The Note: 2020 off to a bipartisan start

PHOTO: John Kasich speaks with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week," Nov. 25, 2018. PlayABC News
WATCH Gov. John Kasich: 'I'm considering' running for President, taking it 'very seriously'

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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As the door opens to presidential announcement season, 2020 is off to a surprisingly bipartisan start.

Action inside of the two parties may just be the start of it. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Sunday that he’s considering a presidential run as a third-party candidate even if that’s primarily “to make a statement.”

“Do I run because I’ve determined that I can win, or is it important for me to make such a good showing that I can send a message that can disrupt the political system in this country?” Kasich said.

He appears less likely to challenge President Donald Trump in the GOP primaries, but he’s among a small handful of Republicans who haven’t ruled that possibility out.

Sen. Jeff Flake, who -- like Kasich -- is leaving office in January, is also on that list. “Somebody needs to run on the Republican side,” Flake said shortly after the midterm elections cost Republicans control of the House.

Much will be said about what’s likely to be a historically large Democratic field. But with Robert Mueller’s probe revving back up, a government shutdown on the potential December agenda and power about to shift in Washington, some of the most consequential early action could come on the GOP side.

PHOTO: A group of Central American migrants climb the border fence between Mexico and the United States, near El Chaparral border crossing, in Tijuana, Mexico, Nov. 25, 2018. Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images
A group of Central American migrants climb the border fence between Mexico and the United States, near El Chaparral border crossing, in Tijuana, Mexico, Nov. 25, 2018.

The RUNDOWN with John Verhovek

In the lead-up to the midterms earlier this month, no one was sounding the alarm bells about the potential dangers lurking among the caravan of Central American migrants slowly heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border than the president.

But after Nov. 6, mentions of the caravan faded from the president's Twitter feed for 10 days.

Over the holiday, the Trump again seemed to want to renew the focus on immigration during the lame-duck session of Congress, where the potential for a government shutdown continues to dominate much of the legislative discussion.

The president's claim that "the Dems created this problem" and his threat to close the southern border are unlikely to spur any kind of bipartisan agreement on the issue, especially with Democrats set to take control of the House in a little over a month.

Immigration has been a signature issue for Trump since the beginnings of his presidential campaign and throughout his time in office. And, as much as he has maintained a consistent message, the inconsistency of that message's impact continues to be a hallmark.

PHOTO: Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith joins President Donald Trump onstage at a campaign rally in Southaven, Miss., Oct. 2, 2018.Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith joins President Donald Trump onstage at a campaign rally in Southaven, Miss., Oct. 2, 2018.

The TIP with Kendall Karson

With the reddest of red states now potentially in play for Democrats, the president is returning to the stump -- making not one, but two stops in favorable Mississippi -- to remind his base exactly who they are voting for.

At his last appearance in the state, Trump told the crowd, “a vote for Cindy is a vote for me.”

The Mississippi Senate special election was supposed to be procedural hurdle for incumbent Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. From the beginning, she said she measured her campaign as lasting until Nov. 6, plus three weeks.

But the under-the-radar contest, in which Hyde-Smith is up against African-American, Mississippi Delta native, Mike Espy, has devolved into a racially-charged and bitter scuffle after comments about “public hangings” and voter suppression emerged and put her candidacy in jeopardy.

Before he crisscrosses the state today, a question remains as to whether Trump’s visit will propel the senator over the finish line or further motivate her opposition.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Monday morning’s episode features ABC News’ Marci Gonzalez, who tells us about a tense day between migrants and border agents on the US-Mexico border near San Ysidro. Then, White House correspondent Tara Palmeri explains the president’s shifting plans for dealing with asylum seekers at the southern border. ABC News’ Kendall Karson gives us a rundown on why the Senate runoff election in Mississippi could be closer than expected. And, we hear from one of the scientists behind the government climate report released over the weekend. He says the U.S. economy could be left with a costly bill if federal officials do not act quickly. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • The president will speak at "Make American Great Again" rallies with Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in Tupelo and Biloxi, Mississippi. The first event will be held at 5 p.m. EST, with the second to follow.
  • Mississippi Democratic Senate candidate Mike Espy will meet with voters in Ridgeland and Jackson at 12:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.
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    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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