The Note: New lanes in 2020 race open in debate's aftermath

The aftermath of the first debate leads to race issues.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The first debate of the 2020 race -- and its aftermath -- didn't clarify the race so much as it expose it as wide open.

In a Fourth of July holiday week filled with campaigning in early voting states, there's a chance for some serious second looks.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro's debate fight over decriminalizing border crossings with former Rep. Beto O'Rourke could wind up marking a moment for both Texans. After seeing a campaign fundraising spike, Castro appeared on ABC's "This Week" Sunday and talked about his signature immigration reform proposals. O'Rourke followed it up with a visit to Ciudad Juarez on Sunday, which marked the first trip by a presidential candidate to foreign territory this cycle.

Perhaps most critically, the potential flaws of the front-runner's candidacy are out in the open now. On Sunday, Sen. Cory Booker kept up the heat that Sen. Kamala Harris brought last week to former Vice President Joe Biden regarding his record on race.

Despite all that, President Donald Trump showed again how his divisive strategies could easily unite his rivals.

Democrats have come together to condemn his moves on immigration and his strategy to engage in more face-to-face interactions with North Korea's leader. And it took just one tweet from Donald Trump Jr. for virtually the entire Democratic field to rally to Harris' defense over the weekend.

While Democrats are revealing their divisions in the primary campaign, they're still showing that they agree with each other far more than they disagree.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Both on the debate stage and in the days following, some Democratic presidential candidates hedged their positions on health care policy.

Harris, for example, raised her hand during the debate when asked whether she would abolish private health insurance in favor of universal government insurance, then backtracked the next day, saying she thought a different question was being asked.

In some ways, that wavering was unsurprising, as health care issues are complicated, messy and highly controversial. But a few democrats didn't hedge.

Talking to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Bernie Sanders vigorously defended his call for a government-issued health insurance.

"We need more changes in our health care system. You talk about a public option, many people will not be able to afford a public option," Sanders said, addressing the middle ground compromise that several of his primary opponents have talked about in the last few months.

The left flank of the Democratic Party has made support of a Medicare for all policy a litmus test, but only time will tell if the idea garners more mainstream support -- or if moderate opposition wins the day.

The TIP with Zohreen Shah

Fresh off what many pundits called a debate victory, Harris walked onstage in her hometown of San Francisco with a skip to her step, greeted by a roaring crowd of thousands near the end of the Pride parade this weekend.

San Francisco is a special place for Harris. She was born in nearby Oakland, and said Sunday she's been coming to the Pride parade here for about 20 years.

Many in the city hold a special place for Harris, too. People came by the press area asking if they had already missed her, and one of the city's most well-known residents, former Mayor Willie Brown, is still captivated by her. Brown, who confirmed he dated Harris many years ago, shared his reaction to her exchange with Biden at the Democratic debates.

"She doesn't believe in the death penalty. But she can administer it. And she did!!" Brown told ABC News, pumping his first in the air.

Like many others we spoke to in San Francisco, he believes Harris has a good shot at being the nominee: "One by one, every one of them gets their a**** kicked. She is that good."


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Monday morning's episode features ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, who reports from Seoul, South Korea, on President Donald Trump's historic handshake with Kim Jong Un. And ABC News' Beatrice Peterson decodes the conversation around Sen. Kamala Harris' racial background.


  • Former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro attends a town hall in Frisco, Texas. He then joins local voters in Fort Worth, Texas, to discuss key issues facing their community.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., hosts meet-and-greet events across Iowa.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Marianne Williamson speak at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition annual convention in Chicago.
  • Former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., attends the Dubuque County Democrats Breakfast in Dubuque, Iowa.
  • Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, unveils his plan to revamp America's public education system at the American School Counselor Association Annual Conference in Boston.
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, lead a delegation to El Paso and Clint, Texas, to investigate several facilities used to detain immigrants.
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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.