Welcome to THE TRAIL 2016, your daily rundown from The Hill on all the latest news in the White House, Senate and House races. 

Are you suffering from debate withdrawal? Is three days too long for you to go without hearing the Democratic presidential hopefuls square off on the big stage? If so, Wednesday is your lucky day, as Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE go toe to toe again at tonight’s Univision debate in Miami.

That’s not to say the race hasn’t changed since Sunday, the candidates’ last debate. Sanders takes the stage after a huge upset in Michigan, where he defied the polls and came out on top in the Wolverine State. But Clinton’s team has demurred, noting that Sanders ended Tuesday even further behind Clinton in the delegate math after her big win in Mississippi. 

Watch the live stream of the 9 p.m. debate from The Hill and follow our  comprehensive coverage of tonight’s debate, as well as analysis afterwards.

 

RACE TO 1600 PENN 

WHAT WENT WRONG: Michigan was the big surprise on Wednesday, where Sanders won despite every single public opinion poll predicting his demise. Check back to The Hill on Thursday morning for more from Jonathan Easley about some of the biggest pitfalls of polling during this cycle. 

TOUGH QUESTIONS FOR MARCO: Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE’s campaign is on life support after a rough night Tuesday where he failed to secure any delegates. With it all hinging on Florida, Jonathan Swan will bring you five tough questions his campaign, and biggest supporters, must answer. 

SENATE GOP GRAPPLES WITH 2016: Senate Republicans are wavering over who would be a worse nominee, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE or Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE. Trump may have an easier time beating Hillary Clinton and may even do less damage to down-ballot races. But Senators have more confidence in Cruz, the outsider’s insider, serving in the Oval Office. Alexander Bolton will have more on The Hill about that difficult choice. 

GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS: Hillary Clinton may be in the driver’s seat for the nomination, but her defeat in Michigan underscores vulnerabilities that could haunt her ahead of the general election. Check out Amie Parnes’s story in tomorrow’s print edition to delve deeper into that dynamic. 

END IS NEAR?: The Hill’s Ben Kamisar reports: Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager sought to tamp down concerns after a loss in Michigan by arguing that Clinton’s delegate lead is nearing the “insurmountable.” 

NONE FOR ME, PLEASE: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: The Chicago Tribune declined to endorse any Democratic candidate, bashing Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton as touting unrealistic economic plans. The paper backed Marco Rubio on the GOP side. 

ME AND U-NION: The Hill’s Tim Devaney reports: Another union, the Office and Professional Employees International Union, has endorsed Hillary Clinton. She holds a significant lead over Bernie Sanders with union backing. 

NOT INTERESTED: The Hill’s Julian Hattem reports: Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Wednesday refused to outline her role in overseeing a possible criminal case stemming from the FBI’s ongoing investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. 

SUE YOU: The Hill’s Mark Hensch and Julian Hattem report: The Republican National Committee has filed lawsuits calling for the release of emails and records from Hillary Clinton and her State Department aides.

 

ODDS AND ENDS: 

BACKUP PLAN: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: Ted Cruz said he’s fine with a contested convention deciding the GOP nomination. 

DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: Check out this video of Mitt Romney killing his critics with kindness, taking to “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” to read mean tweets about him. 

MEETING OF THE MINDS: The New York Times reports: It feels like it’s been months since Jeb Bush dropped out. He’s resurfacing in the news Wednesday with reports that he’ll meet with the GOP field -- sans Donald Trump - -ahead of Thursday’s GOP debate.

 

POLL POSITION 

ALL ABOUT THE BRAND: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: A majority of Americans believe GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is damaging his party's brand. 

CLINTON CRUISES: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: Hillary Clinton coasts past Donald Trump in a new national poll by a 13-point margin.  

HOME STATE SPOILER: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: Donald Trump leads both John Kasich and Marco Rubio in new polls of their home states. Losses there could sink both of their presidential ambitions. 

CLINTON LEADS: The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports: Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders in both Florida and Illinois, a new poll shows. But results could shift, especially in Illinois, after Sanders’ surprise win in nearby Michigan.

 

THE DAILY TRUMP 

LITTLE MARCO’S BIG BREAK: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: Donald Trump suggested that he could consider Marco Rubio as his vice president, as long as he’s out of the race. But he did warn that Rubio wouldn’t have much of a political future if he lost his home state of Florida next week.

DON’T WANT HER: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: Donald Trump has set his sights on the general election, warning that the people don’t want Hillary Clinton president. 

TRUMP AIDE IN HOT WATER: Politico reports: Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is accused of roughly pulling the arm of a Breitbart News reporter at Trump’s press conference on Tuesday night.

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

“We believe that no one of us is better than any other one of us; that each of us is gifted by God...It is progressives who believe that some are better than others, some are smarter than others, so some should decide and choose for others.”

-- Former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina in her endorsement of Ted Cruz.

 

CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGNS

PAYBACK: The Hill’s Rebecca Savransky reports: Tammy Duckworth, the front-runner for the Illinois Democratic Senate nomination, has received more than 1,000 donations after the Republicans’ campaign arm’s controversial tweet accusing her of not “standing up” for veterans. Duckworth is disabled after injuries she sustained serving in Iraq. 

NO JUDGING: The Hill’s Lisa Hagen reports: The Democratic Senate Majority PAC is out with a new ad bashing Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteExplaining Democratic victories: It’s gun violence, stupid Trump voter fraud panel member fights back against critics Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada MORE (R-N.H.) for standing with the GOP in not meeting with an Obama Supreme Court nominee. 

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: The Hill’s Cristina Marcos reports: Ex-Rep. Paul BrounPaul Collins BrounCalifornia lawmaker's chief of staff resigns after indictment Republican candidates run against ghost of John Boehner The Trail 2016: Let’s have another debate! MORE announced Wednesday that he’ll challenge Rep. Doug Collins in Georgia’s GOP primary on May 24.

 

MONEY WATCH

NO BACKSIES: The Associated Press reports: Donald Trump’s campaign manager has promised not to repay his campaign loans with money he raises from supporters.

 

WHAT WE ARE WATCHING FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW:  

(All times Eastern) 

On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders participate in the Univision/The Washington Post debate at Miami Dade College, which starts at 9 p.m. It will be simulcast on CNN.

On Thursday, the Republican candidates, Donald Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio debate in Miami, starting at 8:30 p.m. on CNN. 

Donald Trump he speaks at a 7 p.m. rally on Wednesday in Fayetteville, N.C. Anderson Cooper will air an interview with him at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CNN. He’ll then be interviewed by Sean Hannity at 10 p.m. on Fox News. 

John Kasich will do a town hall in Chicago with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren at 7 p.m. 

Marco Rubio will participate in an MSNBC town hall at 8 p.m. and will be interviewed by Megyn Kelly at 11 p.m. 

Ted Cruz will be interviewed by Megyn Kelly at 9 p.m. on Fox News. 

Hillary Clinton campaigns in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, with doors open at 10 a.m. Then she moves on to North Carolina, for a 5:30 p.m. event in Durham. 

Bernie Sanders has three Florida events on Thursday, on at the University of Florida in Gainesville in the morning; one in Kissimmee in the afternoon, and one in Tampa in the evening.

 

TWEET OF THE DAY

 

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: Jonathan Easley, Ben KamisarJonathan Swan, Lisa Hagen. 

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