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First Read’s Morning Clips

OFF TO THE RACES: Super PACs aren’t cost efficient, folks

Worth noting, from National Journal: "Super PACs are ascendant in this presidential campaign, raising more money and sometimes taking on more prominent roles than the candidates they support. But despite their gaudy fundraising and spending figures, the dollars they pour into TV advertising will only buy a fraction of the actual time on TV that the official campaigns can get themselves."

A new CNN/ORC poll of Democrats shows Clinton at 47 percent, Sanders at 29 percent, Biden at 14 percent and O'Malley at 2 percent. It also shows Hillary leading the GOP field in hypothetical matchups.

BUSH: "About half of the roughly $120 million raised to help him win the Republican presidential nomination comes from donors who previously gave to his brother or father, both former presidents, according to a new analysis of Federal Election Commission records by Crowdpac.com, a nonpartisan political research company,” writes the AP.

CHRISTIE: From the Wall Street Journal: "Most Republican governors running for president are distancing themselves from the Common Core academic standards, which is unsettling a segment of wealthy GOP donors who count strengthening the educational system as one of their top issues."

CLINTON: She told Telemundo that the controversy will "burn itself out."

And in a contentious press conference, she again insisted that she has done nothing wrong.

She's up with a new ad in Iowa and New Hampshire focused on income inequality.

FIORINA: She's making a play for inclusion in next month's big debate on CNN, POLITICO notes.

HUCKABEE: He met with Prime Minister Netanyahu during his trip to Israel.

KASICH: He made a plea for compassion in politics during his SoapBox speech, including an emphasis on his own "big heart," NBC's Andrew Rafferty reports.

JINDAL: He's deriding Scott Walker's health care plan as "Obamacare lite."

RUBIO: The AP wrote yesterday that political operatives are "puzzled" by his early state strategy.

But POLITICO reports that Rubio's team is wary of peaking too soon -- and is happy to be where they are now.

NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard reports that Rubio didn’t mention immigration at the Dallas Country Republican Annual Steak Fry in Van Meter last night, but he did keep up his jabs at Donald Trump, saying “America is still a great country. This idea that we’re not great or that we have to make American great again—that’s not the issue. We are great.”

TRUMP: The New York Times' take: "[A]s the disruptive presidential candidacy of Donald J. Trump continues to gain support, his hard line on immigration has driven rivals to match his biting anti-immigrant language and positions long considered extreme. It risks another general election cycle in which Hispanics view the party as unfriendly no matter who the nominee is, Republican strategists warned."

Bloomberg notes that many of his policy positions are far from conservative, but Republican voters don't care.

David Ignatius asks the question: Is Trump America's Putin?

WALKER: From the Washington Post: "In a conference call, one-on-one conversations and at a Tuesday lunch, the Wisconsin governor and favorite of anti-union conservatives told backers that his campaign is shifting to a more aggressive posture and will seek to tap into the anti-establishment fervor fueling the rise of Donald Trump and other outsider candidates."

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel and POLITICO’s Caitlin Emma about the latest political headlines, NBC’s Luke Russert regarding the latest on the Iran nuclear deal, and NBC News Medical Contributor Natalie Azar discusses medicine resistant lice

*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Luke Russert fills in for Andrea and will interview Democratic strategist James Carville, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, the Wall Street Journal’s Jeanne Cummings and NBC’s Katy Tur, Gabe Gutierrez, Leanne Gregg and Hallie Jackson.

*** Wednesday’s “Live with Thomas Roberts” line-up: Frances Rivera interviews Republican strategist and former top Trump adviser Roger Stone, Hawaii Rep. & HI Army National Guard Captain Tulsi Gabbard about the first women Army Ranger grads and the U.S. Navy opening SEALs unit to women, and Joshua Cline the ex-aide who held a news conference about an alleged affair between Michigan state Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamra.