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.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

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.

Dan Moore, a 58-year-old steel mill worker, gives the president an A+ on everything from tax cuts to foreign policy, but he is not so sure about tariffs.

"We need tariffs, but when it starts to impact the company where you work ... you're thinking, well wait a minute, time out!" he said.

Moore is worried the tariffs might cost him his job. The mill where he works, NLMK Pennsylvania, in the town of Farrell, not far from the border with Ohio, employs 750 workers and is a subsidiary of Novolipetsk Steel, or NLMK, Russia's top steelmaker.

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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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.


Emily Nakano began doing lockdown drills when she was in second grade.

"An alarm plays over the PA system, and we lock the door, turn off the lights and hide in a corner away from the window," she explained.

The high school senior from Illinois said she's grown up with a fear of school shootings in the back of her mind, even though she's not scared of guns. In fact, she's been around guns her entire life.

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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.

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 3:58 p.m. ET

President Trump has picked economist and CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow as director of the White House National Economic Council, and Kudlow has accepted the post, the White House said Wednesday.

Kudlow, 70, will replace Gary Cohn, who stepped down after losing a battle against imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

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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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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.

Passengers at Boston's Logan International Airport were surfing their phones and drinking coffee, waiting to board a flight to Aruba recently when a JetBlue agent came on the loudspeaker, announcing: "Today, we do have a unique way of boarding."

On flights to the Caribbean island, JetBlue is experimenting with facial recognition software that acts as a boarding pass. The airline says it's about convenience. For the federal government, it's also about national security. But for privacy activists, it's an intrusive form of surveillance.

For years, states have been arguing that they are losing millions of dollars in uncollected taxes from online sales. In response, a few of them have begun crafting their own rules to get some of that tax money back. Massachusetts is one of the latest — and the way it's doing this is unprecedented.

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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