The Note: 2020 race remains stable, amid unstable times

PHOTO: Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd at a Labor Day house party, Sept. 2, 2019, in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.PlayScott Eisen/Getty Images
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It turns out President Donald Trump doesn't control the weather.

And while he seems to shake up just about everything else on the planet, he doesn't control the Democratic primary, either.

The race has been stuck in place longer than any hurricane ever will be. For all the churn in world affairs -- a summer of mass shootings, recession fears, international tumult and, yes, weather events -- the race is basically in the same place it's been for months.

The Democratic candidates descend on New Hampshire this weekend for the state convention with little clarity about who is best positioned to win in the Granite State. The two leading progressives in the race, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, both happen to represent states that border New Hampshire.

PHOTO: Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd at a Labor Day house party, Sept. 2, 2019, in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd at a Labor Day house party, Sept. 2, 2019, in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.

The field of contenders will be smaller next week, when the first one-night debate of the cycle comes to ABC in Houston with clear tiers of candidates, even among the 10.

The frontrunner, though, is essentially where he has been since getting in the race. Former Vice President Joe Biden spent time this week laughing off his gaffes -- a luxury afforded to him by the fact that voters, so far, appear to be doing the same.

It's possible, though, that for all the action around the race, the biggest forces that will shape the primary have yet to make themselves clear. That forecast is not favoring stability.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Youth activist Greta Thunberg will join other climate leaders for a demonstration in front of the United Nations on Friday. The event caps off a week where climate change dominated U.S. political headlines and comes exactly two weeks before a scheduled global strike on the issue.

PHOTO: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, attends a youth led protest in front of the United Nations (UN) in support of measures to stop climate change, Aug. 30, 2019 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images, FILE
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, attends a youth led protest in front of the United Nations (UN) in support of measures to stop climate change, Aug. 30, 2019 in New York City.

With specificity, Democratic candidates discussed the ins and outs of their plans to address climate change this week, drilling down on everything from their thoughts on fracking to nuclear energy and, in doing so, drawing a sharp contrast with Republicans.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, mocked his former opponent, Beto O'Rourke on Thursday after the former congressman gave dire warnings about the climate crisis.

It all presented quite the three-way split-screen: Democrats arguing over how quickly the country should adopt energy reforms in order to limit greenhouse gas emissions and stave off global warming; the president doubling-down on an altered map; all while an intense Atlantic hurricane barreled toward the U.S.

The TIP with Kendall Karson

As North Carolina sits in the center of Hurricane Dorian's fury, it's also the site of the last two congressional elections of 2019 and one of the first key tests ahead of 2020. But before voters in the state's 3rd and 9th congressional districts head to the polls in a pair of special elections on Tuesday, storm preparations have forced several polling sites to close, shortening early voting in at least 20 counties across both districts.

PHOTO: A man feeds a ballot card into a digital voting machine during a demonstration in Raleigh, N.C., Aug. 16, 2019. Allen G. Breed/AP, FILE
A man feeds a ballot card into a digital voting machine during a demonstration in Raleigh, N.C., Aug. 16, 2019.

In the 9th district, election fraud marred the results of the 2018 race and led to the North Carolina State Board of Elections ordering a new election. Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop -- who is expecting a last-minute boost from President Donald Trump on the eve of the election -- and Democrat and Marine Corps veteran Dan McCready have been engaged in a competitive, yet mostly negative, race throughout the year -- with both the Bishop campaign and GOP-aligned outside groups labeling his opponent as "Greedy McCready" in campaign ads.

But now with a hurricane potentially hampering turnout, a moment of bipartisanship is emerging. Both Bishop and McCready called for State Board of Elections to extend early voting districtwide Thursday due to Dorian. The state board of elections says it will make a decision "in the coming days," after the storm passes.

PHOTO: Tayler Hofe board the windows of a surf shop in Avon, North Carolina, as Hurricane Dorian approaches, Sept. 5, 2019. Jose Luis Magana/AFP/Getty Images
Tayler Hofe board the windows of a surf shop in Avon, North Carolina, as Hurricane Dorian approaches, Sept. 5, 2019.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Friday morning's episode features ABC News' Victor Oquendo, who explains how the Bahamas are approaching the massive rebuilding effort after Hurricane Dorian after seeing the damage for himself. Then, ABC News' Mary Kate Burke tells us what to expect from Facebook's new dating feature. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND

  • The following candidates are scheduled to speak at the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention in Manchester on Saturday: Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.
  • On Friday, Biden has town halls in Laconia and New Castle, New Hampshire. Booker campaigns in Goffstown. Gabbard has a meet-and-greet event with union workers in Concord, a meet-and-greet event with veterans in Newmarket, and then a town hall in Dover. Harris has a town hall in Londondery and then a banquet in Portsmouth. Klobuchar speaks at Manchester Community College. O'Rourke has a town hall at Keene State College. Ryan has a town hall at a Manchester brewery. Steyer has a town hall at the University of New Hampshire.
  • On Saturday morning, Buttigieg, Castro, Gabbard and Harris are scheduled to speak at the New Hampshire Veterans and Military Families Presidential Forum in Manchester.
  • Also Saturday, Booker has several stops in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Somersworth. Buttigieg campaigns in Manchester, Portsmouth and Somersworth. Gabbard and Harris each have meet-and-greet events in Manchester. O'Rourke campaigns in Somersworth and then has a town hall at the University of New Hampshire. Sestak campaigns in Haverhill, Massachusetts, before continuing to New Hampshire.
  • On Sunday, Gabbard appears on the premiere episode of "Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren."
  • Also Sunday, Gabbard, Steyer, Williamson and Yang are each scheduled to participate in the AAPI Democratic Presidential Forum in Costa Mesa, California. Booker speaks in Nashua, New Hampshire. Buttigieg campaigns in Conway and Berlin. Klobuchar and Sestak attend the Merrimack County Democrats First in the Nation Candidate Picnic in Bow. Sanders campaigns in Iowa as part of his college tailgate tour.
  • Sunday on “This Week”: The Powerhouse Roundtable discusses all the week’s politics ahead of next week’s third Democratic debate, with ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, former Chicago Mayor and ABC News Contributor Rahm Emanuel and Axios National Political Reporter Alexi McCammond.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

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