OFF TO THE RACES: National Bloomberg poll: Clinton 33%, Biden 25%, Sanders 24%
A new Bloomberg poll of the Democratic field: Clinton 33%, Biden 25%, Sanders 24%.
Note: The Bloomberg poll didn’t test the Democratic race WITHOUT Biden.
NBC's Doug Adams reports on the effects of that $40,000 filing fee for the South Carolina ballot.
The Washington Post reports on concerns among some Republicans about a message that sounds "more and more exclusionary."
BIDEN: Some of Biden's key backers in Iowa have gotten personal invitations to see Pope Francis.
BUSH: In an op-ed in CNN, he describes his conversion to Catholicism.
CARSON: The Washington Times reports that Ben Carson's super PAC has seen a surge of donations since his comments about Muslims on NBC's Meet the Press.
CLINTON: Breaking last night from Bloomberg: "The FBI has recovered personal and work-related e-mails from the private computer server used by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, according to a person familiar with the investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s success at salvaging personal e-mails that Clinton said had been deleted raises the possibility that the Democratic presidential candidate’s correspondence eventually could become public. The disclosure of such e-mails would likely fan the controversy over Clinton’s use of a private e-mail system for official business."
And from the Washington Post: "Throughout the controversy over her use of a private e-mail system while she was secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton has described her decision last year to turn over thousands of work-related e-mails as a response to a routine-sounding records request... But State Department officials provided new information Tuesday that undercuts Clinton’s characterization. They said the request was not simply about general record-keeping but was prompted entirely by the discovery that Clinton had exclusively used a private e-mail system. They also said they first contacted her in the summer of 2014, at least three months before the agency asked Clinton and three of her predecessors to provide their e-mails."
From Clinton's Des Moines Register ed board interview: "After the editorial board meeting, a Register reporter asked Clinton if she could explain the discrepancy between her characterization of why she turned over the emails and the State Department's. "I don't know that. I can't answer that," Clinton answered. "All I know is that they sent the same letter to everybody. That's my understanding."
Here's NBC's wrap of Clinton's move to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.
From POLITICO: "More previously undisclosed State Department emails related to Benghazi have surfaced in a federal court filing, offering a public accounting of at least some of the records still being sought by congressional investigators."
FIORINA: NBC's Alex Jaffe reports on the campaign ad/documentary about Fiorina's life produced by her super PAC.
RUBIO: The Wall Street Journal writes that he's benefiting from Scott Walker's exit: "Mr. Rubio is set to inherit about two-thirds of Mr. Walker’s big-donor fundraising apparatus, according to a member of the Wisconsin governor’s national finance committee."
TRUMP: He says of birther accusations "I just don't discuss it anymore."
Some Republican women are souring on Trump after his comments about Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina.
WALKER: NBC's Danny Freeman reports that Walker's Iowa allies are trying to figure out their next move.
Walker's old political foes are enjoying his demise.
Former campaign manager Rick Wiley describes what went wrong in an interview with POLITICO, noting that his first debate performance hurt fundraising.
OBAMA AGENDA: The Pope at the White House
The president meets with Pope Francis at the White House today. Here's the preview from the New York Times: "With a crowd of 15,000 expected to watch on the South Lawn or from the Ellipse outside the White House gates, the ceremony promised to be a majestic kickoff to the pope’s events in the capital. An arrival ceremony on the South Lawn ranks among the most regal of pageantries that Washington has to offer, reserved usually for the most important of visitors and even then for special occasions. As it happens, in a historical aberration, Mr. Obama will host such a ceremony twice in one week, with President Xi Jinping of China visiting the White House on Friday. But the pope has generated a wave of excitement in a normally jaundiced capital that ordinary national leaders rarely produce."
Via the AP: "The pope was to deliver his opening remarks to the United States on the White House lawn on Wednesday morning and speak to America's bishops later. That speech was highly anticipated, given a certain disconnect between Francis' focus on social justice and a merciful church and the culture wars that America's bishops have waged in recent years over abortion and gay rights."
Pope Francis told reporters that those who describe him as a leftist have misinterpreted his comments.
*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: Andrea Mitchell Reports will have full coverage of Pope Francis in Washington, DC with University of Notre Dame President Rev John Jenkins, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Sister Simone Campbell of “Nuns on the Bus,” Father Thomas Reese of the National Catholic Reporter, NBC Special Correspondent Maria Shriver, NBC’s Anne Thompson, Kelly O’Donnell, Luke Russert and MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt.