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

Welcome to what many pundits believe is the most consequential day of the 2016 campaign season so far.It’s Super Duper Tuesday, with major winner take-all contests in Ohio and Florida set to decide whether establishment favorites John Kasich and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE have a future in the Republican presidential race. 

Meantime, the Donald steamrolls on. If Trump can take Ohio and Florida the race is all but over. But a split result will create delegate math headaches, and the most likely scenario would then be a protracted primary battle with Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzIs this any way for NASA to build a lunar lander? GOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 MORE staying to the end along with whomever out of Rubio or Kasich manages to win his home state. 

On the Democratic side, Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE is hoping to pull off some upset victories -- like last week’s stunner in Michigan -- ensuring that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces DHS cyber agency to prioritize election security, Chinese threats ABC chose a debate moderator who hates Trump MORE has nothing like the coronation many of her supporters expected last summer.  

As always, TheHill.com will be your reliable source tonight, keeping you informed on the wins, the losses, with constant doses of analysis to help you sort the important from the trivial. You’ll have deep-dives from The Hill’s campaign team on what tonight’s results mean to each of the party’s races and reporter Ben Kamisar will take you through the Republican delegate math between now and the convention.

 

RACE TO 1600 PENN

IF YOU SAY SO: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Tuesday predicted that no GOP White House hopeful would break their promise about backing the party’s presidential nominee. “I think that all of these candidates is true to their word and will support the eventual nominee of the party,” he told hosts Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.” 

ESTABLISHMENT NO MORE: The Hill’s Ben Kamisar reports: Chris Christie blasted discussions of blocking Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE from winning the GOP presidential nomination at a contested convention as "hypocritical," accusing the party of flirting with violating its pledge to support the nominee. 

DEBATABLE: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Donald Trump will miss the final Republican presidential debate to address a major pro-Israel lobbying organization instead, according to an insider. “Hearing that Trump secured a Monday night speaking slot at AIPAC conf. in D.C,” tweeted Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, referencing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. 

GAFFE-A-MINUTE: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: Hillary Clinton has made a string of gaffes as she works to fend off rival Bernie Sanders in a slate of primaries on Tuesday. The first came late last week when the Democratic presidential front-runner applauded Nancy Reagan’s response to HIV and AIDS in the 1980s. 

BIG DOG UNLEASHED: The Hill’s Ben Kamisar reports: Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDemocratic governors fizzle in presidential race Israel should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE took a swipe at Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders ahead of Tuesday's pivotal primaries by casting him as the "blame candidate." "There's a blame candidate and a responsibility candidate in this race," he said outside a polling place in Illinois, according to footage shot by NBC News. 

REPLY ALL: The Hill’s Julian Hattem reports: A conservative legal watchdog facing off against the Obama administration asked a federal court on Tuesday to seek testimony from eight current and former State Department officials close to Hillary Clinton.

 

ODDS AND ENDS:

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday said that ire from everyday Republicans is fueling GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump. “Mr. Trump is a product of rage among the Republican base,” he told host Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast to Coast." "Sometimes rage robs us of reason." 

HOT DAMN: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Hillary Clinton on late Monday was caught on a hot mic speculating that Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) may have endorsed GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump because he owes “a debt.” 

FERGUSON NOD: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: The mother of Michael Brown, a black teen slain less than two years ago during a confrontation with police in Ferguson, Mo., is endorsing Hillary Clinton for the presidency, a new report says.

 

POLL POSITION

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: The Hill’s Lisa Hagen reports: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lead their rivals nationally as five states head to the polls on Tuesday, a new poll finds. A new NBC News/SurveyMonkey weekly online poll found Trump with a 20-point lead over GOP rival Ted Cruz, 44 to 24 percent. 

SELF DEPORTATION: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: More than one-quarter of Americans would consider moving to another country such as Canada if businessman Donald Trump wins the presidency, according to a new poll.

OUTSIDER TROOPS: The Hill’s Kristina Wong reports: Troops favor Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as the next commander in chief, according to a new survey by Military Times.

 

THE DAILY TRUMP

THE BIGGEST MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes reports: Donald Trump says some of the “biggest people” in the Republican Party are reaching out to him as he looks to lock up more delegates in his bid for the GOP presidential nomination. 

IT’S UP TO TRUMP: The Hill’s Julian Hattem reports: The head of the Secret Service on Tuesday said that campaigns and local security are responsible for dealing with protesters — not his officers. Rallies for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are frequently interrupted by protesters, and clashes between supporters and opponents of the Republican presidential front-runner have turned violent on multiple occasions. 

YOU’RE ALL SET, DONALD: The Hill’s Ben Kamisar reports: Florida’s secretary of State is pushing back against Donald Trump’s accusations that he’s not listed on ballots in the state. Trump took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon as voters took to the polls for the state’s presidential primary to float rumors that he’s being left off of the ballot in “various places.”

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"When I first started watching the Republican debates I said that, you know, if they're going to do my show, they should start paying me.”

-- Jerry Springer, whose TV show is known for having fights break out between guests.

 

CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGNS

NEXT STAGE SENATE: The Hill’s Lisa Hagen reports: Two fiercely fought primary races head to a finish tonight in what will set up general election slates in the hotly contested states of Illinois and Ohio. And an expected easy primary win for a North Carolina incumbent will also signal the start of a tougher general election campaign. 

THE TRUMP EFFECT: The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports: The campaign arm of Senate Democrats launched its first paid advertisement Tuesday, aiming to tie vulnerable Republican incumbents and upstart Senate challengers to GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

 

MONEY WATCH

HERE WE GO AGAIN: The Hill’s Jonathan Swan reports: After spending more than $10 million in a failed bid to make Ben Carson president, the main super-PAC supporting the retired neurosurgeon is now transforming itself into a big-money vehicle designed to make Carson Donald Trump's vice presidential pick.

 

WHAT WE ARE WATCHING FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW:

(All times Eastern)

North Carolina and Ohio primaries close at 7:30 p.m. today. Florida, Illinois and Missouri polls close at 8 p.m. 

Hillary Clinton holds a primary night event in West Palm Beach starting at 7 p.m. today. 

Marco Rubio’s primary night event will be in Miami starting at 7 p.m. today. 

John Kasich holds his election night watch party in Berea, Ohio starting at 8 p.m. today. 

Donald Trump will hold a press conference at 9 p.m. at the Mar-a-Lago Club.

 

TWEET OF THE DAY 

 

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

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