Hillary Clinton visits Atomic Projects in Grand Rapids, Michigan, yesterday. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

THE BIG IDEA:

-- Michigan should have been fertile territory for Bernie Sanders’s populist and protectionist message, but he’s expected to lose the Democratic primary there today by double digits.

What happened?

Hillary Clinton made the race in Michigan all about the lead in Flint’s water, her opposition to the state’s controversial emergency manager law and her opponent’s vote against a bailout for the auto industry.

The crisis in Flint had been going on for some time before the former secretary of state sent emissaries to visit, secured the endorsement of the city’s mayor and then insisted on having a debate in the city, 70 miles northwest of Detroit.

It is part of a pattern for Clinton. She’s approached every primary more like it was a Senate race than a presidential election by identifying a local issue that would play to her advantage and then championing it.

Clinton is also overwhelmingly favored to win today’s Democratic primary in Mississippi, where she’s been speaking extensively about the levels of lead in Jackson’s water. The city is predominantly African American, and Jackson’s mayor cited her attentiveness to the issue as the reason he chose to endorse her.

It’s not just infrastructure. Clinton has campaigned against voter ID laws in Alabama and Missouri, a religious freedom bill in Arkansas, as well as right to work legislation in Illinois, Missouri and West Virginia. She supported a settlement that New Orleans's Democratic mayor negotiated with FEMA and lauded a student loan refinancing program unveiled by Minnesota's Democratic governor.

The former first lady has also, in recent weeks, decried state-level efforts to limit access to abortion or defund Planned Parenthood in Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma.

Hillary boards her motorcade yesterday en route to a Michigan hotdog place called Yesterdog. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

-- Clinton’s strategy allows her to bypass the national media’s unhelpful focus on process, not to mention her State Department emails and Goldman Sachs speeches, and campaign on her own terms. The campaign sees the emphasis on parochial concerns as a way for Hillary, who has been ensconced in a Secret Service bubble for 24 years, to show relatability, as well as highlight her progressive positions, brandish her policy chops and demonstrate that she’s running for the right reason (to help people, not just advance herself).

She picks her spots wisely. The minimum wage is a frequent target. Last Friday, Clinton endorsed Washington State’s ballot Initiative 1433, which would phase in a $13.50-an-hour minimum wage by 2020 and allow workers to earn more paid sick leave. Last month, she denounced an effort by the Alabama legislature to block a minimum wage increase in Birmingham. In January, she embraced a bill introduced in Virginia’s state Senate to raise the minimum wage to $8 an hour.

Just yesterday, the Clinton campaign sent a press release to journalists in Hawaii “regarding her support for the Native Hawaiian community.”

“I support the Native Hawaiian community's ongoing work toward self-determination and nationhood, and their recent adoption of a constitution,” Clinton said in a statement about an issue that is not on the radar of anyone in D.C. but certainly matters to some who will show up at the state’s caucuses on March 26. “I commend President Obama's leadership in working with Native Hawaiians on the opportunity to establish a government-to-government relationship with the United States.”

-- The emphasis on local issues grew, in part, from soul searching that Clinton did after her loss in 2008, Clinton insiders say. So, in Iowa, she talked a lot about wind energy. In New Hampshire, she started focusing on the heroin epidemic after voters brought it up at her events. In South Carolina, she called for closing “the Charleston loophole” that she says allowed Dylann Roof to get the gun he allegedly used to kill nine parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church.

-- These pronouncements often pass with little coverage from the national media or on cable, but the campaign’s press staff in Brooklyn is obsessed with what’s breaking through on the front page of local newspapers. Clinton’s statements about Jackson, Miss., got little national attention, for example, but the Clarion-Ledger has written lots of stories.

-- Clinton regularly attacks the Republican governor of whichever state she’s campaigning in. In Iowa, as part of her stump speech before the caucuses, she accused Gov. Terry Branstad of trying to close mental institutions. She’s also called out the GOP governors in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Florida for not expanding Medicaid.

These incumbents are very unpopular with the sorts of liberal base voters who might be tempted by Sanders’s boldness. Criticizing a governor by name always prompts a response, which extends the life cycle of the story. And a war of words between the state’s chief executive and the Democratic front-runner ensures better play for the substance of whatever she’s saying on local TV affiliates.

