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Dem Town Hall Tonight. Debate Tomorrow.

CNN hosts Democratic town hall tonight: “Is Sanders ready to really rip into Clinton? His winks and nods toward the liberal base are impossible to miss … Will she continue her line of attack on Sanders that his ideas sound great but bear little resemblance to the political realities of Washington today?”

Agreement reached for MSNBC debate tomorrow. Politico: “Sen. Bernie Sanders will attend Thursday’s debate hosted by MSNBC, he told the hosts of ‘Morning Joe’ on Wednesday … A source familiar with the negotiations said that the Clinton and Sanders camps have not yet agreed to the terms on the future three debates.”

Sanders Rides Momentum Into NH

Sanders way ahead in NH. The Hill: “Sanders leads the Democratic presidential front-runner by 33 points among registered Democrats in the University of Massachusetts-Lowell/7 News survey released Wednesday. He takes 63 percent in the Granite State…”

Sanders raises $3M after Iowa. W. Post: “He also benefited from new donors in the hour afters his speech on Monday night. Four in 10 who gave during that stretch had not contributed previously to the campaign…”

Sanders questions Clinton’s ideology. Time: “When asked by a reporter if Clinton is a true progressive, Sanders said, ‘Some days, yes. Except when she announces that she is a proud moderate, and then I guess she is not a progressive.'”

Sanders accepts Iowa results. Politico: ““Well, sure,’ the Vermont senator told NBC’s Matt Lauer … when asked if he accepted the results … Sanders again painted his close second-place finish as a success, explaining that his campaign started out in Iowa ‘about 40 to 50 points down’ only to lose it by ‘two-tenths of one percent.’ ‘Although to tell you the truth, the Iowa caucus is so complicated, it’s not 100 percent sure we didn’t win it,’ he added.”

Sanders inspires congressional candidates. TNR’s David Dayen: “This past week, I interviewed three candidates for Congress, all running in seats currently held by Republicans, who have endorsed Bernie Sanders. They may not all win­—some might not even represent the Democrats in the general election—but they exemplify a new energy in the party, expressing pride in liberal ideas instead of fleeing from them…”

Clinton Seeks To Close NH Gap

Clinton aims to beat expectations. Politico: “The feeling at Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters these days isn’t about pulling off an upset — it’s about closing the gap, and halting Sanders’ momentum by denying him an easy win in a state that should be a cakewalk … Between [her] well-oiled field operation, her endorsements from Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and the Clinton family’s history with New Hampshire, the state isn’t as out of reach as the current exercises in expectation-setting suggest.”

Clinton braces for long primary. W. Post: “…Clinton’s battle with Sanders has exposed vulnerabilities that her backers find worrisome. Chief among them is what is being called an ‘enthusiasm gap’ — an apparent inability to ignite the kind of excitement that the gruff, rumpled Sanders is generating among young people and on the left.”

Pelosi may endorse Clinton. The Hill: “‘I assume it will be Hillary Clinton,’ Pelosi said Tuesday during an interview with The Hill in her office in the Capitol. Pelosi has hinted in the past that she expects Clinton to be the winner, but Tuesday’s comments had added significance coming one day after the front-runner’s narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses.”

Rubio Faces Biggest Test

GOP establishment holds off on Rubio. Politico: “…if Rubio was hoping for a stampede to his corner following South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s key endorsement, it did not materialize on Tuesday. No senators defected to Rubio from other mainstream Republican hopefuls … ‘let’s see what happens in New Hampshire,’ [Sen. Dean] Heller said. ‘If Rubio does as well in New Hampshire, then I think there will be new discussions.'”

Bush and Christie go after Rubio. W. Post: “‘Maybe he’ll do more than 40 minutes on a little stage telling everybody his canned speech that he’s memorized,’ Christie said to reporters … Bush said at a town hall meeting in Rindge that Rubio, 44, and Cruz, 45, did not have the ‘life experience’ to be president and questioned whether either had ever sacrificed his personal ambition for the public good.”

Cruz looks ahead to SC. WSJ: “Mr. Cruz made one stop in Windham, N.H. on Tuesday afternoon before flying to South Carolina for an evening rally. He resumes a heavy campaign schedule in New Hampshire on Wednesday … Mr. Cruz is devoting significant resources and attention to the Palmetto State to blunt the potential damage to his campaign of a second- or third-place finish in New Hampshire.”

GOP Resists TPP

Obama meets with GOP leaders. The Hill: “President Obama and Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday had their first face-to-face meeting since the Wisconsin Republican took the reins of the House … The goal for the closed-door lunch, which came after a joint meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was to identify bipartisan legislation … Obama highlighted five priorities during the meeting: the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, criminal justice reform, heroin abuse, Vice President Biden’s ‘moonshot’ bid to cure cancer and Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis. McConnell and Ryan, meanwhile, pressed the president to aggressively combat the spread of the Zika virus, and the Speaker raised concerns about Obama’s enforcement of a new visa waiver law.”

“GOP in no hurry to move on trade deal” reports The Hill: “House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said that while the TPP could potentially provide the U.S with an economic boost, the agreement has several major problems that must be resolved before lawmakers can consider taking a vote on the sweeping deal … The contentious issues include intellectual property protections for high-tech biologic medicines and a carve-out of tobacco that has agitated tobacco-state lawmakers.”

Sen. Warren pushes Senate to reject TPP. The Hill quotes: “I hope Congress will use its constitutional authority to stop this deal before it makes things even worse and even more dangerous for America’s hardest-working families.”

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