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March 26, 2014

With only days to go before the end-of-month deadline to obtain health insurance or face a fine, a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that Republican calls to overturn the law may be wearing thin. In the survey, only 18 percent of respondents favored repealing the law wholesale, while 11 percent supported repealing it and replacing it with a Republican alternative. Combined, that's a paltry 29 percent who wanted to repeal the law in some form. Meanwhile, 49 percent wanted to keep and improve the law, while another 10 percent said it was good as is — good for a total of 59 percent.

Moreover, the repeal/don't repeal split has grown even more in favor of Democrats since last year. Back in October, 37 percent supported repeal, while 47 percent did not. And importantly for Democrats as they stare down a potentially disastrous election year, the survey found that Americans are warming up to the health-care law now that it has taken hold.

All of which is to say: Republicans might need to find a new issue to flog if they want to maintain their election edge all the way to November. Jon Terbush

7:52 a.m. ET
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The legendary musician Prince was trying to meet with a doctor about a painkiller addiction the day before he died, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Representatives of Prince reached out to Dr. Howard Kornfeld on the night of April 20 and told him Prince was "dealing with a grave medical emergency."

While Howard Kornfeld could not clear his schedule to fly out the next day, he sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, ahead of him and planned to follow later. When Andrew Kornfeld arrived at Paisley Park at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Prince's representatives were unable to locate Prince. Andrew Kornfeld was one of three people who discovered the musician unconscious in an elevator, and it was Andrew who placed the 911 call.

Painkillers were also discovered at the scene — investigators are actively working to learn how Prince got the pills, and who provided them.

Sources said it was hoped Prince would agree to travel to California for round-the-clock support at Kornfeld's renowned clinic, the Star Tribune reports. Six days before his death, Prince's plane made an emergency landing; those with direct knowledge of the situation said the landing occurred because Prince was overdosing on opioids. Jeva Lange

7:22 a.m. ET
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images

With Ted Cruz out of the presidential race, there is little doubt remaining that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. Looking ahead to a general election, however, Trump does not fair well against either Democratic candidate.

In a new CNN/ORC poll completed before Tuesday's primary results in Indiana, Clinton led Trump by 54 percent to 41 percent — the 13-point advantage being her largest lead since last summer. The results found that Bernie Sanders has an even bigger edge on Trump, beating him by 16 points.

John Kasich — whose odds at becoming the Republican nominee are nearly insurmountable — actually beats Clinton in the polls, and sits only 4 points behind Sanders.

The poll surveyed 1,001 adults and among them, 890 registered voters, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points for the results of the registered voters. The poll was conducted between April 28 and May 1. Jeva Lange

5:19 a.m. ET

On Monday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel devoted a segment of the show to debunking Sarah Palin and other climate change deniers. He said then he knew he would get "beaten over the head" for the bit, and on Tuesday's show, he read some of the comments. Social media is a double-edged sword, he began, noting that before Twitter and Facebook, people had to send nasty comments through the mail, while now "they can go online and torpedo that rage directly at me immediately."

With the explanation of social media out of the way, Kimmel read a "sampling of the warm sentiments I received, and I just want to say up front, it might seem like I only pick comments from people whose grammar is bad, but the truth is, the vast majority of the negative comments came from people whose grammar is bad." If you've ever taken the time to read the comments section of any website, you've seen worse, but there are some doozies. Kimmel ended on a pretty dark note, though: "Some of it got me kind of mad, the ignorance, but ultimately, I have to say, after reading all this, I'm now kind of okay with global warming wiping out the human race. It turns out we deserve it." Watch. Peter Weber

4:18 a.m. ET

Tuesday's Late Show taped before Stephen Colbert learned that Donald Trump won the Indiana Republican primary and Ted Cruz dropped out of the race. "But I do know that it was do-or-die for Sen. Ted Cruz — and judging by this picture, I'm going to say he died about a week ago," he said. Instead of talking about future events, Colbert looked at what ended up being Cruz's last stand, including his getting stomped by quick-witted Trump supporters in Indiana and Trump's own conspiracy theory, unveiled Tuesday morning, that Cruz's father met with Lee Harvey Oswald soon before Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy, based on a report in the National Enquirer.

"This is horrible — and not just for Cruz," Colbert said. "Oliver Stone is kicking himself for not thinking of this." But instead of just laughing at Trump, he had a better conspiracy theory that blows Trump's Cruz-JFK aspersions out of the water — and if you watch until the end, he gets an assist from Cruz himself, and Back to the Future. Peter Weber

1:30 a.m. ET

The city of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, was evacuated Tuesday due to an out-of-control wildfire that officials say has doubled to 10,000 square miles in one day.

With 60,000 people affected, it is the largest wildfire evacuation in the history of the province, CBC News reports. Fort McMurray is about 270 miles northeast of Edmonton, and homes in at least two neighborhoods have been destroyed. Hot and dry conditions contributed to the fire, but once the wind started, the fire quickly spread.

Darby Allen, the fire chief for the Wood Buffalo regional municipality, told CBC News that Tuesday was the "worst day of my career." The fire is "ugly" and "nasty," he added, and "hasn't shown any forgiveness." The military is waiting for a request to help fight the fire, CBC News reports, and with high wind gusts expected on Wednesday, the burning will likely be more intense. Catherine Garcia

1:09 a.m. ET
Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus has declared Donald Trump the "presumptive GOP nominee" and is trying to rally his party around the hashtag #NeverHillary. But the Republicans resolutely opposed to Trump are sticking with #NeverTrump, and they have vowed to keep on keeping on, even though they just lost their last real shot to deprive Trump of the nomination. You can argue that their tactics were ineffective, but nobody can say they didn't try. In total, CNN's Gregory Wallace reports, Republicans ran more than $70 million in broadcast television ads during the campaign, or 64,000 different ads.

In his victory speech on Tuesday night, Trump criticized the steady stream of #NeverTrump ads in Indiana, saying he asked his advisers, "how can anyone endure this?" (Of course, since it was a victory speech, Trump was answering his own question.) The $75.7 million in TV ad spending, as counted by Kantar Media/CMAG, includes all ads run against Trump during the campaign, by all the candidates and their super PACs; Marco Rubio's supporters at Conservative Solutions PAC spent the most, some $19.7 million, followed by pro-Jeb! group Right to Rise, at nearly $10 million.

The main obstacle that thwarted the Stop Trump movement is that "you can't beat someone with no one," says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. "Many Republicans are scared of what Trump might do as the GOP nominee. But they viscerally hate Cruz and simply could not bring themselves to be for him." Peter Weber

12:58 a.m. ET

Ted Cruz's freshman roommate at Princeton, screenwriter Craig Mazin, has been closely following his presidential campaign, dropping bits of information here and there on Twitter that you never wanted to know.

To say that Mazin isn't a fan of Cruz's is an understatement, and now that Cruz is officially out of the race, Mazin is celebrating.

One of Mazin's followers asked him if he will take on a new target, like Donald Trump, but Mazin said he focused solely on Cruz because of their history.

Unfortunately for Cruz, just because he's out of the presidential race doesn't mean Mazin is completely finished with him. Catherine Garcia

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