-- Sanders, though he was mayor of Burlington, Vt., in the 1980s, does not engage on local policy to anywhere near the degree that Clinton does. He’s calling for a national political revolution, not incremental public policy changes. The senator also has a tiny press staff compared to the Clinton juggernaut, which teems with regional press staffers who have the bandwidth to focus on placing local stories.

-- Clinton’s digital department even created customized “H” logos for each of the 50 states. These appear at the top of every press release that goes to local reporters. Minnesota’s logo has a lighthouse overlooking Lake Superior inside the “H”; Florida’s has palm trees; Illinois’s has Willis Tower; North Carolina’s has a picture from the Outer Banks. You get the idea.

Hillary, visiting Grand Rapids yesterday, orders lunch at Yesterdog, said to be the best hot dog place in Michigan. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— Another data point that Hillary won Sunday’s debate: As he does routinely, Sanders generated far more chatter on social media than Clinton yesterday. But the talk was dominated by his vote against the auto bailout, an issue Clinton injected into the race during their debate (which 5.5 million watched). Her surprise attack scored points with Michigan voters, and reverberated online, as this word cloud of all Sanders mentions online illustrates:

Recognizing the potency of the issue, Sanders scrambled to show support for auto workers yesterday, releasing a radio ad and speaking extensively about his vote during back-to-back rallies, John Wagner reports.

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
With contributions from Breanne Deppisch (@b_deppy) and Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck)

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

Donald Trump speaks yesterday in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

-- BREAKING: A new Washington Post-ABC poll shows Donald Trump is in the lead, but his grip over Republicans has weakened. From Dan Balz and Scott Clement: Trump maintains the support of 34 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, compared with 25 percent for Ted Cruz, 18 percent for Marco Rubio and 13 percent for John Kasich.

  • “Trump’s margin over Cruz has narrowed from 16 points in January to 9 today. As a succession of Republican candidates has quit the race, Cruz’s percentage has ticked up 4 points since January, Rubio’s by 7 and Kasich’s by 11. Trump’s has dipped by 3 points, within the poll’s margin of sampling error.
  • “Only a bare majority (51 percent) of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents say they would be satisfied with the New York billionaire as their nominee, a noticeably smaller percentage than for Cruz (65 percent) or Rubio (62 percent).
  • “The Post-ABC poll finds over half of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents think Trump is dishonest, does not understand their problems, lacks the right experience and does not have the right personality and temperament to be an effective president.
  • A widening gender gap: “He leads among Republican men with 44 percent, a roughly 2-1 margin over second-place Cruz. Among Republican women, however, he is the favorite of just 24 percent. His margin among GOP women against Cruz was 37-15 percent in January. Trump also has lost ground against Cruz among very conservative Republicans and among those with incomes below $50,000.”
  • “In a hypothetical head-to-head test of strength between Trump and Cruz, Republicans say they prefer the Texas senator by 54-41 percent. Rubio is a narrower favorite in a one-on-one test against Trump, with a 51-45 percent edge.
  • “In early January, Republicans’ clearly gave Trump more favorable than unfavorable reviews, 60 percent to 39 percent. That has narrowed to a 53-46 margin, with negative marks at their highest level in Post-ABC polling since he entered the race.
  • “Two in three Americans (67 percent) say they have an unfavorable impression of Trump.
  • “The new poll shows Clinton the favorite of 49 percent of registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents compared with Sanders at 42 percent. That 7-point Clinton margin compares with her 19-point advantage in January.”

-- Some relevant state polling on another Election Day:

  • Trump retains his lead in Michigan at 32 percent, so the real contest today is for second place. A Monmouth University poll found Cruz and Kasich each clocking in at 23 percent and 21 percent, respectively. (Michigan also puts Rubio, at 13 percent, in the precarious position of leaving with no delegates.) On the Democratic side, Clinton retains a 13-point-lead, though this arguably has more to do with the large minority population than momentum: the two are virtually tied among white voters.
  • Bernie appears to lead Hillary in Idaho: Political independents in the state overwhelmingly support Sanders, according to Idaho Politics Weekly, and helped him edge out Clinton, who led the state by 12 points just last month. On the Republican side, Trump continues to lead the field with 30 percent support from GOP voters and 24 percent of political independents.
  • More local evidence that the Detroit debate might have hurt Trump: A Fox 2/Mitchell Research poll found Trump has fallen 5 percent since last Thursday in Michigan, with Kasich and Cruz netting increases of 6 percent and 5 percent each. If anything, this and other polls reflect cracks in Trump’s supposed invincibility – moderate Republicans were equally split between Kasich and Trump in the state, according to a survey conducted by PPP, with nearly equal margins of conservative Republicans split between Cruz and Trump.

