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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.

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."

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Will Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testify?

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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.

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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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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.

A week after firing FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, President Trump got out of Washington to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He decided to give the graduating cadets some advice.

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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.

These midterm elections are hard to game out.

That's because there are a lot of factors that could cancel each other out, and there is no single issue that appears to be breaking through.

"Frankly, it is about volatility," said a Republican operative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid about strategy. "It's very volatile out there."

Three-quarters of Americans think the Supreme Court should not overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

But that result includes a degree of nuance.

Just 17 percent say they support overturning Roe outright. Another 24 percent say they want Roe kept in place, but they want to see more restrictions on abortion.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The final hours of President Trump's decision-making on his second Supreme Court nominee are being described as hectic and unpredictable — and the president has still not made a decision.

"It's insane" over there, said a source close to the process. Few have had any sleep in Bedminster, N.J., as deliberations continue over the pros and cons of the potential nominees, and no one is sure which way the president is going to go, the source said.

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court said that Texas' legislative and congressional maps are not a racial gerrymander and that all districts are OK, except for one, which it determined is a racial gerrymander — House District 90.

"Except with respect to one Texas House district, we hold that the court below erred in effectively enjoining the use of the districting maps adopted by the Legislature in 2013," conservative Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.

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.

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.

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