Alex Samuels
Alex Samuels
Politics reporter @FiveThirtyEight. Formerly @TexasTribune. @UTAustin and @NatPress alum. Bostonian. Talk to me: alex.l.samuels@abc.comSource
Boston, MA
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Why A Guilty Verdict For Derek Chauvin Doesn’t Change The Reality Of Police Violence

Why A Guilty Verdict For Derek Chauvin Doesn’t Change The Reality Of Police Violence

The murder trial for Derek Chauvin was notable in many ways. Not only was it significant to George Floyd’s family, who was able to receive some semblance of the justice , but it’s also notable simply because of how rare it is for police officers to be — let alone convicted. On Tuesday, a jury in Minneapolis ruled that Chauvin was : second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree-manslaughter. Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison when he is . But because he doesn’t have a criminal history, his sentence could be as short as 12.5 years, according to Minnesota’s sentencing...

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Alex Samuels
Apr 21
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How Views On Black Lives Matter Have Changed — And Why That Makes Police Reform So Hard

How Views On Black Lives Matter Have Changed — And Why That Makes Police Reform So Hard

Daunte Wright was driving in his car through Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, two days ago when police officers pulled him over and later fatally shot him. This isn’t the first time cops have used excessive or fatal force against a Black person. In fact, just 10 miles away from where Wright died, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was on trial for murder after kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes last year. Floyd’s death sparked a massive movement against police brutality and a sweeping shift in public opinion. And while it’s possible that in the wake of the...

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Alex Samuels
Apr 13
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How Views On Black Lives Matter Have Changed — And Why That Makes Police Reform So Hard

How Views On Black Lives Matter Have Changed — And Why That Makes Police Reform So Hard

Daunte Wright was driving in his car through Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, two days ago when police officers . This isn’t the first time cops against a Black person. In fact, just 10 miles away from where Wright died, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was on trial for murder after kneeling on George Floyd’s neck last summer.Floyd’s death sparked a and a . And while it’s possible that in the wake of the latest tragedy, public support for reforming policing might increase again, new calls for change face a significant obstacle in public opinion. Gains in support for reform,...

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Alex Samuels
Apr 13
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Can A Local Reparations Program Undo Decades Of Housing Discrimination?

Can A Local Reparations Program Undo Decades Of Housing Discrimination?

Talking about reparations was once politically taboo. The idea was not only , but the term depending on who was asked. Even the most progressive stalwarts on race issues — those who said they were in favor of reparations for Black people as restitution for slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination — for how they thought reparations should work. Then, last month, Evanston, Illinois, made a historic announcement: Its city council had just approved expenditures in what’s believed to be the country’s for Black Americans.The aims to address past discriminatory housing policies that have...

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Alex Samuels
Apr 7
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How Democrats Became Stuck On Immigration

How Democrats Became Stuck On Immigration

In 2019, Democrats were vying for the party’s presidential nomination, they all seemed to : They opposed former President Donald Trump’s . Beyond that, though, it got messy. One camp of more progressive Democrats, helmed by former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary Julián Castro, advocated for . Other candidates expressed unease with the idea, what that would mean for human traffickers or drug smugglers crossing the border. But the fact that Democratic presidential candidates were discussing decriminalizing border crossings still represented a significant break. Over the years,...

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Alex Samuels
Mar 30
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The States Where Efforts To Restrict Voting Are Escalating

The States Where Efforts To Restrict Voting Are Escalating

Even though the 2020 election is over, many Republicans are still or the cost former President Donald Trump the presidential election. Trump has managed to not only that the election was “stolen,” but now many state legislators are to restrict voting rights. Over the last few months, a bevy of bills have been introduced at the state level that — if passed — could make it harder for millions of Americans to cast their ballots. One of the biggest battlegrounds has been Georgia, where last Thursday a was . Among its : Absentee voters will now be required to prove their identity, people are...

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Alex Samuels
Mar 29
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What We’re Watching In The New York City Mayoral Race

What We’re Watching In The New York City Mayoral Race

While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s personal and professional scandals , another news story is developing in the Empire State. A — more than — are running for New York City mayor. And even though we’re still months away from the June 22 primary, the candidates have already been dutifully showing up for , trading jabs over and getting by their bagel preferences.We don’t make a habit of covering mayoral races at FiveThirtyEight, but this one is going to be big for New York City as it’s only the that the ballots won’t include an incumbent mayor running for reelection (the current mayor, Bill de...

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Alex Samuels
Mar 16
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The U.S. Has A Long-Standing History Of Vilifying Minority Groups During Times Of Crisis

The U.S. Has A Long-Standing History Of Vilifying Minority Groups During Times Of Crisis

During his and back when he still had access to Twitter, then-President Donald Trump “Chinese virus” or “China virus” — reports have even linked his October COVID-19 diagnosis to an uptick in on Twitter.But Trump’s attempt to blame China for the spread of the coronavirus isn’t new. Several historians and psychologists I talked to said that when diseases like COVID-19 become associated with a specific country or group of people, a scapegoat often emerges. That’s especially true if those in power find they can target a marginalized group in a way that reaffirms beliefs already held about...

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Alex Samuels
Mar 10
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The Reason Black Americans Are Getting Vaccinated At A Much Slower Rate Is Not Because They’re Reluctant

The Reason Black Americans Are Getting Vaccinated At A Much Slower Rate Is Not Because They’re Reluctant

The early data we have on vaccination rates is incomplete, but one fact is particularly alarming: than their white counterparts. This is troubling given .But it’s also concerning because people often misunderstand why the rate is lower. Many are quick to point to , as Black people do have of being or actively mistreated by health care professionals in the U.S. — most notably, in the infamous 40-year-long , which denied Black men treatment for syphilis so researchers could track the natural progression of the disease. But a recent challenges the idea that Black Americans are hesitant to get...

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Alex Samuels
Mar 9
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Which Democrats And Republicans Support Biden’s Agenda So Far?

Which Democrats And Republicans Support Biden’s Agenda So Far?

We’re fast approaching and already Congress has ; helped usher in Biden’s ; and in the House that would give undocumented immigrants, including those currently with temporary protections under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a pathway to citizenship.To understand just how much of the president’s agenda is getting through Congress and the extent to which various members of Congress support that agenda, we’re once again and how that compares with our expectations, based on Biden’s 2020 vote margin in the member’s state or district. (If this sounds familiar, it’s...

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Alex Samuels
Apr 22
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