Domenico Montanaro | KERA News

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 has 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 die-hard Mets fan and college-basketball junkie.

Ahead of the second presidential debate Sunday night, the secret Donald Trump audiotape of him bragging about groping and kissing women — and let's be clear, if he did what he's bragging that he did, it would be assault — has shaken the presidential race and is reshaping the presidential map.

Yes, the majority of Trump's supporters are likely to stay with him, but any chance he had at winning over those persuadable voters might very well be gone.

After the first presidential debate and heading into Round 2 on Sunday, Hillary Clinton has taken what appears to be a firm lead over Donald Trump.

According to the latest NPR Battleground Map, the Democrat once again clears 270 electoral votes, the threshold needed to be president, with just the states leaning in her direction.

She would win the presidency at this point without any of the tossups, states that could go to either Clinton or Trump. That means Clinton could win without Florida, North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona (the tossups).

You never quite know what to expect when October rolls around.

In baseball, it's a month of miracles — and of letdown. In politics, it's all about the element of surprise.

The presidential race is rounding third, but anything can happen on the way home. It's called the "October surprise."

After a bitter primary battle that culminated with Ted Cruz being booed off the stage at the Republican National Convention, the Texas senator says he will vote for Donald Trump.

In a 741-word Facebook post Friday, Cruz wrote that he made the decision because he wants to "keep his word" to vote for the Republican nominee and because he finds Hillary Clinton "wholly unacceptable."

The biggest reason supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton support their candidate is because they're not the other.

There will officially be no third-party candidate on the presidential debate stage.

Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party officially did not make the cut, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday.

After years of peddling a false conspiracy theory that President Obama wasn't born in the United States, Donald Trump — just 53 days before Election Day — now says he believes the president was born in the U.S.

"President Obama was born in the United States. Period," Trump said at a campaign event in a ballroom in his new hotel in Washington. "Now, we want to get back to making America strong and great again."

But Trump did not apologize to President Obama.

Colin Powell, who is usually a model of public restraint, apparently was not so much in his emails.

The former secretary of state under George W. Bush had harsh words for both presidential nominees in emails made public that were apparently hacked.

In the emails from the past few months and going back to last year, Powell called GOP nominee Donald Trump a "national disgrace," an "international pariah" with "no sense of shame," who is leading a "racist" movement — because of Trump's leading the "birther" movement and having questioned President Obama's religion.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Memo to candidates: Stop generalizing and psychoanalyzing your opponents' supporters. It never works out well for you.

The latest to fall into that trap is Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee, at a New York fundraiser Friday night with liberal donors and Barbra Streisand, said "half" of Trump supporters fit into a "basket of deplorables," while the other half are people who feel the government has let them down and need understanding and empathy.

Hours before he is slated to make a major policy speech on immigration Wednesday in Phoenix, Donald Trump is making a bold move — he will be meeting with Mexico's president.

He tweeted the news late Tuesday night:

"I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Peña Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Reports out Thursday night reveal yet another principal of the Trump campaign in trouble.

Newly appointed CEO Stephen K. Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, was charged in 1996 with domestic violence against his second wife, several news outlets reported. The charges were eventually dropped, and Bannon pleaded "not guilty."

The New York Times noted that, according to the police report of the incident, there were "allegations that he threatened his then wife, the accuser, with retribution if she testified in the criminal case. ... "

After signaling that his position on immigration is "to be determined" and that it could "soften," Donald Trump did an amazing thing — what amounts to almost a full about-face on the principal issue that has driven his campaign.

Trump indicated in a town hall with Fox News' Sean Hannity, which aired Wednesday night, that he would be in favor of a path to legalization for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

Donald Trump needs to stop the bleeding.

Since the two parties' conventions, he has plummeted in the polls — both nationally and in the states.

His campaign knows this. His new campaign manager, KellyAnne Conway, is a veteran Republican pollster well aware of Trump's deficiencies with certain voting groups.

On the same day Donald Trump was touring areas of Louisiana affected by record flooding, the White House announced President Obama will be heading to Louisiana, too.

Here was the White House's statement released Friday afternoon:

Long doubting the efficacy of television ads, Donald Trump is finally ceding to this one measure of political gravity, airing his first ad of the general election.

Donald Trump's missteps since the conventions have put Hillary Clinton in a dominant position.

If the election were held today, according to the latest NPR analysis of polling, demographics and on-the-ground reporting, Clinton would win in a landslide of 2008 proportions. She has solidified her leads in key battleground states and crosses the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House in the NPR Battleground Map with just states where she already has a significant lead.

If it's Friday in politics, there's the potential for a news dump.

President Obama reiterated that he believes Donald Trump is "unfit" to be president, issuing a sharp rebuke of the Republican nominee from the White House East Room on Tuesday.

"Yes, I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president," Obama said in response to a question from a reporter during a news conference with Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore. "I said so last week, and he keeps on proving it."

Tim Kaine is boring. Just ask him.

"I am boring," the man Hillary Clinton picked on Friday night to be her running mate said last month on NBC's "Meet The Press."

The Virginia senator tried to play it off with something of a dad joke: "But boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country," he laughed.

So why would Clinton pick "boring" to be her vice president? (And it's not because there are suddenly loads of more boring people out there voting as a bloc.)

This past month has seen lots of news events with potential consequences to politics — controversial police shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, La., followed by the killing of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Plus, there was the horrific incident in Nice, France, that saw scores killed when a man drove a truck through a crowd watching fireworks on Bastille Day.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5 Things To Know About Mike Pence

Jul 14, 2016

The buzz about Donald Trump's vice presidential pick is centering on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Pence "is dropping his re-election bid in Indiana to become Donald Trump's running mate."

When I first heard the news after midnight Thursday that a sniper had killed police officers in Dallas, my first thought was, "Oh, no."

"Oh, no" for the officers and their families, for those trying to peacefully protest recent police shootings. But that "Oh, no" was also for what could come next and a fear for our country, for race relations, for an American people in the midst of a dark presidential campaign that is threatening to tear at the seams of the fabric of our quilted country.

Tuesday was a mixed bag for Hillary Clinton.

She escaped a recommendation of an indictment from the FBI, removing the biggest storm cloud over her in this presidential campaign.

But it did not come without significant pain for Clinton, because while FBI Director James Comey did not recommend a formal indictment to the Department of Justice, he served up an indictment of her judgment.

No president has campaigned strongly for his chosen successor in at least 100 years.

Tuesday's event, with President Obama campaigning for Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state and onetime rival, in North Carolina is remarkable for that reason. It kicks off what is likely to be a season of vigorous campaigning by the president.

The past month has not been kind to Donald Trump.

He has landed in controversy on everything from how much he (eventually) gave to veterans groups to Trump University (and the judge who he declared biased because of his Mexican heritage) to his response to the Orlando shooting.

Things are not going well for Donald Trump.

On Monday, he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski ran the campaign on a shoestring budget and a strategy that was largely built off and fueled by the candidate's say-whatever personality and brand.

In an abrupt shift in message, Donald Trump indicated Wednesday that he might be taking on a Republican tenet: the party's long-standing opposition to gun control.

Trump said he would talk to the NRA about not allowing "people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns." In typical fashion for the presumptive Republican nominee, the announcement came via Twitter:

The NRA, for its part, says there's no conflict:

In a statement, the NRA said it would be "happy to meet with Donald Trump." But that:

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