Domenico Montanaro | KUER 90.1

Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.

Montanaro joined NPR in 2015 and oversaw coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, including for broadcast and digital.

Before joining NPR, 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, N.Y., Montanaro is a life-long Mets fan and college basketball junkie.

The ad is stark.

An elderly white woman is watching the news. An anchor reports that cities want to "defund" the police, as she hears a noise coming from elsewhere in the house.

She calls 911 — as Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity says that Joe Biden is "absolutely on board with defunding the police" — only to be told that there is no one there to answer her call and she should leave a message.

Democrats are haunted by the ghosts of 2016.

Hillary Clinton led in many polls over Donald Trump throughout that election cycle, and while the national polls were pretty dead-on when it came to the popular vote, some key battleground state polls got it wrong.

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It's hard to believe that the hole President Trump dug for himself could get deeper, but it has.

It's exactly three months until Election Day, but the focus this week is on Capitol Hill. Here are five things to watch:

A new report from the centrist Democratic group Third Way, shared first with NPR, finds that Democrats are on track to win the suburbs in five of six key states they lost in the 2016 presidential election.

The analysis is based on voter-file data from the progressive-aligned firm Catalist and models that measure the likelihood of people to vote Democratic or Republican. It finds the following:

With less than 100 days until Election Day, here's where things stand:

Suburban voters have been growing as a share of the electorate since the mid-1990s, and they have become consequential in presidential elections. They could be determinative in this one too, as they make up roughly half of all voters.

Since George W. Bush's reelection, the candidate who won the suburbs won the election, except in 2012. Then, Mitt Romney won the suburbs and lost to Barack Obama, showing why it's even more important for a Republican to win over suburban voters.

With COVID-19 cases going up in places key to his reelection and his poll numbers in those same places going down, President Trump has been boxed in to shifting course.

Let's recap. This week, as NPR's Ayesha Rascoe recounted on NPR's Morning Edition Friday, Trump:

  • Endorsed wearing masks, calling it "patriotic" after resisting wearing them publicly for months.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

President Trump returned to the coronavirus briefing room yesterday after a hiatus. And he chose some new language when he was talking about the coronavirus.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

President Trump downplayed the danger of the coronavirus, claiming in an interview that aired Sunday that many cases are simply people who "have the sniffles."

"Many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day," Trump said in his interview with Fox News Sunday. "They have the sniffles, and we put it down as a test." He added that many of those sick "are going to get better very quickly."

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

President Trump dismissed outrage over police killings, saying Tuesday that "more white people" are killed by police than Black people.

"So are white people!" Trump said when asked in an interview with CBS News about why so many African Americans have been killed at the hands of police. "So are white people! What a terrible question to ask."

Trump added that "more white people, by the way" are killed by police than Black people.

Updated 11:52 a.m. ET

To take control of the U.S. Senate, Democrats need to net three seats in November if former Vice President Joe Biden wins, and four if President Trump is reelected.

That once looked like a near impossibility, but it's becoming a real possibility.

Republicans hold a 53-to-47 majority in the Senate, with the Democrats' side including two independents who caucus with them.

Supreme Court cases are complicated, and their implications can be muddy.

But a few things are clear from what the court decided Thursday about the President Trump's financial records. Presidents do not have absolute immunity from having to release financial records, and more specifically to Trump, we likely won't see his taxes until after the presidential election.

Updated 10:45 a.m. ET

In an unusually divisive speech for a president on the Fourth of July holiday weekend, President Trump on Friday decried a "growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for."

What is it? Terrorism? Polarization? A lack of trust in institutions?

A progressive shift underway in Colorado Democratic politics is spotlighted Tuesday in the primary for a U.S. Senate race that will likely help decide control of the chamber.

The contest between former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is the marquee race on Tuesday, but other themes are at play elsewhere, as voters also head to the polls in Utah and Oklahoma:

  • Former Gov. Jon Huntsman is looking to make a comeback in Utah.

After weeks of protests against police brutality and racism, and amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases, the number of voters disapproving of the job President Trump is doing is at an all-time high, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

Trump's approval rating sits at just 40% overall, while a record 58% disapprove.

As protests stemming from George Floyd's killing at the hands of Minneapolis police spread across the country, Black progressives appear to have had a good night in Democratic primaries Tuesday, while some Republicans endorsed by President Trump did not fare as well on the GOP side.

Three races in New York and Virginia, and perhaps one in Kentucky, highlight what could be the start of something important in Democratic politics — the surge of Black candidates.

Progressives are mounting efforts to best establishment Democrats in Kentucky and New York Tuesday.

Black Lives Matter protests around the country have added energy to the left, and Black progressives are surging in contests in both states.

In Kentucky, the race between the two leading Democrats vying for the right to likely take on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is coming down to the wire. All the momentum is on the side of state Rep. Charles Booker over Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot with a lot of money and the party's backing.

About 120,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus.

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President Trump is in a political hole and has a lot of ground to make up over the next five months if he hopes to win another term, an NPR analysis of the Electoral College map finds.

After almost three weeks of demonstrations following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, America seems to be at a threshold moment.

Polling shows attitudes shifting more in favor of protesters and embracing the potential for change when it comes to how policing is done in this country.

Police departments in at least half a dozen states have already moved to make reforms, but when it comes to sweeping national change, it's not clear how far Washington will go.

Hundreds of thousands of people descended on the nation's capital and cities across the country over the weekend in continued demonstrations sparked by George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The protests were largely peaceful, and their meaning has extended beyond Floyd's fate to the larger issue of policing in America and police treatment of black Americans.

"Don't let the life of George Floyd be in vain," a county sheriff said at a memorial service for Floyd on Saturday in North Carolina.

As the country erupts in protests over police brutality and racism, two-thirds of Americans think President Trump has increased racial tensions in the U.S., according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

The poll offers a snapshot of a nation in upheaval after a video captured a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the neck of a black man named George Floyd, who was pleading for his life before he died.

With everything going in the country — from the unrest in many cities after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police to the coronavirus pandemic — it's easy to have missed that elections are being held.

But several states and the District of Columbia have primaries up and down the ballot: Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota.

Pennsylvania is holding primary voting on Tuesday, though Gov. Tom Wolf extended the deadline for voting by mail by one week, until June 9.

Through days of unrest, dozens of American cities — from Minneapolis to Atlanta, from New York to Grand Rapids, Mich. — have been wracked by violent protests.

On this Memorial Day weekend, beaches have reopened and people are venturing outside.

Two-thirds of Americans do not expect their daily lives to return to normal for at least six months, and as states reopen, three-quarters are concerned that a second wave of coronavirus cases will emerge, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

"There's a great sense that normalcy is not around the corner," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.

With Joe Biden on the ballot, so is the legacy of Barack Obama, and it appears we're about to see a throwdown between the last president and the current one — and their polar opposite worldviews.

Amid criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump has been falsely laying blame on Obama for leaving the "cupboard bare" when it comes to the national stockpile of emergency medical supplies and equipment.

Updated on June 11 at 9:30 p.m. ET

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has vowed he will pick a woman to be his vice presidential running mate.

But which woman?

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warned Tuesday of states and localities skipping over federal guidelines while trying to lift restrictions and restart their economies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking remotely during a unique Senate health committee hearing, Fauci told lawmakers that his concern is that if some areas "jump over" guidelines from the federal government and "prematurely open up," there will be "little spikes that turn into outbreaks."

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