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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.

More votes were cast in the 2020 presidential election than in any other U.S. election in history, and the turnout rate was the highest in more than a century.

President-elect Joe Biden has now earned 80 million votes, and ballots are still being counted. That is by far the most votes cast for any presidential candidate in U.S. history. President Trump holds the distinction, however, of earning the second-most votes all time. About 74 million Americans voted for him.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

Most Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to suggest that President Trump concede the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. They argue that it's best to let Trump expend his legal options before they apply too much pressure.

That pressure has been building and it could be about to go bust this week, with key states certifying the vote totals and making their results official.

Just before midnight on the East Coast on election night, Fox News called Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden.

It was a bold call. It opened up a wider path for Biden to win the presidency after a night that began with a lot of bad news for the former vice president. Florida had been called for President Trump, and other states went for the president by wider margins than expected.

There was a debate in the runup to this year's presidential election about whether it would be a base election or a persuasion one. In other words, what would matter more for a candidate — turning out one side's core voters, or winning over undecideds and wavering supporters of President Trump?

Based on an NPR analysis of the more than 3,000 counties, it was, in fact, mostly a base election with some key persuasion in Democratic-leaning suburbs that went for Joe Biden by wider margins than they did for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election Saturday morning.

And yet, President Trump has not conceded or accepted it, and the agency responsible for doling out funds and office space during a transition is denying that money to the Biden team, implying that the results of the election are not yet certain and referencing the "precedent" of the contested 2000 presidential election.

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

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Republicans outperformed the polls up and down the ballot in the 2020 election, to the surprise even of many Republican political operatives and survey researchers.

To be clear, Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Trump; Democrats will still control the House and still have a chance of picking up the Senate.

Well, we still don't know who the president-elect is.

Is there a less-surprising outcome for 2020?

Here are six takeaways from one of the strangest election nights in recent history:

1. This is going to go on a while

This election is now coming down to the former Blue Wall states that President Trump toppled in 2016 — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We won't know results perhaps for days, because Wisconsin and Pennsylvania couldn't start processing mail-in votes until Election Day, and Michigan could only start Monday.

Almost two-thirds of Americans say the country is on the wrong track, a majority disapprove of the job President Trump is doing and more than half do not think the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, according to early data from AP VoteCast.

Almost every election cycle, someone on one side or the other is claiming that this is the most important election in their lifetime.

Well, this one actually probably is — and it appears voters think so, too.

The election is already setting records for turnout, and perhaps no two candidates are more at odds over the future of the country and the direction they want to take it in. This election is fundamentally about what it means to be an American.

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The final NPR Electoral College map analysis shows Democrat Joe Biden going into Election Day with the clear edge, while President Trump has a narrow but not impossible path through the states key to winning the presidency.

The home stretch of a presidential campaign can be warping.

"In this final phase, the feedback loop inside a campaign can become really distorted," said Brian Jones, a Republican strategist and veteran of the Mitt Romney, John McCain and George W. Bush campaigns. "Campaigns destined for defeat find ways to believe there's still a chance and campaigns headed for victory can be overly nervous."

With less than three weeks to go until Election Day, Democrat Joe Biden has taken a double-digit lead over President Trump, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

The former vice president leads Trump 54% to 43% among likely voters in the poll. It's the highest level of support Biden has achieved since the poll began testing the head-to-head matchup in February. Biden has never been below 50% in the question in the Marist poll, and Trump has never been above 44%.

More than $1 billion has now been spent on TV ads for the 2020 presidential election in just 13 states, an NPR analysis of the latest ad spending data from the tracking firm Advertising Analytics finds.

Most of that money has been spent by Democrat Joe Biden's campaign and groups supporting him. Biden and allies have spent more than $600 million, while President Trump's campaign and groups supporting him have spent a little over $400 million.

Updated 6:57 p.m. ET

Despite reports of the Trump campaign canceling TV advertising in Ohio and Iowa, it turns out the campaign has $11 million still reserved for ads in the states, according to the latest spending data provided to NPR by the ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics.

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It has been a rough couple of weeks for President Trump.

Vice President Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris square off in the first and only vice presidential debate Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET in Salt Lake City.

Pence has laid low with President Trump undergoing treatment for the coronavirus, a threat the president had downplayed for months. But Pence is going to need to show up in a big way to try to inject some needed positive energy into the Trump-Pence presidential campaign, which has been consistently lagging Biden-Harris in the polls.

This was maybe the worst presidential debate in American history.

If this was supposed to be a boxing match, it instead turned into President Trump jumping on the ropes, refusing to come down, the referee trying to coax him off, and Joe Biden standing in the middle of the ring with his gloves on and a confused look on his face.

Trump doesn't play by anyone's rules, even those he's agreed to beforehand. He's prided himself on that. But even by his standards, what Trump did Tuesday night crossed many lines.

In response to President Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, Democratic nominee Joe Biden urged Democrats to vote in the presidential election to protect the Affordable Care Act.

"Vote like your health care is on the ballot — because it is," Biden tweeted.

Updated 5:54 p.m. ET

Saturday is a big day for the future of the country.

President Trump formally announced conservative federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Barrett, a former law professor at Notre Dame and Supreme Court law clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, said she would be a justice in Scalia's mold.

"His judicial philosophy is mine, too," Barrett said.

Federal appeals court Judge Barbara Lagoa is high on President Trump's list of potential nominees for the Supreme Court seat left open by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Updated Saturday at 5:22 p.m. ET

President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, is a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and is a favorite among social conservatives. They, and others on the right, view her record as anti-abortion rights and hostile to the Affordable Care Act.

If confirmed, the 48-year-old Barrett would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court and could help reshape the law and society for generations to come.

As if 2020 couldn't get any more politically contentious, a fight is underway over a Supreme Court vacancy — just 43 days until Election Day, and as Americans are already voting in some places during this election season.

Raising the stakes even more, this is not just any seat. It's the chair formerly held by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal and feminist cultural icon.

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a major cultural moment and has potential implications for the next generation of American society.

Just look at the images of people who crowded the Supreme Court's steps Friday night after news of her death broke.

Weighing the president down in his reelection bid is his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and race relations, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

More than half of Americans — 56% — disapprove of the job President Trump has done handling the pandemic.

Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead President Trump in the 2020 presidential election nationally by a substantial margin, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Biden leads Trump by 9 points, 52% to 43%, among likely voters, the survey finds. This is the first time this election cycle the poll has screened for likely voters — this narrower group is the most likely to actually cast a ballot, compared to the larger group of people who are registered to vote.

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It looks, for now, like President Trump has bounced back a little after bottoming out.

The president was at a low point against former Vice President Joe Biden, but in the past month, even though Biden still has an edge, the landscape has tightened some, according to the latest NPR Electoral College analysis.

Where the major party presidential campaigns are spending their money on TV advertising can tell you a lot about where they're focusing their efforts.

And based on that, it's pretty clear that the race between President Trump and Joe Biden is coming down to just six swing states — Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona. They are getting the lion's share of the TV advertising money from the campaigns and outside groups supporting them.

President Trump's base has gotten smaller.

That's a key finding of an analysis of how the U.S. electorate has changed since 2016, based on census data analyzed by the Brookings Institution and NPR.

In 2016, Trump was helped to victory by winning a record margin among white voters without a college degree. But in the last four years, they have declined as a share of the voting-eligible population across the U.S. and in states critical to the presidential election. Nationally, the group has gone from 45% of eligible voters to 41%.

Well, the 2020 national political conventions are over.

The Republicans wrapped up Thursday night, and there was a lot to digest, not least a clearer sense of what the post-Labor Day sprint is going to look and sound like.

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