Domenico Montanaro

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's the thick of primary season, and the looming question that hangs over the 2018 midterms is — will Democrats take control of Congress?

Midterms, especially primaries, are won and lost by activists.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

While Washington is consumed with the aftermath of yet another biting comedian performance at a White House Correspondents Association dinner, answers on bridging the political divide seem harder to come by.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is dealing with the effects of brain cancer, released an excerpt of his forthcoming memoir, The Restless Wave, that gives some of his philosophy on how to do it — and obliquely criticizes President Trump.

President Trump is already tweeting his displeasure about a Supreme Court decision that makes it more difficult to deport a small number of lawful permanent residents convicted of crimes.

In a 5-to-4 decision Tuesday, the court overturned the deportation of a 25-year legal U.S. resident from the Philippines who was convicted of two burglaries.

Political calculations can change about as quickly as the news.

Just look at past week: The news that a speaker of the House announced his retirement and a Robert Mueller Russia investigation that keeps ensnaring people close to the president were drowned out temporarily when President Trump announced a military strike against Syria.

But barring deeper involvement in Syria, the midterm calculus remains the same — Democrats have a distinct advantage at this point.

Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota went on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday and defended embattled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

"We'll nitpick little things," Rounds said. "He has too many people on his security detail. It may add up to more than what the previous guy did. ... We said we had to have regulatory reform. We've got it. Scott Pruitt is a big part of that. He's executing what the president wants him to execute."

Updated at 2:21 p.m. ET

President Trump signed a massive spending bill Friday, hours after threatening a veto that would have triggered a government shutdown.

Pages