Lexie Schapitl

Lexie Schapitl is a news assistant with NPR's Washington Desk, where she produces radio pieces and digital content. She also reports from the field and assists with production of the NPR Politics Podcast.

Schapitl first came to NPR as a Washington Desk intern in 2017. She has previously worked as an associate producer with NPR's newscast unit, a social media manager with Vox and a reporting intern with Newsday. A New Jersey native and University of Maryland graduate, Schapitl is a fan of Maryland basketball, trivia, musicals and the New York Mets.

As Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary debate came to a close, each of the candidates was asked to name the biggest misconception voters have about them.

A day later, the question was still on the mind of Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund investor who has barnstormed South Carolina, aggressively courting the black vote with a focus on racial justice and climate issues.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the man largely responsible for making his state's presidential caucuses a prominent early contest, has declined the opportunity to defend caucus systems in an interview with NPR.

"I will talk about that after Super Tuesday, after when we get California and Texas out of the way," Reid said. "Right now, we're gonna make the best we can of the system we have."

Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET

Republican members of Congress disrupted the closed-door proceedings of the House impeachment inquiry, preventing a Pentagon official from giving her testimony.

Arguing that the inquiry's interviews should not be held behind closed doors, GOP lawmakers entered the secure area in the Capitol Wednesday where witnesses are typically questioned.

Trade is a signature policy area for President Trump, and one where he has been able to take dramatic action. Trump's protectionist policies appealed to voters in the industrial Midwest, the region that was critical to his 2016 victory. Now, Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning in the shadow of Trump's tariffs, subsequent trade wars, and pursuit of a replacement for NAFTA.

Aside from having proposals for programs they would like to implement, Democratic presidential candidates have proposals for how they would like government to function.

The primary campaign has brought forth proposals to change all three branches of government, potentially impacting how laws are passed, the size and function of the Supreme Court, and how presidents are elected.

Below, we summarize how the 2020 Democratic contenders want to change U.S. governance in these three areas.

Thus far in 2019, there has been more than one mass shooting per day in the U.S., according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. And while gun control is usually a topic in a Democratic presidential primary, this year's mass shootings have repeatedly brought gun control to the forefront of the primary policy debate.

Below, we examine the Democratic presidential candidates' positions on five gun policy topics.