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.

The deadly mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., last week came less than a day after dozens of Democrats who campaigned on promises to strengthen gun laws were elected to the House of Representatives. Across the country, candidates from Virginia, Georgia, Texas and Washington state bluntly called for more gun safety, seemingly emboldened to take on the National Rifle Association.

As the first wave of early exit polls is released, you might be tempted to find some signs of which way the political winds are blowing. But a few words of caution: Exit polls are not very helpful in gauging turnout. And because so many people vote early, they are incomplete.

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.

It's a political puzzle that frustrates Democrats — in two states where Donald Trump is deeply unpopular, two incumbent GOP governors have remained consistently popular.

Maryland and Massachusetts are places where Trump has his lowest approval ratings in the country — 35 percent. Yet, the Republican governors in those states have approval ratings near 70 percent.

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