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First Read's Morning Clips: Polls in Florida, Illinois, Ohio

Image: Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he speaks during a campaign stop at the Savannah Center, Sunday, March 13, 2016, in West Chester, Ohio.John Minchillo / AP

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OFF TO THE RACES: Trump ahead in Florida and Illinois, but trailing in Ohio

From our latest round of NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls: "Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential field in the March 15 primary states of Florida and Illinois, while John Kasich holds the edge in his home state of Ohio, according to three new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls. On the Democratic side, meanwhile, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders in all three states, although she's just narrowly ahead in Illinois."

Benjy Sarlin has this roundup of what Donald Trump's supporters think about the violence at his rallies.

Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields and colleague Ben Shapiro are both resigning from the conservative news site after the dustup over Fields’ alleged confrontation with Trump’s campaign manager.

Meanwhile, Trump is blaming Sanders supporters for the tension at his events.

The Wall Street Journal: "Violent outbursts at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies just days before critical Republican primary contests have brought the presidential race to a crossroads, with GOP voters deciding whether to embrace the front-runner’s confrontational style or turn to a more traditional standard-bearer."

The latest from Florida early voting, via the Miami Herald: "Statewide, nearly 2 million voters had already cast ballots, with Republicans surpassing Democrats, according to the state Division of Elections.Republicans accounted for more than 1.1 million early voters, while about 819,000 Democrats cast ballots."

Ohio is looming large, writes the New York Times, previewing a contest with high stakes on both sides of the aisle.

CLINTON: Hillary Clinton is getting markedly tougher in her talk about trade, NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald reports.

KASICH: NBC's Hallie Jackson was the first to scoop: Mitt Romney will campaign with John Kasich in Ohio.

When asked on Meet the Press if he will still support Trump as the party's nominee, he said "it's tough."

RUBIO: He said that the "gates of civility have been blown apart."

SANDERS: His tone towards Hillary Clinton has gotten markedly more aggressive - and, at times - nastier.

TRUMP: From the Washington Post: "Today, Donald J. Trump Collection shirts — as well as eye­glasses, perfume, cuff links and suits — are made in Bangladesh, China, Honduras and other low-wage countries. Trump’s daughter Ivanka, a vice president at his company and frequent campaign surrogate, markets hundreds of additional products under her own line of jewelry and clothing. Many are made in China."

And from the AP: "If elected president, Donald Trump has pledged to scrap a work visa program that brings 300,000 student workers each year to the U.S. Among the businesses that would be forced to stop hiring foreign labor: Trump's own."

He said on Meet the Press that he's considering paying for the legal fees of a supporter who punched a protester.

He dodged a question about John McCain at a weekend event in Ohio.

POLITICO notes how much the prospect of a Trump election is roiling financial markets.

The New York Times checks out his office in Tampa: "For a campaign frequently depicted as offering a rallying point for the white working class, the people volunteering to help Mr. Trump here are noteworthy for their ethnic diversity. They include a young woman who recently arrived from Peru; an immigrant from the Philippines; a 70-year-old Lakota Indian; a teenage son of Russian immigrants; a Mexican-American. They range the political spectrum, too, from lifelong Democrat to independent to libertarian to conservative Republican. To a person, they condemned and sometimes ridiculed David Duke and other white supremacists who have noisily backed Mr. Trump."

The New York Times notes: "Get 'em out!" is the new "You're fired!"

The Columbus Dispatch does some homework on the legal barriers to a Trump third party bid if he's denied the GOP nod.


*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell looks ahead to tomorrow’s big contests in Ohio and Florida with Republican strategist Doug Heye, Washington Post Chief correspondent Dan Balz, New York Times reporter Ashley Parker, Deputy Communications Director for the Hillary Clinton campaign, Kristina Schake and our NBC reporters on the trail – Peter Alexander, Jacob Rascon, Hallie Jackson and Gabe Gutierrez.

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