GET SMART FAST

  1. The U.S. launched a series of airstrikes on a Somali terrorist camp, killing more than 150 militants and averting what a Pentagon official described as an “imminent threat” to U.S. troops stationed in the country. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff)
  2. The OPM director cautioned agencies about sending federal employees into Zika-affected areas, urging supervisors to “monitor the situation closely” and consider alternative work options such as telecommuting. (Eric Yoder)
  3. In a blow to transparency, a deadlocked FEC has effectively given donors permission to hide their contributions behind limited-liability corporations. (Matea Gold)
  4. Ferguson’s city council will reconsider its rejection of a consent decree with the Justice Department, a move that would allow the Missouri municipality to avoid a federal lawsuit. Council members will vote again on the original agreement later today. (Matt Zapotosky)
  5. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined an offer to meet with Obama at the White House later this month and canceled a planned trip to Washington. The decision marks the latest episode in the leaders’ fraught relationship, which has yet to recover from the Iranian nuclear deal. (Reuters)
  6. The Michigan Catholic Church Conference, which oversees health care for Catholic employees in the state, announced a “carefully worded” change to its policies that allows gay church employees to gain coverage for their partners and spouses. (Peter Holley)
  7. The federal government appealed a Brooklyn judge’s decision that prevents it from forcing Apple to access a locked iPhone. It’s a similar-but-separate case to San Bernardino’s high-profile legal saga over a terrorist’s iPhone. Both cases are argued on the same centuries-old law, but the government’s requests differ in what they need Apple to do to extract data from the device. (The Hill)
  8. Tiffany Joslyn, a Democratic lawyer on the House Judiciary Committee, died in a car crash in Rhode Island. (Providence Journal)
  9. A 23-year-old survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing was also killed in a car crash in Dubai, alongside her roommate. Both were students at Northeastern University. (Boston Globe)
  10. Two South Carolina men were fatally shot, burned and buried over an unpaid taxi fare. (Lindsey Bever)

POWER PLAYERS IN THE NEWS

  1. Michael Bloomberg announced he will not run for president, saying he “could not win” and he did not want to risk tipping the election in favor of Trump or Cruz. (Niraj Chokshi) Read the mayor’s explanation here.
  2. Paul Ryan has spoken by phone with Trump and Cruz, according to his spokeswoman, who added that he’ll talk soon with Rubio and Kasich. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an email that, “They did speak, and they had a great conversation. Mr. Trump likes and respects the Speaker very much.” Ed O’Keefe notes that those warm words would signal a detente between Ryan and Trump just a week after they made veiled threats toward each other.
  3. Trent Lott said he would have taken up President Obama's nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. “I probably would have handled it differently,” the former Republican leader told David Axelrod. (CNN)
  4. Democratic lawyers Newton Minnow and Abner Mikva both knew and worked with Antonin Scalia. They write in a Chicago Tribune op-ed that the deceased justice would be “disturbed” by the refusal of Senate Republicans to even consider the president’s nominee.

  5. Meanwhile, a group of the country’s most distinguished historians, including Stanford’s David Kennedy and Doris Kearns Goodwin, signed onto an open letter saying, “The refusal to hold hearings and deliberate on a nominee at this level is truly unprecedented and, in our view, dangerous.” (Read it here.)

  6. A jury awarded $55 million to Fox Sports's Erin Andrews in her lawsuit over being filmed by a stalker while changing clothes in her hotel room. (Des Bieler)

  7. Tennis star Maria Sharapova was provisionally suspended after failing a drug test for newly banned meldonium. Sharapova said she has taken the substance since 2006 for various health ailments and was “unaware” of its newly prohibited status. (Kelyn Soong)
  8. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for state employees from $7.25 to $10.15. (ABC 27)

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

John Kasich grew up in a modest two-story brick house on Elizabeth Street, on a ridge overlooking Pittsburgh, in a working-class neighborhood that he shared with a group of pals who called themselves the “hill boys.” They roamed from home to church to the ball field, while Kasich’s father, also named John, delivered the mail to their parents’ houses. (Jeff Swensen for The Washington Post)

-- “The place where John Kasich went from being ‘Pope’ to consensus politician,” by Michael Kranish in McKEES ROCKS, Pa.: “[At 17,] many strands of Johnny Kasich’s life seemed to be unraveling. He felt bewildered as race riots tore apart his school, with police called in to keep the peace. Tensions eventually [came to a head] as 400 parents and students met one night to discuss de facto segregation in the school. Ugly epithets were hurled and fistfights broke out. Kasich, a scrawny kid known for his lifelong desire to be priest, had had enough. He seized the microphone, announcing: ‘This has got to stop.… We can’t [keep] being at each other’s throats.’ It was an unlikely moment that Kasich’s friends say they realized their pal was shedding dreams of the priesthood and donning the cloak of a politician.… When they hear him today pleading for civility among fellow Republican presidential candidates, friends say they recognize the words that he uttered as he came of age in this hardened city on the banks of the Ohio River.”

… Can Kasich emerge as a unifying candidate that the party so desperately needs? David Weigel, traveling with the governor around Michigan, calls him the “anti-Trump” who’s “not anti-anybody”: “For the first 15 minutes, you could have mistaken Gov. John Kasich for a motivational speaker. In place of a stump speech, there were lessons learned: ‘always push,’ tales of his hometown, (‘everyone was blue collar’) and the discussion of human dignity. ‘You are special,’ Kasich told students. ‘You have a purpose.’ In Detroit, he gave personal advice about education (two years at a community college saves money) and dealing with loss, interspersed with a pledge to arm Ukrainians and pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. Before Michigan polls opened, he was closing less as a candidate and more as a family friend."

Dawn breaks on the small town of Robertsdale, Ala., where Apple CEO Tim Cook grew up. (Photo by Jeff Haller for The Washington Post)

-- “The roots of Tim Cook’s activism lie in rural Alabama,” by Todd C. Frankel in ROBERTSDALE, Ala.: “There are few clues that Robertsdale is the home town of Apple CEO Tim Cook, the place where he forged beliefs that today put him at the center of a national debate over privacy. But Cook’s experiences here are key to understanding how a once-quiet tech executive became one of the world’s most outspoken corporate leaders…. Cook, who is gay, once criticized Alabama for its lack of progress in a speech at the capitol, and helped fund a gay rights initiative in the Deep South. Now Cook has taken another risky stand, this time on an order to help crack a passcode-locked iPhone. The FBI has accused him of only wanting to protect Apple’s brand. But Cook repeatedly argues the request is wrong in moral terms, calling it ‘bad for America.’ ‘Growing up in Alabama during the 1960s and witnessing what he did, he understood the dangers of remaining silent,’ said human-rights activist Kerry Kennedy.”

Michael Needham, CEO for Heritage Action (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

-- "Michael Needham was stoking fear in Republicans long before Trump," by Elise Viebeck: The head of Heritage Action says this about the GOP front-runner: “The anger [from voters] comes from a place that is profoundly right... I think we [Heritage Action] have landed exactly where the mood of the electorate is. I think that is why politicians are channeling our message. A Trump election or nomination is a complete vindication that Washington needs to change." Continued: "Washington Republicans might panic at the thought of a Trump presidency, but Needham says he does not. He believes that underneath the bluster, the businessman is malleable on specifics....  'A President Trump who tries to find policies that address the themes he’s been addressing would be a fantastic opportunity for us to shape the policy agenda,' he said."

Mercury's surface is darker than it should be. (NASA)

-- Scientists say carbon is the culprit behind Mercury’s dark and crusty exterior, by Rachel Feltman: “But instead of carbon shed from cometary encounters, it might be the remains of Mercury's ancient surface – a layer buried by other materials over billions of years. Researchers believe the carbon is in graphite form (think pencil tips).… And based on modeling, scientists are fairly certain that a young Mercury once hosted a hot, global ocean of magma. As the planet aged and cooled, most of its elements would have sunk below the surface. But graphite is light enough that it would have floated up to the top, crystallizing to form a dark, dark crust over half a mile thick. Volcanic activity and the refuse of cosmic collisions would have covered up this crust, leaving it hidden from sight until comets massive enough to form deep impact craters came along to reveal it. ‘If so, we may be observing the remains of Mercury’s original, 4.6-billion-year-old surface,’ said coauthor and planetary geologist Rachel Klima.”

THE LATEST ON THE REPUBLICAN RACE

Donald Trump holds up a key to the city as he speaks at a campaign rally yesterday in Madison, Miss. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Narrative: “Seeing Trump as vulnerable, GOP elites now eye a contested convention.” Philip Rucker and Robert Costa obtain a PowerPoint presentation that’s making the rounds among opertives and donors in the anti-Trump effort. It is “an 11th-hour rebuttal to the fatalism permeating the Republican establishment: Slide by slide, state by state, it calculates how Trump could be denied the presidential nomination. [It] encapsulates the newly emboldened view of many GOP leaders and donors who see a clearer path to stopping Trump since his two losses and two narrower-than-expected wins on Saturday. In private conversations at an RGA retreat in Park City and a gathering of political minds in Sea Island, Ga, there was an emerging consensus that Trump is vulnerable and that a continued blitz of attacks could puncture the billionaire mogul’s support. ‘Despite the fact that the story right now is panic in the streets, throw the baby out the window and hope the firefighter catches her . . . hope springs eternal,’ said AEI president Arthur C. Brooks. ‘Nothing is inevitable.’”

-- Mitt Romney recorded an anti-Trump robocall, saying he is “convinced Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton” in a general election. The phone call is being paid for by the Rubio campaign and being sent to Republicans in four states voting on Tuesday -- Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii. In the brief message, Romney makes clear that the call was paid for by the Rubio campaign, but he stops short of endorsing the senator. (Ed O'Keefe)

Chris Cillizza analyzes the charts. Meanwhile, in Ohio, a poll from the Democratic firm PPP finds Trump and Kasich within the margin of error (38-35). But Kasich fares best in a head-to-head match-up. 

This is Rand Paul's chief strategist:

THE DAILY DONALD:

-- Trump is cracking down on rally protestors with loyalty oaths, plainclothes guards and new media restrictions. From Politico’s Ben Schreckinger: “Trump’s rally (in North Carolina yesterday) began with the candidate asking all attendees to raise their hands and take an oath to vote for him, while extended barriers cordoned off the press and plainclothes private intelligence officers scoured the crowd for protestors. These new tactics represent refinements by Trump and his staff in their quest to control the atmosphere and message of his often unruly rallies. Before the start of the rally, [two members of Trump’s private security team, dressed in street clothes] began assisting in the preemptive removal of potential dissenters. One woman wearing a gold Star — modeled after those Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe — affixed to her jacket that read ‘Stop Islamaphobia’ stood silently and was removed from the venue. And [new] press pens were constructed with barriers preventing members of the media from exiting the pen and documenting protests and scuffles while Trump speaks.”

-- “Trump’s flirtation with fascism” is the headline on Dana Milbank’s column today: “Where does Trump’s flirtation with fascism end? Nobody knows. But don’t say you didn’t see it coming.”

  • “I’ve perhaps never agreed with Glenn Beck before, but the right-wing radio personality was right to hold up a Nazi ballot on ABC’s ‘This Week’ on Sunday morning. ‘We should look at Adolf Hitler in 1929,’ said Beck, who usually saves his Nazi analogies for liberals. Beck added, ‘Donald Trump is a dangerous man with the things that he has been saying.’”
  • Abe Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and the retired longtime head of the ADL, said that Trump leading thousands in ‘what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute is about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States.’ He told the Times of Israel that Trump is ‘smart enough’ to know what he was doing…
  • “The Germans, too, find him dangerous — and they should know. Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, last month called Trump “the world’s most dangerous man” and leader of a “hate-filled authoritarian movement” who “inflames tensions against ethnic minorities . . . while ignoring democratic conventions.”
  • “On Monday, Jane Eisner, editor of the Jewish media outlet Forward, quoted Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt: ‘Some people didn’t approve of Hitler’s anti-Semitism, but they went along with it because he was going to make Germany great again.’”

-- Trump launched anti-Rubio attack ads in Florida, calling the senator "corrupt" and accusing Rubio of "defrauding the people of Florida." (Jenna Johnson)

-- The Sun Sentinel (Broward/Palm Beach) Editorial Board will not endorse any Republican candidate in Florida’s March 15 primary, saying that “the kind of person who should be running is not in the race.”

-- Trump’s support has surged in his home state of New York to almost 50 percent, widening his primary lead to 27 percent over Kasich and Rubio, who are tied for second. On the Democratic side, Hillary maintains a healthy but stagnant lead over Sanders at 55-34 percent – numbers virtually unchanged since last month’s polls, according to Siena Research Institute.

Ted Cruz speaks during a rally yesterday in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

CRUZ MOMENTUM:

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, whose state votes today, became the second governor to endorse Cruz. (The Clarion-Ledger)

Oops: National Review reported last night that Cruz was poised to roll out endorsements from “more  than four senators this week” but then updated the story after publication to say “at least one.”

Marco Rubio holds up 3-month-old Evelyn Bernard during a rally in Idaho Falls, Idaho. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

THE RUBIO FADE:

-- Rubio trails in the fight for Florida. He is behind Trump by an 8-point margin, according to a Monmouth University poll, and would barely tie the billionaire businessman in a head-to-head matchup.

-- Marco's struggles are giving Jeb donors second thoughts: The AP explains how Rubio is stuck in a classic Catch-22. He needs money to win Florida, but the donors he needs want him to win there before they invest. “Super Tuesday came and Rubio didn’t do as well as some of us hoped. So people are saying, ‘Let’s see how this thing shakes out,’” said Craig Duchossois, who contributed $500,000 last year to a group that backed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “I’m holding back,” he added. “We’ll see what happens on next Tuesday in Florida,” said Ron Gidwitz, another Chicago GOP donor who turned from Bush to Rubio. “We’ll see how real he is at that point.” Added Bill Kunkler, another Chicago Republican who backed Bush but stopped short of the pivot to Rubio: “In Rubio, I don’t see the presidential gravitas.”

-- On the front page, the New York Times looks at Rubio’s failed 2007 effort to fix the tax code in Florida, “Marco Rubio’s Campaign Echoes ’07 Tax Revolt: A Big Plan With Little Payoff,” by Michael Barbaro: “It began with the audacity and promise of a rising political star. Young Marco Rubio was going to do what nobody had tried for decades: rewrite Florida’s tax code and elevate his stature in the process. He delivered stirring speeches, recruited wealthy donors, and persuaded a skeptical Republican establishment to sign on. But the strategy was presumptuous, and the follow-through questionable. In the end, he failed … Today, those who counted on Rubio to emerge as the Republican standard-bearer talk about the same shortcomings that doomed his sweeping tax plan: an overconfidence in his charismatic powers; an emphasis on inspiring messages; and a lack of finesse at crucial moments."

Hillary Clinton walks out on stage to participate in the Fox News Democratic Town Hall in Detroit. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE:

-- Clinton and Sanders made their final pitches to Michigan voters at a town hall on Fox News.

They stayed above the fray: Both Sanders and Clinton declined chances to go after each other, even when the moderators pushed otherwise: “Asked whether he's more trustworthy than Clinton, Sanders said, ‘I will let the people of the United States make that decision.’ Clinton, asked whether she views Sanders as an opponent or an ally, called the Vermont senator an ally.” She said it’s too soon to think about who her VP will be, and he said he is not interested in being her VP.

Sanders fielded questions about his ambitious policy proposals and again didn’t offer much in the way of detailed answers. When asked by a doctor how he plans to transform from the ACA to a single-payer universal healthcare system, Sanders only said he “wants to expand Medicare to all Americans.” And when host Bret Baier asked how Sanders would mobilize a Republican-led Congress, he glossed over the question: “If I become president … there will be massive voter turnout,” he said, before moving on.

Clinton was heavily questioned on the email saga, but she seemed less defensive than usual. “I’ve asked – and I echo Colin Powell in this, release (them),” Clinton said of her classified emails. She said releasing the retroactively classified material will allow others to "see how absurd it is." She also defended her support for U.S. military action in Libya in 2011 and the subsequent power vacuum, saying that if the U.S. and its allies hadn’t intervened when they did “we would be looking at something much more resembling Syria now.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

John Lewis took to Twitter to remember the marches from Selma to Montgomery:

President Obama also marked the anniversary:

The Sanders campaign got dinged for tweeting a movie still from "Selma" instead of a real photo of the march:

The NRA praised Sanders for suggesting that Hillary basically wants to stop the manufacturing of guns:

But the group made clear they're not feeling the Bern either:

Trump slammed Lindsey Graham, who has showed signs of rallying behind Cruz:

The South Carolina senator responded with characteristically self-deprecating humor:

The NRCC's Jordan Davis caught a mistake in House of Cards:

Paul Ryan is hanging with Kevin McCarthy this recess week:

More tributes to Nancy Reagan from lawmakers:

From Gary Sinise:

And Mr. T, the subject of this iconic photo:

Ryan ordered flags to fly at half-staff in Mrs. Reagan's honor:

HOT ON THE LEFT

Nancy Reagan's role in the disastrous war on drugs. From the Huffington Post: "Having spent the last 16 years working at the Drug Policy Alliance, an organization that believes the war on drugs is a failure and drug use should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue, Nancy and Ronald Reagan bring up a lot of emotions for me. While the press often talk about their strength, love and optimism, I see two people who are most responsible for our country's mass incarceration and destruction of millions of people's lives."

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT

Americans really don't like immigration, new survey finds. From Bloomberg: "Sixty-one percent of Americans agree that 'continued immigration into the country jeopardizes the United States,' according to a new poll commissioned by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney ... A belief that immigration jeopardizes the U.S. was common across age groups, although highest among baby boomers (65 percent) and lowest among millennials (55 percent)."

DAYBOOK:

On the campaign trail: Primary elections take place in  Michigan, Mississippi and, for Republicans, Idaho and Hawaii (caucus). (The AP has a rundown of when to expect results from where here.)

Here's the rundown of where the candidates are spending the day:

  • Clinton: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Sanders: Miami
  • Trump: Jupiter, Fla., press conference after results come in
  • Cruz: Raleigh, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Rubio: Sarasota, Ponte Vedra, Fla.
  • Kasich: Lansing, Mich.; Broadview Heights, Columbus, Ohio

At the White House: President Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Vice President Biden is in the United Arab Emirates.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to resume work on an opioid abuse bill. The House is not in session.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

“Somebody needs to remind Mr. Trump that the military is not his palace guards." -- Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling (Ret.), criticizing Trump’s remark that the U.S. military will do what it is told (Peter Holley)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

--Get ready for a Tuesday that’s way more May than March! The Capital Weather Gang forecasts that today will be a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of great weather: “A few early morning clouds are possible before sunny skies take over and temperatures soar into the lower to middle 70s. This will be our first time in the 70s since that weirdly warm Christmas weekend.”

-- State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R) announced his bid for Virginia lieutenant governor. The second-term senator, fresh off a recent gun deal with Gov. Terry McAuliffe, faces competition from Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Fauquier) and potential contender Pete Snyder. (Laura Vozzella)

--Two volunteer firefighters from Stafford County who were put on leave for transporting a gravely ill toddler to the hospital in a firetruck have been reinstated. (Shawn Boburg)

-- The Secret Service arrested a man who tried to breach the White House fence last night. (Peter Hermann and Carol D. Leonnig)

-- The chef behind Rose's Luxury is about to open Pineapple and Pearls. Aaron Silverman's fine-dining debut will begin taking reservations next week for its April 7 opening. But here's the rub: the pre-fixe menu is $250 a head. (Tim Carman)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

CNN reported on the air yesterday that "the Rubio campaign is having serious internal debate" and that "some of his advisers are suggesting he really can't win and should get out before the Florida primary." That prompted Rubio's communications director to go on CNN and make an impromptu appearance on Wolf Blitzer's show. On the air, Alex Conant vigorously denied the story and said no one had reached out to the campaign ahead of time. It led to a series of tense exchanges in the so-called "Situation Room":

Remember that Cruz ad that had to be pulled when it came out that the star was an adult entertainer who had appeared in a series of risque films? Well, she endorsed Trump yesterday:

Watch Trump's attack ad against "corrupt" Rubio:

Trump told a protester to "go home to mommy":

The American Future Fund launched a 30-second ad highlighting Trump's penchant for profanity: 

Trump defended Trump University in an extended video:

Watch Al Franken draw a perfect U.S. map from memory as part of a video for our Post colleague Christopher Ingraham, who is moving to Minnesota:

If you missed it, here's a two-minute recap of the Fox News Democratic town hall: