Asma Khalid

Asma Khalid is a political correspondent covering the 2020 presidential campaign.

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.

When news broke that California Sen. Kamala Harris was dropping out of the presidential race on Tuesday, some fellow Democratic candidates quickly began ringing alarm bells. Harris was the only nonwhite candidate to have qualified for the next presidential debate on Dec. 19.

"What we're staring at is a DNC debate stage in a few days with no people of color on it, that does not reflect the diversity of our party or our country," former Housing Secretary Julián Castro said. "We need to do better than that."

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris is dropping out of the presidential race, citing a lack of funds. She informed her campaign staff of the decision on a conference call and later sent an email to supporters, in which she wrote "my campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue."

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About three weeks ago, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had a heart attack that threw his campaign into question. But now, it's more apparent than perhaps at any point in this presidential race that the 78-year-old white-haired politician and his revolution will remain a powerful force in the Democratic primary.

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New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of half a dozen Democratic senators running for the White House, is reintroducing a bill on Thursday that would fundamentally end the federal government's prohibition on marijuana.

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Angie Beem used to be a woman who, at most, would read the voter pamphlet before Election Day, cast a vote, and consider her duty done. She didn't pay attention to politics much because she didn't think it affected her life.

But that all changed ahead of the 2016 presidential election when she noticed Facebook posts that deeply troubled her.

"My family were starting to be racist and saying horrible things," said Beem. "I didn't recognize them."

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from the hospital on Christmas Day following surgery for early stage lung cancer, according to a Supreme Court spokesperson.

Ginsburg is now "recuperating at home," after doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York performed surgery on Ginsburg to remove cancerous growths found on her left lung.

As results roll in on election night, pundits and political junkies will carefully be watching the exit polls for a glimpse into who voted for which candidate and why.

But exit polls are complicated, and sometimes misleading, as they were in 2016.

For one thing, be careful about reading too much into exit polls early in the night. As more data comes in, they can be more useful later in the evening to explain what's happening — more so than predicting results before the polls have closed.

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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.

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."

President Trump has issued an executive order that gives federal agencies far more latitude over hiring administrative law judges. These judges handle a wide variety of disputes that include everything from Medicare claims to civil service employment issues. Previously, administrative law judges had to complete an exam and undergo a competitive selection process.

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North Carolina is the ultimate battleground turf this election season. Barack Obama narrowly won the state in 2008 by fewer than 15,000 votes, but he lost it in 2012.

Hillary Clinton would love to turn this Southern state blue again, and her success depends largely on black voters. In fact, she has no path to victory without African-Americans.

Millennials may be notorious for their low voter turnout, but they have growing political clout. This November, they'll rival baby boomers in terms of their sheer number of eligible voters. And that means they could be key deciders in battleground states. Theoretically, that ought to benefit a Democrat. But during the primaries, young voters were Hillary Clinton's Achilles' heel. Now Clinton is hoping they'll give her a second chance.

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