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.

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.

Immigration advocates claim that about half of the most lucrative startups in America were founded by immigrants. But it's complicated for a foreigner to start a company in America — there's no such thing as a startup visa.

That's why some entrepreneurs are "hacking the system" through a workaround that started as an experiment in Massachusetts and has expanded to five other states.

Alison Lu was in shock on election night. The Harvard Business School student had voted for Hillary Clinton, and she couldn't fathom how Donald Trump had managed to win the presidency.

She opened her Facebook page searching for answers, but she didn't find any Trump-supporting friends. "None of them [Trump voters] showed themselves on my Facebook feed," she says.

These days the Web can seem like a dark place, filled with internet trolls and divisive discourse. But the man who invented the World Wide Web 28 years ago is still optimistic (sort of).

That man is Tim Berners-Lee, and on Tuesday he was awarded the prestigious Turing Award for his invention. It's an honor thought of as a Nobel Prize for computer science that comes with a $1 million award from Google.

What if your friend the robot could tell what you're thinking, without you saying a word?

David Betras realized Hillary Clinton's odds of winning the presidency were in peril — back in March of last year.

Betras, the chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, lives in an area of Ohio that traditionally votes for Democrats. But during the Ohio primary, Betras saw 18 people on his own precinct committee defect and cross party lines to vote Republican.

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There were two major assumptions about Latino voters throughout the presidential campaign:

(1) a record number of Latinos would show up on Election Day to oppose Donald Trump's candidacy and

(2) the anti-immigration rhetoric that launched Trump's campaign would push conservative-leaning Hispanics to flee the Republican Party.

Neither of those assumptions entirely panned out as expected.

Prediction 1: The Surge?

Editor's note: There is language in this piece that some will find offensive.

Sometime in early 2016 between a Trump rally in New Hampshire, where a burly man shouted something at me about being Muslim, and a series of particularly vitriolic tweets that included some combination of "raghead," "terrorist," "bitch" and "jihadi," I went into my editor's office and wept.

I cried for the first (but not the last) time this campaign season.

For more than a hundred years, Vigo County, Indiana has consistently voted for the winning president. It chose Barack Obama twice, and then picked Donald Trump this November. In fact, the county is a remarkably accurate bellwether; it's only been wrong two times since the 1890s.

Why does Vigo County almost always predict the winner?

There are many hypotheses, none of which fully explain this quirky mystery of why a small region in southwest Indiana (a reliably Republican state) routinely jumps from Democrat to Republican in presidential years.

Millennials might have been Hillary Clinton's Achilles' heel on Tuesday night.

Obama won 60 percent of the millennial vote. Clinton got only about 55 percent. (We're using "millennials" as shorthand for voters between the ages of 18 and 29, but some millennials are in their 30s).

But it's not that young voters across the country were necessarily flocking to the Republican Party this year.

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Donald Trump's victory last night surprised many. So how did he do it? Joining me now to talk about that are NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro and NPR's Asma Khalid, who covers demographics for us. Good to see you both.

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