The Note: Biden plays to purple amid deep reds and blues

Six weeks out, the Democratic nominee is playing toward a quieter middle

The TAKE with Rick Klein

One side will have the votes. One side will have a grand argument to take to voters. Both sides are already fired up about it.

Yet in this charged political environment, which now includes the fervor around replacing a Supreme Court justice six weeks before Election Day, the Democratic nominee for president is playing toward a quieter middle.

"He forgot us," Biden said Monday, speaking in a Wisconsin county that voted for Trump by nearly 20 points in 2016. "You will be seen, heard and respected by me."

To some Democrats, it may look and feel like Biden is pulling punches while Republicans detonate a political arsenal. Still, it's worth remembering how consistently Biden has been proven right about the mood of the broader electorate this year.

Biden has been noting Trump's talent in changing the subject, and Ginsburg's passing gives him an easy way to play toward divisions.

Biden's calculation is that now, with some 200,000 Americans dead from COVID-19, and the economy not close to where it was, voters will have longer memories than the political conversation might suggest.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

In the celebration of her death, Ginsburg again proves how groundbreaking her life was.

Then on Friday, Ginsburg will also become the first woman ever to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was lain "in honor" at the Capitol in 2005.

It might seem surprising that while 34 men have been honored this way since 1852, no women have yet. Of course, it is an honor reserved for public officials of the highest distinction. Ginsburg's death reminds us that any semblance of near-gender parity in Washington is barely a generation old.

The country has never seen a female president or female Senate majority leader. Ginsburg was only the second woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. The decision to honor her this way was, fittingly, made by the first female speaker of the House.

The TIP with Averi Harper

In a discussion of Ginsburg's death, Harris told April Ryan of American Urban Radio on an Instagram livestream that she wanted to focus on celebrating Ginsburg's life before wading into who will be her replacement.

"Let's first -- let's start like dignifying and commemorating the life," said Harris. "I obviously sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the United States Senate has a statutory -- the Constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on these nominations."

It's a role she's familiar with -- Harris' sharp questioning of Justice Brett Kavanaugh made headlines before his controversial confirmation. The campaign hasn't made clear how she would split her time between Capitol Hill and the campaign trail if a hearing were called, but both Biden and Harris have said that the next president should nominate the next justice. The campaign has largely centered the significance of the Supreme Court pick on health care, arguing that the fate of the Affordable Care Act will depend on who fills Ginsburg's chair.


FiveThirtyEight complied a state-by-state guide of how to vote amid the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Click on your state for information about early voting, voting by mail and everything else you'll need to know before Election Day.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, who tells us about who President Donald Trump has in mind to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat. ABC News' Anne Flaherty explains the latest controversy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over COVID-19 guidance. And WIRED reporter Louise Matsakis brings us up to speed on a potential TikTok deal with Walmart and Oracle.

FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast. So far, two Republican senators -- Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski -- have announced their opposition to filling the Supreme Court seat that once belonged to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the 2020 election takes place. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses the political calculations for both Republicans and Democrats over how to proceed in replacing Ginsburg. They also look at the dynamics at play in key Senate races in Maine, Iowa and Arizona.


  • It is National Voter Registration Day.
  • Chelsea Clinton will appear on ABC's "The View."
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell are scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee at 10:30 a.m.
  • Vice President Mike Pence will host a campaign rally in Gillford, New Hampshire, at 3 p.m.
  • President Donald Trump hosts a campaign rally at the Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, at 7 p.m.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden attends virtual Biden for President finance events.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris tours small businesses in Flint, Michigan. After she travels to Detroit and participates in a roundtable conversation with Black men. Finally, she participates in a voter registration event.
  • Jill Biden will launch the "Turn Up and Turn Out the Vote Virtual Bus Tour" with Rep. Frederica Wilson at 4:15 p.m. in South Florida and also campaigns virtually in Erie, Pennsylvania.
  • Doug Emhoff campaigns virtually in Colorado.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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