Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's lead editor for politics and digital audience. Based in Washington, D.C., he directs political coverage across the network's broadcast and digital platforms.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court, and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and taught high school English.

Montanaro earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University.

A native of Queens, NY, Montanaro is a die-hard Mets fan and college basketball junkie.

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In a troubling sign for Republicans less than two months before November's elections, Democrats' advantage on the question of which party Americans are more likely to vote for in November is ballooning, according to a new NPR/Marist poll.

The death of John McCain represents something more than the death of a U.S. senator and an American military hero.

In this hotly partisan era, it also symbolizes the near-extinction of lawmakers who believe in seeking bipartisanship to tackle big problems.

Updated at 3:52 p.m. ET

Joe Biden walked up to the microphone on the altar in the church at his friend John McCain's funeral and sounded like a man with something to confess.

"My name's Joe Biden," he said. "I'm a Democrat. And I loved John McCain."

Then he paused. Biden noted that he had given a lot of eulogies over the years. But "this one's hard," he said.

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In a split-screen whiplash, a regular Tuesday turned into a blockbuster, with two top people close to President Trump now facing prison.

First, it was Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, found guilty of tax evasion and bank fraud by a jury in Virginia. Minutes later, in New York, it was Trump's longtime former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, pleading guilty to tax evasion, falsifying submissions to a bank and campaign finance violations.

Tuesday's elections in four states — Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont — produced some noteworthy results.

Here are four takeaways:

1. It was a big night for Democratic diversity

Christine Hallquist, a former energy company executive, became the first openly transgender person to win a major party's nomination for governor. And the Democrat's candidacy may not be one just for the trivia books — she has a chance at winning this fall.

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All right, we've sorted out those technical difficulties we were facing earlier, and NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro is with us to discuss tonight's primary races. Hi, Domenico.

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Hey, Ari.

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Updated at 3:08 p.m.

We noted on Friday that the emerging theme of the 2018 elections is volatility.

"Frankly it is about volatility," a Republican campaign operative told NPR.

The battle lines are being drawn five months ahead of the midterms, with more Americans than at any point in at least the last two decades saying they're enthusiastic about voting — and record numbers of voters say President Trump and which party controls Congress are big factors in their vote, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.

President Trump and administration officials are walking a fine line on family separation at the border.

They argue they don't like the policy, but that their hands are tied — and instead are pointing fingers at Congress to "fix" it.

There may be good reason for that — the policy (and it is a Trump administration policy, despite the Homeland Security secretary's claims to the contrary) is unpopular.

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Across the country Tuesday night, Democrats got good news in their effort to take back the House.

They advanced candidates in key races in California (after being concerned they could be shut out), put forward what party operatives see as the best candidates in suburban New Jersey, and they feel good about their candidates who won in New Mexico and Iowa.

Updated Tuesday, 10:03 a.m.

It's been the story since Trump was elected.

Dueling, massive crowds showed up in Washington in January 2017: on one day, supporters of the newly inaugurated president; and, the next, an enormous gathering of opponents for the Women's March, with largely women leading the resistance.

President Trump praised the NFL's decision to mandate that players either stand for the national anthem or stay in the locker room in a TV interview that aired Thursday.

And he questioned whether players who choose not to stand "proudly" should be in the country at all.

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President Trump is already tweeting his displeasure about a Supreme Court decision that makes it more difficult to deport a small number of lawful permanent residents convicted of crimes.

In a 5-to-4 decision Tuesday, the court overturned the deportation of a 25-year legal U.S. resident from the Philippines who was convicted of two burglaries.

Political calculations can change about as quickly as the news.

Just look at past week: The news that a speaker of the House announced his retirement and a Robert Mueller Russia investigation that keeps ensnaring people close to the president were drowned out temporarily when President Trump announced a military strike against Syria.

But barring deeper involvement in Syria, the midterm calculus remains the same — Democrats have a distinct advantage at this point.

Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota went on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday and defended embattled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

"We'll nitpick little things," Rounds said. "He has too many people on his security detail. It may add up to more than what the previous guy did. ... We said we had to have regulatory reform. We've got it. Scott Pruitt is a big part of that. He's executing what the president wants him to execute."

Updated at 2:21 p.m. ET

President Trump signed a massive spending bill Friday, hours after threatening a veto that would have triggered a government shutdown.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Democrat Conor Lamb appears to have won the special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, defeating Republican Rick Saccone in an upset for President Trump and congressional Republicans, based on a review of the vote by member station WESA and barring a recount.

Calm down, everyone.

That's the message from President Trump's commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, who told NPR's Rachel Martin Friday that the president's orders for new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum won't have the negative impact on the economy many are predicting.

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

Since the Columbine school shooting nearly 20 years ago, the conversation after mass shootings has inevitably included media that depict violence — and the effect on children.

Real estate nowadays is expensive.

Have you seen the prices in Jerusalem lately? You can barely buy a two-room apartment for less than 2 million shekels. (That's about $577,000).

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