle between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney has been contentious, expensive, personal, illuminating, ugly, frustrating, petty, enlightening and, above all, long. And it is expected to be close.

This week's Political Junkie column is an attempt to guide you to what's at stake on Tuesday, both in the contest for the White House as well as the 33 Senate and 435 House seats on the ballot.

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11:15am

Wed October 31, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

In the wake of the devastation of the East Coast these past horrific days, this is not the time to be cute or clever. So we'll just cut to the chase and offer this week's ScuttleButton puzzle.

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10:54am

Mon October 29, 2012
Political Junkie

Republicans On Path To Retaining Control Of The House

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 12:34 pm

A bicyclist rides through the plaza on the east side of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The 2010 elections, in which Republicans had a net gain of 63 seats in the House, was one for the record books. It was the most impressive showing by the GOP since 1938, when their net House pick up was 80 seats, and the best showing by any party in the House since 1948, when the Democrats added 75 seats. The sweep of two years ago more than wiped out the gains made by the Democrats in the House of 2006 (31 seats) and 2008 (20 more).

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6:48am

Tue October 23, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 10:19 am

NPR

One thing that can't be debated: America needs ScuttleButton.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

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6:48am

Tue October 9, 2012
Political Junkie

Is The V.P. Debate A Sideshow Or Something More?

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 10:28 am

Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) shakes hands with Sen. Dan Quayle (R-Ind.) before their vice presidential debate at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb., on Oct. 5, 1988.
Ron Edmonds AP

The reviews are in and, agree with them or not, most people thought Mitt Romney bested Barack Obama in Wednesday's presidential debate. The two don't meet again until Oct. 16, but in the meantime, there will be the vice-presidential face-off this Thursday.

How much pressure is riding on Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan?

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4:04pm

Tue October 2, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

This can be yours!
Lauren Rock NPR

Today, at 6 p.m. Eastern time, is the deadline for you to send in your Electoral Vote predictions for Obama and Romney. It is a strict deadline, but worth it. The winner gets a Political Junkie t-shirt!

Of course, you can also get a shirt by solving this week's ScuttleButton puzzle, but the odds are much steeper. But you have several days to send in your answer for that one.

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6:48am

Mon October 1, 2012
Political Junkie

Will The Debates Determine The Outcome? History Says It's Debatable

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:20 pm

Ken Rudin collection

The candidates have gone through the primaries and caucuses, the delegate counts and the conventions. At this point, they're traveling the country, trying to make their case. Now comes the most widely anticipated event in the race for the White House: the presidential debates.

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2:41pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

I know what you're thinking. How could anyone expect President Obama to have time to meet with foreign leaders at the U.N. when he needs to deal with those terrorists at "The View," especially that notorious Barbara bin Walters?

Just know that nothing can take me away from ScuttleButton.

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6:27pm

Mon September 24, 2012
Political Junkie

As Polls Show Romney Trailing In Swing States, Obama Edges Towards 270 Goal

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:04 pm

It's true that Mitt Romney trails President Obama in most key battleground states, but the margins are in single digits
Mark Lennihan AP

The election is not over, we are told time and time again, and it's not. There are still some 40-plus days to go, there are still debates to be had. It's true that Mitt Romney trails President Obama in most key battleground states, but the margins are in single digits. And, lest we forget, it's not that presidential candidates down in the polls haven't come from behind to win in the past.

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