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The Lid: Clinton and Trump Square Off in First Debate

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Donald Trump's campaign manager said the GOP nominee is "like the Babe Ruth of debating." So, either his team is filled with baseball historians who think Babe Ruth played in a less competitive era and does not compare favorably to modern-day players, or they are REALLY bad at the expectations game.

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'16 from 30,000

It's finally here! Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will square off in their long-awaited first presidential debate (moderated by our own Lester Holt) tonight beginning at 9 p.m. And just hours ahead of the big showdown, a brand new NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll shows Clinton with a five-point lead. And 34 percent of voters in our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll said tonight's debate will either be "extremely important" or "quite important" in making their decision. You can watch all the action on NBC News and MSNBC, or stream it live on NBCNews.com. And for real-time updates and analysis visit our live blog at nbcnews.com/debates.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

"You can run, but you can't hide."

  • Tim Kaine's warning to Donald Trump ahead of tonight's debate.

TOMORROW'S SKED

Vice President Joe Biden will campaign for Hillary Clinton in Philly. Bill Clinton also hits the trail in Toledo.

Hillary Clinton holds a rally in Raleigh, N.C.

Donald Trump campaigns in Florida.