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OFF TO THE RACES: A night of protest in California

Twenty people were arrested and a police car was smashed during protests outside of Trump's rally in Costa Mesa last night, NBC's Ali Vitali reports.

The New York Times: "With the nation on the verge of a presidential election between the first woman to lead a major party and an opponent accused of misogyny, Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump are digging in for a fight in which he is likely to attack her precisely because she is a woman."

POLITICO's panel of insiders agree that Clinton would soundly defeat Trump in November.

The Washington Post: "Throughout the Republican Party, from New Hampshire to Florida to California, many leaders, operatives, donors and activists arrived this week at the conclusion they had been hoping to thwart or at least delay: Donald Trump will be their presidential nominee. An aura of inevitability is now forming around the controversial mogul. Trump smothered his opponents in six straight primaries in the Northeast and vacuumed up more delegates than even the most generous predictions foresaw. He is gaining high-profile ­endorsements by the day — a legendary Indiana basketball coach Wednesday, two House committee chairmen Thursday. And his ­rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are making the kind of rushed tactical moves that signal desperation."

And the Wall Street Journal: "The prospect of Donald Trump at the top of their ticket in November has led some congressional Republicans to openly forecast the end of their party. Others have been quietly critical, with leaders pushing back when Mr. Trump stirred up anti-immigrant sentiment or proclaimed that the nomination process is rigged. But a new attitude among some Republicans on Capitol Hill is emerging. Icy glares are starting to thaw. More Republicans are slowly beginning to express support for the candidate. And Mr. Trump’s early congressional backers, who initially faced scorn for backing the businessman, are finding themselves in a more comfortable position."

Kelly O'Donnell looks at the rocky relationship between Ted Cruz and John Boehner.

A new Oregon poll shows John Kasich in last place.

CRUZ: A Washington Post headline: "Cruz’s latest fight with fellow Republicans is a reminder: Many don’t like the guy"

He's still trouncing Trump in delegate selection, this time in Virginia.

Via the IndyStar, Cruz is distancing himself from a deal with Kasich. "Lest they seem too buddy-buddy, GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz quickly drew a line Thursday on the deal he struck with Ohio Gov. John Kasich to try to block front-runner Donald Trump in Indiana. "There is no alliance," Cruz said."

Carly Fiorina's network in California isn't exactly foolproof, POLITICO notes.

CLINTON: She's NOT airing ads in the upcoming primary states.

Eugene Robinson argues for a Clinton-Warren ticket.

KASICH: He got the endorsement of the Indy Star.

TRUMP: He said yesterday "if we win in Indiana, it's over."

A white powder sent to Trump Tower was ruled harmless.