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.

Updated 5:33 p.m. ET Friday

After GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine came out in favor of confirming him Friday afternoon on the Senate floor, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is all but certainly headed for the Supreme Court in very short order.

The Senate advanced Kavanaugh's nomination, 51 to 49, Friday. A final vote is expected Saturday.

There was a lot that went down Friday. What exactly happened and what does it mean going forward?

Just over a month away from critical elections across the country, the wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans saying the November elections were "very important." Now, that is down to 2 points, a statistical tie.

Everything was on track. The show was out of the way. It was time to vote.

That's what Republican leadership and those supporting Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court thought — until Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake upended those plans, calling for a "short pause" for a limited, one-week FBI investigation.

The stakes are high for Thursday's Capitol Hill hearing, pitting Trump Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexual assault — an accusation Kavanaugh has denied — when they were both in high school more than three decades ago.

A former classmate of Christine Blasey Ford tells NPR that she does not know if an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh took place as she first suggested on social media.

"That it happened or not, I have no idea," Cristina King Miranda told NPR's Nina Totenberg. "I can't say that it did or didn't."

That's different from what Miranda wrote Wednesday in a now-deleted Facebook post that stated definitively, "The incident DID happen, many of us heard about it in school."

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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:

Updated at 3:44 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed the Trump administration a setback over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

The court declined to take up a key case dealing with the Obama-era DACA — for now.

The high court said an appeals court should hear the case first. The result is DACA will stay in place until or if the Supreme Court takes it up.

Updated at 3:22 p.m. ET

The White House's story about who knew what when about accusations of domestic violence against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter has been anything but clear.

Now, House Republicans have decided to open an investigation to get some clarity.

Updated at 1:53 p.m. ET

Sen. Al Franken said Monday he would not resign from office after allegations of sexual harassment have been leveled against him.

Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the four U.S. soldiers killed in a military operation in Niger on Oct. 4, told ABC's Good Morning America that President Trump "made me cry even worse" when he called to offer condolences last week.

The phone call between the president and Johnson has been a source of controversy for a week now, since Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., who listened in on the call, revealed details of the conversation.

You might say George W. Bush wants to make America great again.

In remarks Thursday, he criticized the kind of politics, sentiment and populism that led to President Trump's rise and election — though he never named Trump explicitly.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Not much of significance has gotten through this Congress, despite the House, Senate and White House all being controlled by the same party — Republicans.

President Trump says, don't blame him.

"We're not getting the job done. And I'm not going to blame myself, I'll be honest," Trump said during short remarks in a Cabinet meeting.

He then shifted away from "we" to "they."

"They're not getting the job done," the president said of Congress.

Back in March, after the first Republican legislative failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, during the Trump presidency, President Trump went before cameras in the Oval Office and revealed some of his thinking when it comes to the politics of health care.

"I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode," Trump said. "It is exploding right now."

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Rex Tillerson denied a report out early Wednesday that he considered resigning as secretary of state, but he did not deny another detail in the report — that he called President Trump a "moron."

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

Republicans are once again waving the white flag on health care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he is pulling the Republican health care bill because it does not have the votes.

Rather than endure another embarrassing vote that sees his caucus come up short, the senators agreed in a closed-door meeting to shelve the bill.

President Trump's poll slide appears to have stabilized.

Trump, who came into office with the lowest recorded approval and favorability ratings of any president, saw a steady decline in the months that followed his inauguration.

Race is again proving to be the sharpest dividing line of the Trump era.

This week, President Trump and conservatives went after ESPN, the cable sports network, for comments made by Jemele Hill, who hosts one of the flagship SportsCenter shows.

It all started on Monday when Hill, who is black, tweeted in reply to someone else: "Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill's comment a "fireable offense."

On Jan. 28, 1986, President Ronald Reagan was supposed to deliver the State of the Union.

Instead, he made a very different address to the nation that day, one that would transform the role of president, making it mandatory thereafter that presidents serve as consoler-in-chief.

There is a telling photo that has gotten some attention in social media after Steve Bannon's exit as President Trump's chief strategist. (You can see it above.)

It shows President Trump behind the desk in the Oval Office, surrounded by his top advisers: Seated are Vice President Pence and national security adviser Mike Flynn; standing, from left to right, are chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and press secretary Sean Spicer.

That was Jan. 28, eight days after Trump was inaugurated.

Today, only Pence remains.

A majority of Americans think President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., was "not strong enough," according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said so, as compared with just over a quarter (27 percent) who thought it was strong enough.

No single issue has been a greater animating force for the Republican base over the past decade than immigration — except maybe the Affordable Care
Act (aka Obamacare).

And with the failure of GOP health care efforts in Congress and sliding poll numbers this summer, the Trump White House seems to be making a concerted effort to elevate cultural wedge issues, from immigration and a ban on transgender people in the military to affirmative action and police conduct.

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