The TAKE with Rick Klein
That begins to change on Tuesday in Philadelphia. President Donald Trump will sit down for a 90-minute ABC News town hall with uncommitted Pennsylvania voters at the National Constitution Center, airing at 9 p.m. ET; former Vice President Joe Biden will have a town hall of his own in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in Thursday on CNN.
Aside from a pair of Fox News events this spring, Trump hasn't faced direct voter questions all election cycle. Biden hasn't had an in-person town hall with voters since February and most of his campaign events now include no members of the general public.
Much has been made about the disappearing "undecided" vote in 2020. A recent Monmouth national poll found only 3% of registered voters hadn't decided who to vote for, and an NBC/Marist Pennsylvania poll last week pegged the number of undecided voters as 2% of both registered and likely voters.
But not all voters who have chosen between Trump and Biden have committed to voting for one or the other. This phase of the campaign -- with unpredictable formats including town halls and then debates -- represents fresh opportunities in a race that remains primed for disruptions.
Judgments about candidates often center on intangible qualities like relating to the problems of regular people and being in tune with everyday life. COVID-19 has, among many other things, isolated politics from people whose backstories and livelihoods will animate choices.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
It’s a sentence his critics could say has largely defined the last year of his presidency -- from his handling COVID-19 and now to the realities of climate change.
For Trump, it's always Trump who knows best.
Biden has been quick to jump on this moment as his party too seems more even unified in the fight against climate change.
"We need a president who respects science, who understands that the damage from climate change is already here. And unless we take urgent action, it will soon be more catastrophic; a president who recognizes, understands and cares that Americans are dying, which makes President Trump's climate denialism, his disdain for science and facts, all the more unconscionable," said Biden Monday on the issue.
The full-steam ahead push with Democrats might not only reflect the severity of the storms and smoke, but the politics of this election. It was only four years ago that the Green Party candidate won thousands of votes away from Hillary Clinton in key states.
The end is here. For primary season, that is.
Delaware, the First State, is the last state to hold down-ballot voting on Tuesday in a primary cycle that has seen some historic firsts. Between voting amid a pandemic to bringing more diversity to Congress' ranks, the 2020 election is expected to be unlike any before.
In November, voters could potentially elect a record-setting slate of Republican women to Congress, a historic number of Black women to the House, the most LGBTQ candidates than ever before and the youngest member in Congress. It's a clear succession of a trajectory that began in 2018, when the country elected a record number of women who now make up nearly 25% of the 116th Congress.
"You just start to see a little bit of these changing dynamics so Republican women are making gains, but Democratic women are still sort of ahead of them," Kelly Dittmar, the director of research at the Center for American Women and Politics, said before adding, "There are more competitive Republican women candidates."
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee, who joins us from the road on her way to Biloxi, Mississippi, ahead of Hurricane Sally making landfall Tuesday morning. FiveThirtyEight elections analyst Geoffrey Skelley tells us what experts are saying about the prolonged legal battle that could ensue following election night. And, ABC News' Patrick Reevell brings us the latest on the unrest in Belarus following the meeting between its embattled president and Russian President Vladimir Putin. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast. Recent polling shows that President Donald Trump is improving his standing among Latino voters in the presidential race, particularly in Florida. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew talks to pollster Carlos Odio about political trends among Latinos. They also discuss whether polls in the Midwest could be biased against Republicans -- as they were in 2016 -- and whether scandals still matter. https://apple.co/23r5y7w
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
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 key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.
This report was featured in the Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.
"Start Here" offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.