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.

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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).

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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For the fourth time since taking office, President Trump will soon have to name a new communications director.

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Updated at 5:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that immigrants, even those with permanent legal status and asylum seekers, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.

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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.

Even as Democrats and Republicans spend 2018 vying to win key races around the country, a larger legal battle underway this year could reshape the American political map — literally.

By June, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to decide three major redistricting cases — out of Wisconsin, Maryland and Texas — that will lay some of the foundation for what the maps will look like, not just this year, but after the 2020 census that could affect control of Congress for the next decade.

The state of those legal cases and other key ones (that could affect 2018 and 2020) are below.

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.

Two-thirds of Americans say people brought to the United States as children and now residing in the country illegally should be granted legal status — and a majority are against building a wall along the border with Mexico, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

President Trump delivered one of the longest State of the Union speeches in history.

Clocking in at one hour and 20 minutes, it was the third longest, behind two from President Bill Clinton in 2000 and 1995.

If you missed the speech, we promise to catch you up in far less time than that (so, you're welcome).

Here are eight key moments and themes:

1. Not much new policy

Democrats are celebrating wins in the two biggest races on election night 2017. The party will hold the governors' offices in New Jersey and Virginia. The Virginia race was causing Democrats worry in the final days.

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The Senate returns Wednesday, and President Trump made his way back to Washington on Monday after lying fairly low to end the year in Palm Beach, Fla., at his personal resort.

His first year was a mixed bag of legislative accomplishments (tax overhaul) and failures (health care), the book is still out on his foreign policy posture, and the Russia probe continues.

So what should we expect in 2018? There are four areas of domestic policy the president is particularly focused on, according to the White House — immigration, infrastructure, welfare and health care.

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