Mara Liasson

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It was the same stage in Miami - many of the same questions but different Democrats, all vying to become the next president of the United States, each fighting to stand out from the crowd.

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The first 2020 primary debate is tomorrow, and Thursday night in Miami, 20 candidates will be there. And some will be trying to introduce themselves to voters. Others will try to elbow the competition. NPR's Mara Liasson has the story.

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NPR's Phil Ewing is our national security editor and has been covering - has been coordinating our coverage of the Mueller investigation. He's in our studios. Phil, what did you hear that stood out to you?

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump is set to unveil an immigration plan that would vastly change who is allowed into the United States.

Trump will present the plan in a speech from the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.

The new plan would focus on reducing family-based immigration to the U.S. in favor of employment-skill-based immigration.

But overall, the number of green cards issued under this plan would not change, and there would be no reduction in net immigration.

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We are awaiting the release of special - the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report sometime later this morning, and we'll be covering that throughout the day. What we do have so far is a press conference that ended just a short while ago.

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It has been roughly 22 months since special counsel Robert Mueller began his investigation into the 2016 election. Along the way, he's charged 34 people, including 25 Russians. More than seven have been found guilty of crimes.

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We're going to continue the conversation with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, Thanks so much for joining us.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Happy to be here.

MARTIN: What does this mean?

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Well, last night had all the pomp and circumstance that only a State of the Union can provide. President Trump delivered his second last night, weaving together partisan attacks and some calls for unity.

(SOUNDBITE OF 2019 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS)

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President Trump was asked a pretty extraordinary question over the weekend. It came from Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. She asked Trump if he has ever worked for Russia. The president did not exactly say no. He did say this.

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OK, now let's bring in NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Hey, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi there.

CHANG: So you've also read the resignation letter Mattis released. What about it stood out to you?

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And today a pro-Trump super PAC called Great America Alliance released this ad attacking Broward County election supervisor Brenda Snipes.

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Keeping control of the House would validate President Trump's governing style and mean full speed ahead for Hill Republicans to move his agenda. But if the GOP loses its majority it will need to to go on defense to protect Trump.

When the Democrats lost the House in 2010, they rapidly saw President Barack Obama's legislative agenda die.

Veteran Democratic strategist Paul Begala doesn't think it's hyperbolic to say that "everything" is at stake for Democrats heading into Tuesday's elections.

"They always say it's the most important election of your life," he says, explaining that in the past two years, Democrats learned the consequences of being "completely shut out" as the GOP controlled both Congress and the White House.

If Democrats fail to take back the House and make significant gains at the state level, they'll be shut out again, without a say in legislation and judicial appointments.

In one respect, this is a typical midterm election — a race shaped as a referendum on the president and the party in power.

But there are so many ways in which this election is anything but typical. We've seen a surge in first-time candidates, especially women and minorities. In the past several midterms, the party in power was relatively complacent compared with the party hoping to be in power. Heading into Election Day, Democrats have an enthusiasm edge, but Republicans have been getting steadily amped up, too.

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In TV commercials and on debate stages across America, the attacks are now blistering as candidates see Election Day coming up fast.

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The lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford wants something more than a she-said, he-said hearing.

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