Juana Summers

Juana Summers is a political reporter for NPR covering demographics and culture. She has covered politics since 2010 for publications including Politico, CNN and The Associated Press. She got her start in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Mo., and also previously covered Congress for NPR.

She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss national politics. In 2016, Summers was a fellow at Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service. Summers is also a competitive pinball player and sits on the board of the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA), the governing body for competitive pinball events around the world.

She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and a native of Kansas City, Mo.

When Joe Biden thanked Black voters in his first remarks as president-elect, he credited them with lifting his campaign from its lowest point during the Democratic primaries.

"You've always had my back, and I'll have yours," he promised.

While Biden won Black voters overwhelmingly across the country, they were key to his victories in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia — places where President Trump and his allies have been targeting ballots in cities with large Black populations in an attempt to overturn the president's defeat and retain power.

Former first lady Michelle Obama called on Americans, "especially our nation's leaders, regardless of power," to "honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power," as President Trump continues to dispute the results of the November election.

Obama warned that a refusal to commit to an orderly transfer of power could put the country at risk.

When Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time as president-elect, he said that his victory was supported by "the broadest and most diverse coalition in history."

Now, Biden is facing high expectations from one big and especially diverse segment of that coalition — young voters who appear to have turned out for him in record numbers, particularly young progressives who now say they want to see him deliver on their priorities.

Black women in South Carolina pushed an early major victory to set Biden on the path to winning the nomination, and now Black women want a seat at the table.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris will become the next vice president of the United States, shattering another racial and gender barrier in American politics, at the end of a bruising presidential race that further exposed a bitterly divided electorate.

Democrats' long-term hopes for electoral success have long cited the growing Latino population in the country. But former Vice President Joe Biden's performance in heavily Latino areas of key states has concerned members of his party — and may have cost him Electoral College votes, according to groups and activists working to mobilize Latino voters.

Nationally, Biden appears to have gotten support from roughly twice as many Latino voters as President Trump, but that support looked very different depending on where you looked in three key states with large Latino populations.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a seven-figure advertising investment aimed at mobilizing Black voters — with a particular eye toward Black men — across nearly a dozen states, a strategic move by House Democrats' campaign committee to further energize the key demographic as the election season heads into its final weeks.

The advertisements — a mix of radio, print, digital and mail — are being deployed across targeted congressional districts in Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

President Trump referred to California Sen. Kamala Harris as "this monster" in an interview on Thursday, a continuation of his pattern of attacking Black women with demeaning insults. The president has previously reserved the term "monster" for terrorists, murders and major natural disasters.

The White House is struggling on Monday to show that it has a burgeoning public health and political crisis under control as President Trump enters his third day of aggressive and experimental treatment for the coronavirus.

In an election season where get out the vote messaging is seemingly ceaseless, a 90-second video featuring more than a half dozen dancers testifying to the importance of down ballot races may be the most provocative.

In the video, a woman in knee high, lace up boots walks away from the camera, toward a stage decorated with patriotic bunting. She wraps one of her hands around a silver pole.

President Trump, who announced overnight that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and often contradicted public health experts and members of his own administration in their more grave warnings about the virus.

Young Americans favor Joe Biden over President Trump, according to a new survey, but Trump's supporters appear more enthusiastic about that choice.

Sixty percent of likely voters under the age of 30 say they will vote for Biden, compared with 27% for Trump, according to a poll from the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics out Monday. But 56% of likely voters who support the president are "very enthusiastic" about voting for him, compared with 35% of likely voters who back the Democratic nominee when asked about their enthusiasm.

Lizzie Bond was just shy of being old enough to vote in the 2016 presidential election.

She supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during the primary. But when Donald Trump became the Republican Party's presidential nominee, Bond made a different choice: She supported Hillary Clinton's campaign instead.

"You know, it was actually a harder decision to decide who I wanted to support within the lineup of Republican candidates than it was to decide whether to support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton," said Bond, who is now 21 and a senior at Duke University.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Last week's Republican National Convention offered direct appeals to a new generation of voters. It showcased figures like Madison Cawthorn, a congressional candidate in North Carolina.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

A couple of years before California Sen. Kamala Harris announced that she would run for president, she returned to Howard University to speak to the graduating class.

"First, to lead and to thrive, you must reject false choices. Howard taught me, as it has taught you, that you can do anything and you can do everything," Harris told the 2017 graduates.

