Charles Mahtesian

Charles Mahtesian is Politics Editor for Digital News.

Prior to coming to NPR, Mahtesian spent five years as Politico's national politics editor, where he directed its political and campaign coverage and authored a blog on the American political landscape.

He joined Politico after five years as the editor of the National Journal's Almanac of American Politics, the biennial book often referred to as "the bible of American politics."

Before that, he spent eight years as a national correspondent for Governing magazine, where he covered state legislatures, governors and urban politics.

He began his career reporting on elections and congressional redistricting for Congressional Quarterly, where he was also a contributing writer to the books "Politics in America" and "Congressional Districts in the 1990s."

Prior to coming to NPR in his current role, Mahtesian had served as an election night analyst for NPR and was a frequent guest on NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Talk of the Nation"; MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and on FOX News, C-SPAN, CNN and the BBC.

He has written for a variety of newspapers, journals, and magazines including Politico, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, National Journal, Congress Daily, Government Executive, and Campaigns and Elections.

He earned his bachelor's degree in politics from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and his law degree from American University.

For all the money spent, doors knocked, ads aired and miles traveled by candidates this year, the 2014 elections will likely come down to the votes cast by a relatively small universe of places.

Whether it's because of their size, demographic make-up, or the unique spot they occupy, these places will have an outsized role in state — and possibly national — politics this year.

Here are seven of them:

Shortly after Rep. Eric Cantor's surprise defeat in the Republican primary, Cantor announced his plans to step down soon from his position as House majority leader. This will leave a void in the GOP leadership, an open spot that's sure to attract plenty of interest.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Voters in three states go to the polls tomorrow in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio. It's the beginning of an eight-week stretch of primaries that should give us a good idea of how the political landscape is shaping up for this November.

NPR's political editor Charlie Mahtesian joins us now to talk about that. Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE MAHTESIAN, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

Another day, another political dynasty.

This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary.

Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory.