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The Lid: Money Talks in Super Tuesday States

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Bernie Sanders reportedly declined the endorsement of former Minnesota Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura, which he is really going to regret if Super Tuesday exit polls show him narrowly losing to Hillary Clinton among professional wrestling aficionados.

'16 from 30,000

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, which means that - if you live in a state where voters will be voting(!) tomorrow - you've probably seen your fair share of campaign ads. Getting a sense of where the campaigns are spending their dough gives a great glimpse into where each camp thinks their best chances of a strong showing are. (Remember, these aren't winner-take-all states, so for most of these candidates, it's about picking up delegates even if you're not the big winner.)

According to our ad-spending partner SMG Delta, Team Ted Cruz is by far the top spender on the Republican side, shelling out more than six million dollars in eight of the 11 states where Republicans head to the polls tomorrow. His biggest buys have been in Georgia, Tennessee and his home state of Texas. Team Marco Rubio (via the pro-Rubio Super PAC) is spending about half as much, but he's got notably big buys in Texas (where his buy is pretty competitive with Cruz's) and in Virginia, where he's spending the most of any candidate. And Trump is spending just $1.1 million total, continuing the pattern of comparatively low spending for expected high reward that's a source of infuriation for his competitors.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is spending money in all 11 of the Democratic Super Tuesday states, while Bernie Sanders is only truly competing in four - Colorado, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Massachusetts (though he's spending more than his rival in each of those four.)

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

Donald Trump is leading in the Super Tuesday states of Georgia and Tennessee, while Ted Cruz is ahead in his home state of Texas, according to a trio of new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.

Ted Cruz and his allies are dominating GOP spending on the airwaves ahead of Super Tuesday, according to NBC News ad-buying trackers at SMG Delta. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and her backers are spending money on ads in each of the 11 states where voters head to the polls tomorrow, while Bernie Sanders is concentrating his cash in just five of those states.

Cruz says it will be a two-person race after tomorrow's results.

Donald Trump said on TODAY that a "lousy earpiece" is the reason he didn't disavow David Duke in an interview over the weekend.

He has a history of talking about white supremacists and David Duke, MSNBC's Jane Timm writes.

NBC News' Alexandra Jaffe reports on how some potential Rubio supporters are responding to his new tone on the campaign trail.

And in today's First Read: Is the Republican Party on the brink of coming apart?

FOR THE RECORD…

"Just like Chris Christie, I had to make a political decision and I agree with him on a lot of other issues."

  • David Duke to NBC News on why he supports Donald Trump.

TOMORROW'S SKED

It's Super Tuesday!!!!

Candidates are campaigning all over the country. Here's where they will be watching the returns tomorrow night: Hillary Clinton: Miami, Fla.; Bernie Sanders: Essex Junction, Vt.; Donald Trump: Palm Springs, Fla.; John Kasich: Jackson, Miss.; Ted Cruz: Stafford, Texas; Marco Rubio: Miami, Fla.; Ben Carson: Baltimore, Md.