The Note: Beto O'Rourke shows how new rules apply to old players in 2020
WATCH: "The View" co-hosts discuss how the presidential candidate will fair in the Democratic Party.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

Four days as a candidate have been enough to create a Beto O'Rourke boom, an accompanying backlash and a reassessment of snap judgments in either direction.

It helped his cause that O'Rourke's campaign could claim that just one of those days was enough to rake in a staggering $6.1 million, enough to quiet voices wondering if his fundraising magic was replicable or merely hype.

It's a start that should scare Democrats of any ideology or generation. That goes for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who helped rewrite the fundraising rules that O'Rourke is exploiting, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden, who has lived his entire political career over five decades under rules that may no longer apply.

The maneuverings among Democrats come as the ultimate political rule-breaker, President Donald Trump, digs in -- and lashes out.

O'Rourke's early going has hardly been mistake-free. But, as he launches an unusually early all-county tour of New Hampshire on Tuesday, he is managing to control his own storytelling despite intense interest in that his story is told.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

The White House on Monday released a series of ideas aimed at combating student loan debt, including bumping up the amount some graduates would be asked to pay back each month and lowering the amount prospective students could take out to begin with.

While Democrats have scrutinized some of the specifics, both parties agree this issue is crippling young adults and families.

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally, March 16, 2019, in Henderson, Nev.

Several Democrats running for president have outlined their plans for either "debt-free" or cheaper college too. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduced legislation to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families making up to $125,000 and expand loans for lower-income students looking to attend private universities. Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., all signed on to Sanders' legislation.

That Democratic bill includes details too about how a Democratic government would pay for these programs. So, if Trump wants to debate intricate, domestic, pocket-book-style policy proposals, he will find more than a few Democrats eager to take him up on that.

The TIP with Adam Kelsey

Beto O'Rourke's announcement Monday morning that his campaign brought in more than $6.1 million in its first 24 hours was a wake-up call for his 14 Democratic opponents and a reminder of the fundraising power that made his 2018 challenge of Sen. Ted Cruz so competitive. But at least one of the former Texas congressman's Democratic primary rivals was not content to allow him to dominate headlines for another day -- the man whose first-day fundraising record O'Rourke topped: Bernie Sanders.

Former Texas congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke during a stop at the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, March 18, 2019, in Ferndale, Mich.

"Bad news: Beto outraised us. Good news: We probably had a lot more donations," read the subject line of a Sanders fundraising email Monday afternoon.

The "probably" was necessary because we won't know for sure until FEC reports come in next month, but the point was clear: If O'Rourke topped Sanders' more than 225,000 individual donors in 24 hours, his campaign likely wouldn't have kept it a secret. The $6.1 million provides the sort of flexibility necessary to grow support and pay for O'Rourke's, thus-far, nonstop travel in that pursuit, but even $80 million wasn't enough for him to capture Cruz's Senate seat.

Support, not money, wins elections, and Sanders had a four-year head start in building the 2020 class' most fervent base.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran, who previews President Donald Trump's meeting Tuesday with controversial Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro. Then, ABC News Senior Washington reporter Devin Dwyer explains why the Supreme Court justices were walking a fine line as they heard arguments in a dispute involving the alleged racial gerrymandering of state legislative districts in Virginia.

ABC News' "The Investigation" Podcast. Vicky Ward talks to "The Investigation" about her latest book: "Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump." Ward, an investigative reporter and best-selling author, says she interviewed over 200 sources to create a portrait of Jared and Ivanka's "unprecedented" role in the White House. Later, the ABC News team analyzes the ongoing investigations, how they could affect Jared and Ivanka, and the couple's overall impact since their arrival in Washington.

FiveThirtyEight's Politics Podcast. The Democratic primary field is taking shape. In this episode of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew debates which candidates have done the best job of introducing themselves to voters in the early days of the contest. The team also takes stock of Republican defections from President Donald Trump -- on the recent national emergency declaration vote and other issues.


  • President Trump will hold a 1:45 p.m. press conference in the Rose Garden with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo begins his five-day trip to the Middle East with stops in Beirut, Jerusalem and Kuwait City.
  • Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., returns to Iowa for the third time with meet-and-greets in Dubuque and Davenport.
  • Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., makes his first trip to South Carolina since announcing he was seriously thinking about running for president.
  • Presidential candidate and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke travels to Pennsylvania before heading to New Hampshire.
  • Presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., hosts a roundtable discussion on climate change at 3:30 p.m. Pacific in San Francisco.
  • Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., holds an organizing event at 6 p.m. (CST) in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry speak at a forum titled "Finding Common Ground on America's Role in the World" at 7 p.m. Central at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

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