The Note: Trump brings old issue into new focus: Race

Race relations have been a through-line of the campaign since before it began.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

But the topic is gnawingly familiar to Trump world. Trump said Wednesday he has "always denounced any form" of white supremacy, though of course he hasn't, and he didn't when given the chance at Tuesday night's debate.

Race relations have been a through-line of the campaign since before it began. Former Vice President Joe Biden has long cited Charlottesville, Virginia, as the rationale of his candidacy, and Biden only clinched the primaries on the strength of Black voters in South Carolina and beyond.

As for Trump, the sheer quantity of Republicans of color featured as his convention in August spoke to the symbolic and substantive power of having diverse support.

In the immediate aftermath of the debate, even as Trump was explaining his "stand back and stand by" directive to the "Proud Boys," his campaign was releasing new ads attacking Biden for policies the campaign says harmed Black Americans.

There may be familiarity in Republican calls for Trump to clean up another hard-to-explain comment. And to many Americans of color who feel like their voices aren't being heard, through COVID-19 and protests around racial justice, there may be an irony in two white men in their 70s engaged in a debate about race.

The topic won't and can't fade, though. That appears to be a significant political problem for Trump: He would love the support of more voters of color, and he needs the support of more white voters who would like a certain comfort level in supporting Trump.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

The president on Tuesday patted himself on the back for getting Big Ten college football up and running again amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but he skipped over the fact that the White House offered to provide the college athletic conference with enough COVID-19 tests for play to begin safely.

Most American businesses have not been offered such help and testing remains an expensive, burdensome and -- at times -- unreliable tool for communities and organizations struggling to keep people healthy.

On Capitol Hill this week, negotiations between Democrats and Trump administration officials to get more funding to business, families and states have stalled.

According to the New York Times earlier this month too, more than 8,500 cases of the virus had been reported at Big Ten universities over the course of the pandemic causing some schools in the conference to shutter in-person classes.

Also Wednesday, with virus cases ticking up in Midwest states, the NFL issued another warning to coaches about masks on the sidelines. The league threatened suspensions and has already fined a handful of coaches.

The TIP with Kendall Karson

This year, it's Trump versus the U.S. election system and those who run it, as the president actively sows doubt in the process and potentially suppresses votes.

At Tuesday night's debate, he escalated those efforts with a rally cry to supporters: "I'm urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully, because that's what has to happen. I am urging them to do it."

But standing in Trump's way between now and Nov. 3 are the scores of election experts and Democrats who are warning against following the commander-in-chief's marching orders, calling it voter intimidation.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford wrote, "you do it, and you will be prosecuted." Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel said during a town hall on voting that any attempt to harass, bother or stop a voter from heading to the voting booth will be met by law enforcement.

"There is absolutely no excuse for promoting the intimidation or harassment of voters. These are all blatant attempts to deny our constituents the right to have their voices heard, as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, and to know the will of the people will be carried out," a coalition of nearly a dozen Democratic governors, four from key battlegrounds, said in a joint statement. "We will not allow anyone to willfully corrupt the democratic process by delegitimizing the outcome or appointing fraudulent electors against the will of the voters."


On Tuesday, President Donald Trump and former Vice PresidentJoe Biden faced off for the first time, in a rocky and, at times, tumultuous debate. We once again partnered with Ipsos to track how the debate affected Americans' views of the election, using Ipsos's KnowledgePanel to interview the same group of people both before and after the debate. The topline is clear: Americans were not impressed with the president's performance. Whether that will actually lead people to change their votes remains to be seen, though it seems unlikely.


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Thursday morning's episode features a conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who responds to President Donald Trump's claims about him during Tuesday's presidential debate and discusses in-person voting during the pandemic. ABC News' Linsey Davis brings us the latest on possible rules changes for the next presidential debates. And ABC News Transportation correspondent Gio Benitez explains why the airline industry is facing a financial reckoning.

FiveThirtyEight's Politics podcast. In this episode of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew reacts to the first 2020 presidential debate.


  • Judge Amy Coney Barrett is expected to make more Senate courtesy calls.
  • The House Committee on Oversight and Reform holds its second day of hearings on unsustainable drug prices 10 a.m. The witnesses will include Robert Bradway, CEO of Amgen, Inc., Mark Trudeau, CEO of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and Thomas Kendris, the U.S. country president of Novartis AG.
  • The House Committee on Small Business holds a hearing at 10 a.m. on preventing fraud and abuse of PPP and EIDL. The witnesses include Hannibal "Mike" Ware, the inspector general of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and William Shear, the director of financial markets and community investment at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris will virtually travel to St. Paul, Minnesota, to keynote the ninth annual DFL Humphrey Mondale Dinner at 5:30 p.m. CDT. She will be joined by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Tim Walz. She will also be on Hillary Rodham Clinton's new podcast, "You and Me Both."
  • Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Council Bluffs, Iowa, for a campaign event at noon CDT.
  • President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable with supporters in Bedminster, New Jersey, at 3 p.m. Later, he delivers remarks at a fundraising committee reception at 3:45 p.m.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden attends a virtual Biden for President finance event.
  • Doug Emhoff travels to Virginia during early voting.
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