Asma Khalid

Asma Khalid is a political reporter. She travels the country focusing on voters through the lens of demographics and economics.

Before joining NPR's political team, Asma helped launch a new team for Boston's NPR station WBUR where she reported on biz/tech and the Future of Work.

She's reported on a range of stories over the years — including the 2016 presidential campaign, the Boston Marathon bombings and the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger.

Asma got her start in journalism in her home state of Indiana, but was introduced to radio through an internship at BBC Newshour in London during grad school.

Christine Garcia, a 37-year-old stay-at-home mom, doesn't consider herself a particularly political person. But like a lot of women, she has strong opinions about President Trump.

"Maybe on the business side ... the money is better as far as I understand," Garcia said. "But a lot of the other things are very worrisome," she added with a laugh, as she pushed her daughter on a swing in a park in Birmingham, Mich., an affluent suburb of Detroit.

Garcia considers herself a fiscal conservative but a social liberal.

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Jagada Chambers was sent to prison for attempted second-degree murder in 2000. The story, as he tells it, was that he was on spring break with friends during college and got into a physical altercation with an acquaintance.

He was released four years later, in August 2004, and his understanding was that his voting rights were gone forever.

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Just in the past few months, elections in the U.S. have been decided by hundreds of votes.

The 2016 presidential election tilted to Donald Trump with fewer than 80,000 votes across three states, with a dramatic impact on the country. Yet, only about 6 in 10 eligible voters cast ballots in 2016.

In a surprise defeat that reflects a changing Democratic Party, Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley has defeated 10-term Democratic Rep. Mike Capuano in Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District.

Pressley is poised to become the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in the state's congressional history.

"It's not enough for Democrats to be back in power," she said at her election night celebration. "It matters who those Democrats are."

The night Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a Democratic congressional primary in New York, Ayanna Pressley, a Boston city council member who is also challenging a 10-term Democratic House incumbent, tweeted a congratulatory photo.

And Ocasio-Cortez responded with an equally effusive tweet of her own.

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Updated at 2:50 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The Trump administration has published a preliminary list of additional Chinese products that could be targeted with tariffs in the escalating trade war between the world's two biggest economies. The list covers some $200 billion in Chinese exports that could be hit by a 10 percent tariff. It's an extensive list of over 6,000 goods that include seafood, propane and toilet paper, among many other things.

Mike Davis didn't think Donald Trump could get elected.

Davis is the kind of Republican who backed Ohio governor John Kasich in the 2016 primaries, the kind of Republican who subscribes to the Wall Street Journal. Davis, 64, is the former mayor of Dunwoody, Ga., a small city in the state's 6th Congressional District, one of the most highly-educated districts in the country.

Robert Lee, Chelsea Magee and Colt Chambers are political activists who all sound pretty typical for their generation when it comes to issues like immigration and same-sex marriage.

Don Blankenship lost his bid for U.S. Senate in the West Virginia GOP primary earlier this month, but now he's announced plans to mount a third-party challenge as a member of the Constitution Party.

The two candidates running for governor in the Georgia Democratic primary on May 22 have plenty of similarities: they're both women named Stacey; they're both former legislators in the Georgia House of Representatives; they're both lawyers; and they're both calling for similar progressive policies, such as expanding Medicaid.

But Stacey Abrams is black. And Stacey Evans is white. The color of their skin is the most obvious, if not superficial, difference between the two women.

And it's led to a racialized campaign full of competing strategies on how you win.

At Columbia Drive United Methodist church in Decatur, Ga., the congregation bowed their heads under a brightly lit cross and prayed for their fellow worshiper — Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader in the Georgia legislature now running for governor.

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Not a single current governor in the U.S. is black. In fact, in the history of the United States, only two African-Americans have ever been elected governor. This year candidates in several states are trying to change that, as NPR's Asma Khalid reports.

Richard Ojeda joined the Army because he says it seemed like the most reasonable choice he had growing up; his alternative options, he says, were to "dig coal" or "sell dope."

So he chose the Army, where he spent more than two decades. But when he came home to Logan County, W.Va., he was stunned.

"I come home from spending 24 years in the United States Army and I realize I got kids in my backyard that have it worse than the kids I saw in Iraq and Afghanistan," he shouts into the microphone during an interview.

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In many parts of the country, President Trump and his unpopularity is a liability for Republicans in 2018, but not in West Virginia.

In the 2016 election, West Virginia supported the president more than any other state. Trump carried the state with 69 percent of the vote.

Despite a wave of controversies, President Trump's popularity seems to be rising ever so slightly, according to a couple of recent polls. The bump may be linked to the fact that more Americans seem to be crediting Trump for the nation's healthy economy.

Hillary Clinton has made her entrance into the 2018 campaign, but not by choice.

The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee's name is nowhere on the ballot this year, but that's not stopping some Republicans from using her words, her image and her gaffes to energize the GOP base.

When Koya Graham turned 18, the first thing she did was register to vote.

And, year after year, the Cleveland native faithfully voted for Democrats — that is, until the 2016 presidential election.

"I'm not interested anymore," Graham told NPR in the Spring of 2016. "I don't see any immediate, significant changes happening."

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Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET

President Trump is holding a campaign rally outside of Pittsburgh on Saturday night to boost Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone, who has been struggling to lock up a special election in a district Trump won by nearly 20 points in the 2016 election.

When the phone rings at the Republican Party headquarters in Mahoning County, Ohio, a 77-year-old retired hairdresser and former lifelong Democrat answers.

Connie Kessler is a recent GOP convert with a religious-like zeal to help her hometown elect more local Republicans. Sometimes she answers calls from voters; other times she updates the database — she does the kind of odd jobs she says she used to do for local Democrats.

If Donald Trump hadn't run for president, Kessler says she'd probably still be a Democrat.

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An increasing number of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, want more gun regulation, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll that surveyed people in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.

Last week was supposed to be a pivotal moment for an immigration deal. But despite days of debate and numerous proposals, senators were not able to pass a concrete immigration solution.

Four separate immigration measures failed in the Senate.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

The wild swings in the stock market in the last two weeks grabbed headlines and were hard to miss for most Americans.

But do those market gyrations actually affect anyone's day-to-day finances?

Relatively few Americans actively trade or own stocks. But a 10 percent drop in the markets can affect our attitudes about the economy, even for those who don't invest, says James Poterba, president of the National Bureau of Economic Research and an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This is part of an occasional series: Is My Job Safe? These stories look at jobs that might be at risk because of technology and automation.

Shannon Capone Kirk's first job as a young lawyer in the late '90s was "document review."

It meant "spending weeks upon weeks in either a warehouse or a conference room flipping through bankers boxes and reading paper documents," says Kirk, who now runs the electronic legal research practice, known as e-discovery, at Ropes & Gray in Boston.

The process was time-consuming and expensive.

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