Asma Khalid

This November's presidential election comes on the heels of a year of incomparable black activism.

Young activists are protesting in the streets, organizing on college campuses and disrupting campaign rallies to push for change in powerful ways.

You might expect this political energy to be reflected at the ballot box. But some activists, like Koya Graham, don't see much of a point in voting for president.

When Graham turned 18, the first thing she did was register to vote. And, year-after-year, she was a loyal voter — until this primary season.

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Jun 18, 2016

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It's no secret that Donald Trump has struggled to win over female voters. Polls show more than 60 percent of women have an unfavorable opinion of the presumptive Republican nominee.

But, as the campaign pivots to the general election, are Republican women reconsidering Trump? It's this group of largely white women Trump needs in November.

Asian-Americans are shifting toward the Democratic Party in record numbers, according to a new poll conducted by a consortium of Asian-American organizations — AAPI Data, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

In fact, since 2012, there's been a 12 point increase in the percent of Asian-Americans who identify as Democrat — from 35 percent to 47 percent.

Millennials are now as large of a political force as Baby Boomers according to an analysis of U.S. census data from the Pew Research Center, which defines millennials as people between the ages of 18-35. Both generations are roughly 31 percent of the overall electorate.

Donald Trump has energized millions of Republican voters this primary season with his tough talk of building a wall along the Mexico border and deporting people who entered the country illegally.

But, that same language could have an unintentional side effect in a general election and energize legal immigrants to become citizens before November so they can vote against Trump.

Jose Lovos moved to the U.S. legally 20 years ago from the war-torn country of El Salvador. These days, he lives in Virginia with his wife and three kids.

Could gender be a decisive factor in a general-election matchup between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?

"You know, she's playing the woman's card," Trump told supporters at a rally in Spokane, Wash., over the weekend, reiterating a critique he has used against Clinton since becoming the de facto presidential nominee for the Republican Party. "If she didn't play the woman's card she would have no chance, I mean zero, of winning."

But some experts see Trump's comments about women as a veiled warning for men.

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign raised $26.4 million last month, beating the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders financially for the first time in 2016.

Sanders has routinely outpaced Clinton in fundraising this year thanks to a dedicated base of small donors. But these latest numbers indicate a political pivot; Clinton's fundraising is accelerating while Sanders' is slowing.

Many manufacturing towns dot the cornfields and highways of Indiana, which holds its presidential primary Tuesday, but two in particular tell the story of very different economic fortunes, and political ties.

Kokomo is an old auto town touched by President Obama's push to bail out the auto industry. And Gary is a rundown steel city with unusual ties to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who tried to jump start the city's economy in the '90s and '00s.

But, that doesn't mean the presidential politics there line up with their benefactors.

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It's essentially impossible to win the Democratic nomination without support from women.

In primaries and caucuses across the country, women make up a solid majority of the Democratic electorate. In fact, according to exit poll data, there's not a state that's voted to date where women made up less than 54 percent of Democratic voters. And, in Mississippi, women made up nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Democratic primary voters.

Three of the five candidates on both sides of the aisle hail from New York in some way or another, so which candidate truly has a home court advantage is questionable.

But, demographics might offer a clue.

Historical and current U.S. Census data suggest that New York's demographics are unusual compared with other states that have already voted this primary season. No doubt, New Yorkers have their own state of mind, but, a few demographic trends help us understand the electorate.

A few things to watch:

1. Urban

Bernie Sanders will be taking a few days off the campaign trail to attend a Vatican conference about social, economic and environmental issues.

The day after a debate in New York next week, Sanders will travel to Rome for the event.

In an interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Sanders said he was "a big, big fan of the pope."

"He has played an unbelievable role, unbelievable role in injecting a moral consequence into the economy," Sanders said. "He's talking about the idolatry of money, the worship of money, the greed that's out there."

The race for the Democratic nomination had been fairly polite compared with the spouse-sparring and name-calling across the aisle, but it looks like those polite days are over.

Ahead of the New York primary (April 19), Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are doubling down on jabs over who is more "qualified" to be president.

For months, the two leading Republican candidates have tried to prove they're tough on Muslims. Donald Trump famously introduced the idea of a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, and then, last month, the businessman-turned-politician said he believes "Islam hates us." Texas Sen.

Florida may be Sen. Marco Rubio's home turf, but it's also friendly terrain for his rival Donald Trump. On Friday morning, Trump began his day with a press conference at his luxurious Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. Less than four days earlier, he had given a press conference at another one of his Florida properties — the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.

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As the presidential race shifted to Nevada with Democratic caucuses last week and Republican caucuses Tuesday night, more young voters had a chance to chime in to the political process. Nevada is a state with a huge young, diverse population.

But there is the perennial question: Do young people matter in politics?

In every recent election, you've probably heard some iteration of the same generational critique: "Young people don't vote."

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There are plenty of political punches being thrown around the GOP field these days. Christie knocks Bush. Bush knocks Trump. Trump knocks Cruz ... you get the point.

When you think of Iowa, you probably think — lots of white people. And, that's true, but the state is also home to a growing number of Latinos.

Hispanics now make up 5.6 percent of the state's population, according to 2014 estimates from the Census Bureau. To put that in perspective, that means the Hispanic community in Iowa these days is twice the size it was during the 2000 caucuses.

And, this year, for the first time, Latinos in Iowa are trying to systematically organize themselves to caucus.

It's a challenge.

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Plenty of politicos and pundits have rationalized Donald Trump's political ascent as the result of his enormous popularity among white working-class voters.

No doubt Trump is well-liked by many college-educated Republicans, but his real strength is among those without a bachelor's degree. In that demographic, most polls show the business-mogul-turned-GOP-presidential-candidate is trouncing his Republican rivals.

Asian-Americans are a bit of a voting paradox. They're the fastest growing minority group in the country, but they're also the least likely to vote.

Take the 2012 election — Asian-Americans voted Democrat in higher numbers than ever before (73 percent cast a ballot for Barack Obama). But they had the lowest voter turnout of any racial group (47 percent).

To try and narrow that discrepancy, a group of Asian-Americans have created the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Victory Fund.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for Snapshot 2016, a series of audio portraits of folks that we've - meeting on the campaign trail, people swept up into the excitement when a candidate comes to town. NPR's Asma Khalid has our latest installment.

Over 25 million Latinos are eligible to vote.

And, each year, that number grows because hundreds of thousands of Latinos turn 18. Hispanics are one of the youngest racial or ethnic groups in the country.

Bob Vander Plaats, the influential president of the conservative Christian group the Family Leader, is endorsing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

"Our goal is to unite conservatives around Ted Cruz," Vander Plaats said Thursday in the rotunda of the Iowa state capitol. "We believe he'll be the nominee to take on and defeat Hillary Clinton."

Vander Plaats said he told Donald Trump on Wednesday that he would not be endorsing him, but that the two remain friendly.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, a majority of young Americans support sending U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS, according to a wide-ranging new poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics.

The institute has asked millennials about the idea of American boots on the ground at three different times this year, and the survey results have fluctuated somewhat, but there seems to be a "hardening of support."

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