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.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We have news about Donald Trump this morning. He has been assured of the GOP nomination for a few weeks now. But as of this morning, based on a counting from the Associated Press, Donald Trump officially crossed the number of delegates he needs to clinch the nomination at the Republican National Convention this summer. NPR Political Editor and resident delegate geek...

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: (Laughter).

GREENE: ...Domenico Montanaro is here in the studio with me. Domenico, good morning.

Bernie Sanders' campaign has requested a "recanvass" of voting in the Kentucky primary — not a "recount."

They are not the same.

What's the difference?

As NPR's Asma Khalid noted on air — a recanvass will "entail checking all of the voting machines and absentee ballots in all each of the state's counties to verify the accuracy of the vote totals."

In other words, individual ballots will not be checked. A recount would have re-checked how people voted on actual ballots.

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Hillary Clinton would have a significant electoral advantage over Donald Trump in the general election, based on an NPR analysis.

The Democratic former secretary of state would start out with already exactly enough electoral votes to win the presidency, 270-191, based on states considered safe, likely and to lean toward either candidate. The ratings, which will be updated at least monthly until Election Day, are based on fundamentals — historical trends and demographics, plus reporting and polling (both public and private).

Every week, we say the next race is pivotal, perhaps decisive even. Every week, it's... true, but in different ways.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to talk more, this time with NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro. Welcome to the studio.

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Good afternoon.

Championing "stability" and protectionism, Donald Trump managed a sendup of the foreign policies of the last three American presidents, as well as the candidate he is likely to face this fall in a general election — Hillary Clinton.

"With President Obama and Secretary Clinton, we've had ... a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy — one that has blazed a path of destruction in its wake," Trump charged in a sober foreign policy address at a hotel in Washington. He added, "[T]he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray."

Hillary Clinton now has 2,141 delegates (with pledged and superdelegates combined), as of midnight Wednesday.

That means she is 90 percent of the way to the 2,383 delegates she needs to clinch the Democratic nomination.

Taking superdelegates out of the equation, she leads Bernie Sanders by 351 pledged delegates. (Clinton has 1,622 to Sanders' 1,282.) Sanders would need two-thirds of all remaining pledged delegates to overtake Clinton in that count.

The primary elections across five states Tuesday could decide the nominations of both parties.

That's especially true on the Democratic side. (For the Republicans, scroll down.) Bernie Sanders has come a long way, but the Vermont independent is running out of friendly states. Tuesday is no different, as all but one of the contests (Rhode Island) in these Northeast states are closed primaries.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Much to absorb there, and NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro is here to help us absorb it. Hi, Domenico.

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Hi, good morning, Steve.

The last time there was a contested convention, when the nominee wasn't known going into the convention, was 40 years ago.

Back then, incumbent President Gerald Ford led Ronald Reagan, but he didn't quite have a majority. That changed before the first ballot at the convention. How? Rides on Air Force One, state dinners, and ... persuasion.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has endorsed Ted Cruz ahead of the state's presidential primary next week.

Walker, a former leading presidential candidate, called Cruz a constitutional conservative who can win in the fall.

"I just fundamentally believe if you look at the facts, if you look at the numbers, that Ted Cruz is the best-positioned by far to both win the nomination of the Republican Party and to then go on and defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall this year," Walker said Tuesday morning on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee.

Bernie Sanders scored huge-margin victories Saturday in the caucuses in Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska.

Sanders won with 82 percent in Alaska, 70 percent in Hawaii and 72 percent in Washington. That Washington margin was even bigger than the Sanders campaign expected — and significant, because there are 101 delegates up for grabs there.

This is what a campaign in the gutter looks like.

Once again, the political world is talking about a National Enquirer story.

The last time was during the 2008 presidential campaign when the tabloid alleged that Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards had fathered a child out of wedlock. When the rumor first surfaced, the media largely ignored it.

It turned out to be true.

In the immediate aftermath of the Brussels bombings, Donald Trump mentioned something he likes to talk about — polls.

"Well first of all, this is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart, because I've been talking about it, certainly much more than anybody else, and it's why I'm probably No. 1 in the polls, because of the fact that I say we have to have strong borders," Trump said Tuesday morning on NBC's Today show.

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