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.

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2:18pm

Fri March 27, 2015
It's All Politics

With Reid Out, Republicans See An Opportunity

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:07 pm

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, wearing sunglasses to protect an injured eye. His announced retirement should set off a scramble to replace him.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Harry Reid, the wily Democratic Senate leader, was likely — once again — to be one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election in 2016.

Few, though, would have bet the house against Reid — a sharp-elbowed campaigner — especially in a presidential year when demography will favor Democrats in a state where almost 3 in 10 people are Hispanic.

"Do you really want to go up against Harry Reid?" said one national GOP operative, pointing out Reid's bare-knuckles style of campaigning.

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1:47pm

Fri March 27, 2015
It's All Politics

What Reid Endorsing Schumer As Top Democrat Means

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:58 pm

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York stands a podium March 3 as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada looks on. Reid is backing Schumer to be his replacement as Democratic leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Harry Reid's exit could have ignited a scramble to fill the power vacuum among Senate Democrats.

But the Nevada senator is doing his best to avoid what he called a "knock-down, drag-out fight" by endorsing Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat better known as Chuck, who has been Reid's top lieutenant for years.

"He will be elected to replace me in 22 months," Reid told KNPR about Schumer. "One reason that will happen is because I want him to be my replacement."

Reid called Schumer "a brilliant man" and "a tremendous asset."

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12:27pm

Wed March 25, 2015
It's All Politics

Obamacare Five Years Later: Thriving Or On Political Life Support?

President Obama speaks at the White House Wednesday about the fifth anniversary of his signing of the healthcare law.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

The health care law, the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. Whatever you call it, five years after President Obama signed the law, it remains polarizing.

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6:05pm

Mon March 23, 2015
It's All Politics

Obama Chief Of Staff: Israel's 50-Year 'Occupation' Must End

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 7:22 pm

"An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end," White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told the annual J Street conference
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Through his chief of staff, President Obama is strongly countering rhetoric from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a two-state, Israeli-Palestinian solution.

"An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end, and the Palestinian people must have the right to live in and govern themselves in their own sovereign state," Denis McDonough, President Obama's chief of staff, said Monday at the annual conference of J Street, a left-leaning pro-Israel group.

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11:13am

Mon March 23, 2015
It's All Politics

Ted Cruz Makes It Official

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 10:38 am

Ted Cruz speaks at Liberty University Monday.
Getty Images

And they're off.

After a midnight tweet, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tied together the American Revolution, nostalgia for a better time, and an appeal to social conservatives in his official kickoff speech at Liberty University in Virginia.

"God's blessing has been on America from the beginning of this nation, and I believe God isn't done with America yet," Cruz said at the Christian evangelical university founded by preacher Jerry Falwell. "I believe in you; I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives to reignite the power of America.

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11:03am

Mon March 23, 2015
It's All Politics

Is Ted Cruz Allowed To Run Since He Was Born In Canada?

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 3:45 pm

Canadian athletes hold up the national flag during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Sen. Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, and some question his eligibility to run for president in the U.S.
Darron Cummings AP

There will be a question from some about Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's eligibility to run for president.

That's because even though Cruz grew up in Texas, he was born in Canada. (He renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2013.)

Democrats are sure to remind voters of Cruz's Canadian birth since some on the right have questioned where President Obama was born. The president is a native of Hawaii.

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12:34am

Mon March 23, 2015
It's All Politics

Republican Thorn Ted Cruz Announces Run For President

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 9:13 am

Sen. Ted Cruz, his wife, Heidi, and their two daughters Catherine (left) and Caroline practice waving on stage at Liberty University before Cruz's Monday presidential campaign launch.
Andrew Harnik AP

The 2016 presidential campaign has its first official candidate. Republican Ted Cruz jumped into the race for the presidency, announcing his intentions in a tweet at 12:09 am EDT Monday morning.

"I'm running for president and I hope to earn your support!" the firebrand Texas senator tweeted simply with an embedded video.

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1:43pm

Thu March 19, 2015
It's All Politics

What If Everyone In America Had To Vote?

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 1:53 pm

"It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything," President Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland.
Jeff Roberson AP

Australia has near 100 percent turnout in its elections. How do the Aussies do it? They, like 25 other countries, require people to vote.

President Obama wondered aloud Wednesday whether it was time for the United States to consider a similar move.

"In Australia and some other countries, there's mandatory voting," Obama said at an economic event in Cleveland. "It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything."

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12:05pm

Wed March 18, 2015
It's All Politics

Obama Picks Kentucky To Win NCAA Tournament, Mixes In Politics

University of Kentucky basketball players celebrate their Southeastern Conference tournament championship victory earlier this month.
Steve Helber AP

President Barack Obama didn't exactly go out on a limb with his college-basketball picks this year.

Like most people, he picked Kentucky to run the table, go 40-0, and win the NCAA Tournament. He also picked three No. 1 seeds and one No. 2 to make it to the Final Four.

"I don't think you can play a perfect basketball game anymore than you can do anything perfectly," the president said of Kentucky, "but these guys are coming pretty close."

The president did mix in a little politics.

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10:58am

Wed March 18, 2015
It's All Politics

Can't Protect The Real White House? Get An $8 Million Fake One

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 1:25 pm

A member of the Secret Service's uniformed division stands by a fence in front of the White House.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

It's no secret that the Secret Service has had a few public-relations problems over the past few years.

Not the least of which was a man who scaled the White House fence and made it all the way inside the home of the American president and his family.

There have been a lot of solutions floated — better training, improved schedules for overworked agents, even a higher fence.

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy has another idea — an $8 million replica White House complete with fountains, guard booths, even plants.

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6:03am

Wed March 18, 2015
It's All Politics

Would Automatic Voter Registration Increase Turnout?

Advocates are looking to a new Oregon law as a model for increasing voter turnout.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Go to renew your driver's license in Oregon, and you will now be signed up to vote automatically.

It's the first state in the country with that sort of law, which is designed to make voting easier, and stands in contrast to the trend seen in the past several years in more conservative states.

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