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The Lid: The GOP Has a Gay Marriage Problem in 2016

Image: US-COURT-GAY-MARRIAGE-RIGHTS-MARCH

Protesters hold a pro-gay rights flag outside the US Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, countering the demonstrators who attended the March For Marriage in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDSPAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images PAUL J. RICHARDS / AFP - Getty Images

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Thanks for checking out our new afternoon newsletter, which we hope will offer a quick take on the day in politics. Think of it as Happy Hour for your brain, except you get breaking news and analysis instead of half-priced drafts, and Dennis from Accounting will never stick you with the check. You have our word.

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'16 AT 30 THOUSAND

Our thought experiment of the day: Imagine how the story of a socially conservative GOP presidential candidate meeting with a pair of gay businessmen in Manhattan would have played out in, say, 2004. Back then, the dust-up would have likely been dominated by the candidate’s response to backlash from evangelicals -- perhaps with nods to “civility” and “agreeing to disagree.” But in today’s world, it’s the two hoteliers - facing boycott threats and anger from LGBT allies - in the headlines for seeking forgiveness for the “poor judgment” they showed by hosting an event for Ted Cruz.

For all the data that shows how dramatic the country’s shift on gay marriage has been in the last 12 years (and - spoiler alert - we made lots of charts about this to share with you tomorrow), this episode is an amazing anecdote to illustrate how much the narrative -- and the intensity of partisan feeling -- has changed on this issue. A preview of all that data: In our March 2015 poll, 69 percent of liberals said they “strongly favor” allowing same sex marriages. Just 44 percent of conservatives strongly oppose it.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

From NBC’s Perry Bacon ahead of tomorrow’s SCOTUS arguments: “The 2016 Republican presidential candidates are being thrown off balance by the rise of a new set of cultural issues, from marijuana legalization to attending same-sex weddings, that pit the views of conservative voters against a rapidly changing and increasingly liberal American culture.”

Sen. Rand Paul defended the president’s drone mistake during an appearance on Fox News on Monday, one of us wrote. It’s a notably different tone than we heard from him in 2013.

One of the gay businessmen who hosted a reception with Sen. Ted Cruz apologized to the LGBT community for “poor judgment,” we wrote.

Loretta Lynch was officially sworn in as the Attorney General of the United States.

And check out First Read’s recap of Savannah Guthrie’s interview with “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

CLINTON: POLITICO reports on Hillary Clinton’s socially conservative streak when it comes to racy ads and violent video games.

WALKER: The New York Times reports that Walker, ceding that he can’t catch up with Jeb Bush in early fundraising, is eyeing a longer game with a focus on addressing his weaknesses on issues like national security.

WARREN: Don’t miss Ryan Lizza’s deep dive into Elizabeth Warren’s life, her philosophy and her role as a “virtual candidate” in the 2016 race.

HUCKABEE: He said Obama misquoted him during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

FOR THE RECORD...

“ You think I’m not forcing a debate? Call me back in a year, and ask me what type of debate we’re having.”

· Elizabeth Warren, to the New Yorker, on skipping the 2016 campaign

TOMORROW'S SKED

President Obama and Michelle Obama host an official state dinner for the prime minister of Japan beginning at 6:30pm.

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments about same sex marriage, beginning at 10am.

Jeb Bush is in Puerto Rico for an event at the Universidad Metropolitana de Cupey and a town hall meeting at 3pm.

Carly Fiorina has a pair of events in New Hampshire

CLINTON:POLITICO reports on Hillary Clinton’s socially conservative streak when it comes to racy ads and violent video games.

WALKER: The New York Times reports that Walker, ceding that he can’t catch up with Jeb Bush in early fundraising, is eyeing a longer game with a focus on addressing his weaknesses on issues like national security.

WARREN: Don’t miss Ryan Lizza’s deep dive into Elizabeth Warren’s life, her philosophy and her role as a “virtual candidate” in the 2016 race.

HUCKABEE: He said Obama misquoted him during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.