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The Lid: GOP Voters Increasingly OK With Trump

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… The Trump/Cruz "bromance" is officially over. And like so many other high-profile relationships, this one has ended with name-calling, friends choosing sides, and a bitter fight over who gets to keep all the supporters they earned during their time together. The good news - they never bought that puppy.

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'16 from 30,000

Fresh Republican horserace numbers from our new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll are out! Just in time for tonight's sixth GOP debate in Charleston, the poll shows Donald Trump with a commanding lead at 33 percent, followed by Ted Cruz at 20 percent, Marco Rubio at 13 percent and Ben Carson at 12 percent. Here's the jaw-dropper in the data: Trump's acceptability among Republican primary voters continues to increase, up seven points since December and up a whopping 42 points since last spring. Sixty-five percent of Republican primary voters now say that they can see themselves voting for Trump; that number was just 23 percent back in March of last year. While Ted Cruz (71 percent) and Marco Rubio (67 percent) score highest on this question, Trump's ascent really has been remarkable considering the extent to which he's constantly at the center of controversy in the news cycle. Trump's growing lead isn't just about the strength of the coalition we've been talking about since the beginning: non-college, blue collar, less religious whites. This is also about lots of traditional Republican voters who more and more see Trump as an appealing nominee.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

"We were dancing and it was crazy."

  • Hillary Clinton recounting her last ladies' night out in an interview with British host Amanda de Cadenet.

TOMORROW'S SKED

Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Martin O'Malley campaign in Iowa.

It's a busy day in New Hampshire with Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio all in the state.

Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson will remain in South Carolina after tonight's debate to campaign throughout the state on Friday.