After attending elementary school in Berkeley, Calif., and high school in Montreal, Harris decided on Howard and was focused on becoming a lawyer.

When she found out that former Vice President Joe Biden had selected Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate, LaTosha Brown was in her bathroom trying on makeup.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

As the coronavirus pandemic has upended normal balloting, more than half of voters under the age of 35 say they don't have the resources or knowledge they need to vote by mail in November, according to a new poll.

The poll was conducted by Global Strategy Group for NextGen America, a group that is focused primarily on engaging and turning out young voters.

When Timothy Berry decided to attend the U.S. Military Academy West Point, patriotism was one of his driving factors. He describes it as an active verb, not merely "a flag waving."

"I have always had a profound appreciation for what this country has said its ideals are," Berry said. "But being a Black American, in particular, one that served in uniform, I've quickly realized that there were just a lot of contradictions in there."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The doors of Greater New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit have been closed for weeks.

The 95-year-old church's pews are empty. Ministry continues, with no in person presence. What Pastor Kenneth Flowers says he misses most are "holy hugs."

"When church is dismissed, I say, 'Give someone a holy hug and everyone turns and we always hug each other,' " Flowers said. "I thrive off of the physical contact of being able to hug my members, to hug my families, to hug my friends, to hug visitors. I miss that so very much."

Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign has been facing pressure from Democratic operatives and activists, worried that his Latino outreach efforts are not enough and potentially a serious liability in the fall election.

Some say that his campaign, which is staffing up to improve those efforts, could learn lessons from the success of one of his former rivals.

Former President Barack Obama delivered a virtual commencement address on Saturday, urging the tens of thousands of graduates from historically black colleges and universities to "seize the initiative" amid what he described as a lack of leadership from leaders in the United States to the coronavirus pandemic.

Four years ago, Joe Biden took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to the Rocky theme, looking out over a crowd of delegates waving red and white signs that bore his name. He encouraged fellow Democrats to unite and rally around Hillary Clinton.

Now, as Democrats plan to hold the convention that will nominate Biden, the chances that he'll bask in the same kind of scene this year seem ever more distant, as the Democratic Party faces the possibility of a limited in-person presence or virtual gathering.

More than a quarter of the country's 18- to 29-year-olds say that their lives are worse because of President Trump, according to a new poll, the latest to show the motivating impact the president could have on the youngest subset of voters this election year.

The poll, by Harvard's Institute of Politics, found that 29% of that cohort say their lives are worse under President Trump's leadership, 39% say their lives are no different, and 15% say their lives are better.

Updated at 7:54 p.m. ET

If China was responsible for the coronavirus outbreak, the country should face consequences, President Trump said at Saturday's White House briefing.

"If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake," Trump said in response to a reporter's question. "But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, I mean, then sure there should be consequences."

Trump has offered no evidence that the Chinese were responsible for the pandemic, but did say that a U.S. investigation into the outbreak is ongoing.

On a recent Saturday night, tens of thousands of people joined a nine-hour virtual dance party on Instagram Live that was hosted by DJ D-Nice. Some familiar big names have been dropping into what he calls "Club Quarantine," like John Legend, Joe Biden and Mark Zuckerberg.

But it was the appearance of former first lady Michelle Obama that seemed to have a big impact.

"Oh my gosh. Michelle Obama's in here," D-Nice exclaimed as Obama's appearance brought the music to a brief stop. "Yo, I swear, I don't even know who to play right now. My mind's completely blown."

Updated at 12:02 p.m. ET

Former President Barack Obama officially endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden, on Tuesday, marking the Democratic establishment's formal consolidation around the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

When Amol Jethwani interviewed for a job on Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign in December, the benefits were unlike anything he had heard of for political campaign field workers.

"They offered an incredible benefits package, which is unheard of for field staff, offering $8,000 a month for a regional role in addition to health care, technology, laptops, cellphones," said Jethwani.

Former campaign workers for Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign have filed two separate proposed class-action lawsuits, alleging that the thousands of staffers laid off this month had been promised to be paid through the general election in November.

One lawsuit, filed by Donna Wood, a former field organizer for Bloomberg's campaign in Florida, alleges that the campaign misled employees, recruiting them to work for Bloomberg under false pretenses and had failed to pay the necessary overtime. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.

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