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First Read's Morning Clips: 'Trump Counties' One Year Later

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Voters cast their ballots in the primary election Tuesday, March 15, 2016, in Chesterville, Ohio. Voters in five states are making their choices in party primaries.Matt Rourke / AP

TRUMP AGENDA: The “Trump Counties” — one year later

Our new NBC/WSJ “Trump Counties” poll: “The poll, which sampled residents of 438 counties that either flipped from voting Democratic in the 2012 presidential election to Republican in 2016, or saw a significant surge for Trump last year, found that a third — 32 percent — believe the country is better off now than it was before Trump became president. But a plurality — 41 percent — say the country is worse off now than it was when Trump became commander in chief. An additional 26 percent say the state of the nation has remained about the same. And overall, slightly more than half — 53 percent — say they do not think Trump has a clear agenda on how to address the major issues facing the country.”

NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald checks in on how the president’s agenda is doing one year after the election.

Trump, in South Korea: “President Donald Trump said Tuesday that there had been progress on resolving the North Korea nuclear crisis and called on Pyongyang to “make a deal.” MORE: “I really believe it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal that’s good for people of North Korea and people of the world,” he told reporters as he stood alongside South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in. ‘I do see certain movement, yes, but let’s see what happens.’”

From Ken Dilanian, Julia Ainsley and Alex Moe: “Former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page, who has come under scrutiny in the investigation of Russian election interference, told a House committee that he sought permission for a July 2016 trip to Moscow from senior Trump campaign officials, and reported to other Trump officials about the trip when he returned. It’s long been known that Page traveled to Moscow in July 2016, but he has said it was in his private capacity, unrelated to his role with the Trump campaign. Page, whose sworn testimony was released Monday night, told the House Intelligence Committee last week that he sought permission to make the trip from campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and also notified Hope Hicks, who is now the White House communications director.”

From McClatchy: “Mueller investigation likely to probe Gates’ moonlighting as movie producer”

The Washington Post: “The Tax Policy Center on Monday retracted its assessment of House Republicans’ tax bill after discovering an error in its model, a mistake that could complicate the effort to evaluate the legislation by an organization that has long enjoyed broad, bipartisan credibility. “TPC staff found an error in the preliminary distributional analysis of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) that we released today. This error involved the additional child tax credit component of the proposed legislation,” the organization said in a statement Monday night, several hours after releasing its report that showed the benefits of the tax bill were skewed toward the richest Americans. The center has pulled all materials related to its initial report and said it will issue a corrected version as soon as it is able, likely Tuesday.”

And in the New York Times: “Nearly half of all middle-class families would pay more in taxes in 2026 than they would under current rules if the proposed House tax bill became law, and about one-third would pay more in 2018, according to a New York Times analysis, a striking finding for a bill promoted as a middle-class tax cut. President Trump and congressional Republicans have pitched the plan unveiled last week as a tax cut for most Americans. But millions of middle-class families — particularly those with children — would see an immediate tax increase, averaging about $2,000. Among the hardest-hit under the plan would be some of the most vulnerable taxpayers: those with huge out-of-pocket medical expenses.”

And in the Wall Street Journal: “A House committee began considering a bill Monday that would reduce taxes by $1.4 trillion over 10 years, but disagreements over key pieces of the measure could force the GOP to make changes and slow down plans to pass it by year’s end. House Republicans are at odds over plans to eliminate deductions for state and local taxes. Senate Republicans disagree on child tax credits and whether to accept significantly bigger budget deficits. Narrow margins in both chambers leave the party little room to maneuver.”

Trump says “hundreds more” might have died in the Texas shooting if gun laws were stricter.

Rand Paul’s attacker may face more serious charges.

OFF TO THE RACES: Election Day 2017 is finally here

FL-GOV: “Facing claims of sexual harassment by at least half a dozen women, Republican gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater was removed Monday from his post as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,” writes the SunSentinel.

NJ-GOV: has everything you need to know about the New Jersey governors’ race here.

The Wall Street Journal notes that taxes are a top concern for voters.

POLITICO looks at Chris Christie’s legacy for Republicans in the state.

OK: The Washington Post checks in with victorious Democrats in an unexpected place: Oklahoma.

VA-GOV: The race for Virginia governor is finally here. The Washington Post offers a big preview here.

And the Richmond-Times Dispatch offers its big-picture look here.

David Wasserman writes for on the stakes for the Virginia House of Delegates today — and what we may learn from the results.