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.

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.

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.

Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to hear a challenge to an Arkansas abortion law that, in practice, bars abortions by pill instead of by surgical procedure.

The result is that Arkansas is now the only state in the country that essentially bans abortion by pill, a method certified by the federal Food and Drug Administration as at least as safe as surgical abortions. The Supreme Court's decision not to intervene in the case at this point, however, is not final.

Updated at 6:31 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told NPR in an interview that he continues to support the Mueller Russia investigation — and that nothing in Thursday's hotly anticipated secret briefing on the Russia probe to congressional leaders changed his mind.

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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Trent Buskirk looks the part of a data wonk's data wonk. He stepped to the microphone and wanted to lighten the mood.

So he told a joke.

Have you heard the one about the three people from a company who went out to lunch? One is the marketing director, one the head of operations and the third, the survey researcher.

They decide to take a car. The marketing director has his foot on the gas, the ops guy has his foot on the brake, and the survey researcher is looking out the back window telling them where to go.

In last week's primaries, Republican internal divisions were highlighted. But Tuesday night, it was the Democrats' turn — and in some of the very places the party needs to win to take back the House.

It's the thick of primary season, and the looming question that hangs over the 2018 midterms is — will Democrats take control of Congress?

Midterms, especially primaries, are won and lost by activists.

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While Washington is consumed with the aftermath of yet another biting comedian performance at a White House Correspondents Association dinner, answers on bridging the political divide seem harder to come by.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is dealing with the effects of brain cancer, released an excerpt of his forthcoming memoir, The Restless Wave, that gives some of his philosophy on how to do it — and obliquely criticizes President Trump.

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 9:39 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a Republican challenge to the newly drawn Pennsylvania congressional map ahead of the 2018 elections.

The decision means Republicans have few, if any, options remaining to try to stem a map that will almost certainly result in Democrats picking up potentially three or four seats and could make half a dozen or more competitive.

Tuesday is the filing deadline for candidates for Pennsylvania's May 15 primaries.

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.

President Trump certainly has a flair for the dramatic.

The announcement Thursday night that the president of the United States had accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un shocked the world.

That is the kind of phrase that is overused — in politics and sports, in particular — but it's appropriate in this case.

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.

Launching the 2018 election cycle, Texans cast ballots in primaries on Tuesday — leaving several races headed for runoffs.

Election night in Texas offers several takeaways of note, as we look ahead. Here are six to consider:

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).

Updated at 9:43 a.m. ET

In the annals of tumultuous weeks for the still-young Trump presidency, there may not have been a more chaotic one than this, outside of his reaction to and the fallout from the summer's racist violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Guns have dominated politics this week. And the one idea President Trump keeps coming back to is arming teachers.

But a new NPR/Ipsos poll found that really only one group of people are in favor of training teachers to carry guns in schools — Republicans, especially Republican men.

Overall, 59 percent of Americans are opposed to arming teachers, according to the poll.

But about two-thirds (68 percent) of Republicans are in favor of it.

Republican men, in particular, poll the highest of every subgroup — 71 percent of them would like to see teachers armed.

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