Domenico Montanaro | KERA News

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.

Asked if he has any regrets about the way he's handled the coronavirus crisis so far, President Trump said no — and he cited polling to back him up.

"No, I think that we've handled it really well," Trump said on Monday. "The American public thinks that we've handled it well, if you look at polling data."

Survey data has been mixed.

The United States and South Korea had their first cases of coronavirus detected on the same day. The way the two countries responded, however, was very different.

South Korea quickly got tests out, which is being credited with helping flatten the country's curve of its coronavirus outbreak; the United States moved far more slowly, taking weeks to ramp up testing.

In arguing for returning the country to some kind of normal sooner rather than later, President Trump noted that 36,000 people, on average, die from the flu each year.

"But we've never closed down the country for the flu," the president said during an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday. "So you say to yourself, 'What is this all about?' "

This summer's Republican and Democratic conventions are still on, and organizers have no plans to change them at this point, despite fears of prolonged closings and disruptions to American life due to the novel coronavirus, officials from both parties said.

There are no talks of canceling the Democratic National Convention, Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said.

In what have turned out to be the last presidential primary elections in the month of March because of the novel coronavirus, Joe Biden swept all three states Tuesday by big margins and appears well on his way to being the Democratic nominee.

The former vice president won Florida by almost 40 points, Illinois by more than 20 and Arizona by double-digits, too.

It was a remarkable night that adds to Biden's delegate lead that, at this point and because of how Democrats allocate their delegates, looks insurmountable.

So much has changed since the last round of primaries just a week ago. Coronavirus is dominating everything, and elections are on the back burner.

Some states have postponed their primaries over coronavirus concerns, and officials in Ohio, which is one of the four big states that was supposed to vote Tuesday, have suspended in-person voting.

Americans have little trust in the information they are hearing from President Trump about the novel coronavirus, and their confidence in the federal government's response to it is declining sharply, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Just 46% of Americans now say the federal government is doing enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, down from 61% in February.

Just before the Democratic debate Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out guidelines encouraging Americans not to gather in groups of 50 or more for the next eight weeks.

Updated at 11:24 a.m. ET

It was another big night for Joe Biden.

The former vice president won a set of resounding victories over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, most notably in Michigan, which Sanders won four years ago.

Barring something catastrophic for Biden, the results now put him on a path to being the Democratic nominee and the candidate to take on President Trump in the fall.

The results out of Super Tuesday were unexpected. Former Vice President Joe Biden rode a surge of momentum all the way to the delegate lead and is now in the driver's seat for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Democratic presidential contest is now a two-man race.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders went into Super Tuesday the front-runner, but it was Joe Biden's night. The former vice president rode a surge of momentum out of his big win in South Carolina on Saturday and established himself squarely as the principal alternative to Sanders.

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Super Tuesday is the biggest day of the Democratic primary campaign. Fourteen states will hold nominating contests to pick who they think should square off this fall against President Trump.

There are 1,357 delegates at stake, about a third of all delegates. So far, fewer than 4% of the delegates have been allocated.

Former Vice President Joe Biden had a big night in South Carolina, showing his promised strength with black voters.

If he had lost, Biden's campaign would likely have been dead. But he far exceeded expectations, with a nearly 30-point win in the state's Democratic presidential primary.

"And we are very much alive," Biden said during his victory speech Saturday night.

Asked during this week's debate in Charleston, S.C., if he would drop out if he doesn't win the primary there, former Vice President Joe Biden was blunt.

"I will win South Carolina," Biden said.

Asked again after the debate if he could carry on if he doesn't win South Carolina, Biden was equally declarative.

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President Trump, at a press conference last night, chose the person who will lead the government's response to the coronavirus.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

The Democrats debated for the 10th time Tuesday night and it was a bit of a mess. There was shouting. There was overtalk. There were lots of attacks.

So what to make of that muddle? Here are four takeaways that emerged as the dust settled.

1. Joe Biden was focused on the win in South Carolina

South Carolina is a must-win for the former vice president after disappointing finishes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. He came into the debate with a game plan and executed it the best he could.

Days before the South Carolina primary, seven Democratic candidates will face off in a debate in Charleston, S.C.

The debate comes after Sen. Bernie Sanders handily won the Nevada caucuses, won in New Hampshire and tied in Iowa.

Here's what you need to know:

When is the South Carolina Democratic debate? Tuesday, from 8 to 10 p.m. ET.

Where is the debate being held? Charleston.

What channel is the debate on? CBS and streaming online on CBSN.

The 2020 Democratic nomination is now Sen. Bernie Sanders' to lose.

The independent from Vermont ⁠— who is running as a Democrat and often speaks about the ills not just of Republicans, but also of Democrats ⁠— handily won the Nevada Democratic caucuses.

It's caucus day in Nevada!

Today's election will feature the most diverse electorate yet in this Democratic presidential nominating contest.

And it presents a challenge for each of the candidates on the ballot. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who finished second in Nevada in 2016, is the favorite in yet another race, as the more moderate candidates continue to duke it out.

Here are six things to watch:

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In Las Vegas — a city known for prize fights — the Democrats were gloves off.

And a new entrant in the ring took a lot of incoming: former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has spent more than $300 million of his own money on ads to raise his profile.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is rising in the polls among Democrats, but questions about his electability against President Trump persist because he self-identifies as a democratic socialist.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll backs up the idea that the label could hurt him.

Updated at 7:08 a.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a double-digit lead in the Democratic nominating contest, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Sanders has 31% support nationally, up 9 points since December, the last time the poll asked about Democratic voters' preferences.

The Democratic presidential nominating contest now heads into a critical phase.

The candidates have so far stood for elections in two of the whitest states in the country, Iowa and New Hampshire. But Nevada and South Carolina — the next two states to vote — will provide far more diverse electorates.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

The finish at the top in New Hampshire looked a lot like the finish last week in Iowa, this time with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the way and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg finishing a close second.

But from the No. 3 spot on down there were some pretty big surprises, including the rise of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and disappointing finishes for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Here are six takeaways from what happened last night:

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In New Hampshire, polls are starting to close in the first primary election of 2020. And to get an early look on how the race is shaking out, we're joined by NPR senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro. Welcome back.

Updated at 12:49 p.m. ET

Democrats are going to try again.

After the Iowa results meltdown, New Hampshire takes center stage Tuesday night. This election is run by the secretary of state's office and not the state party. It's also a more-straightforward primary (with a couple kinks we explain below) rather than a complicated, math-heavy caucus.

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