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The Lid: The GOP’s Dynamic Duo?

Image: Ted Cruz, Donald Trump

This two picture combo of file photos shows Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, and Donald Trump. Two of the most outspoken Republican presidential candidates on illegal immigration, Cruz and Trump, are set to talk. Cruz, who requested the Wednesday meeting, told reporters at the Capitol that Trump "is bringing a bold, brash voice to this presidential race." (AP Photo/File) AP

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos….Donald Trump on Thursday said his blood pressure is as low as “a great athlete’s,” an apparent play to bump himself into the first round of your fantasy football league draft.

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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND

If you can’t beat ‘em, ask ‘em to join you! In what is a pretty unusual move for a primary contest, Ted Cruz has invited Trump to join him at a rally to highlight opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. The Texas senator has long appeared to be positioning himself to pick up a chunk of Trump’s supporters, including through his efforts to avoid criticism of even Trump’s most bombastic statements. Cruz has not attacked Trump, and has in turn been one of the few GOP candidates who have successfully stayed out of The Donald’s crosshairs.(As Trump is fond of noting, candidates who have aggressively criticized him haven’t fared well in the polls, while Cruz has thrived this summer.)

And take a look at these numbers: In the latest poll from Quinnipiac, Cruz had just a quarter of Trump’s support overall (coming in at seven percent, compared to Trump’s 28 percent lead,) but he ran much more competitively with Trump among Tea Party Republicans and those who say they are “very conservative.” Among Tea Party backers, Cruz captured 21 percent, compared to Trump’s 25 percent. So it looks like Cruz has a good reason to believe that he’d get support from a slice of Trump’s supporters if the real estate mogul deflates.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

BIDEN: Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has given money to Clinton, but he tells Bloomberg that he would make a donation to Biden too if the vice president gets into the presidential race.

CLINTON:The New York Times writes that there is “widespread bewilderment” among Democratic leaders about her handling of the email controversy.

The Washington Post reports on how central Huma Abedin has been to the Clinton universe.

CRUZ:The Daily Caller reports that John Boehner told donors that Cruz’s presidential run keeps “that jackass” out of Washington D.C.

National Journal does a deep dive into his strategy to absorb Trump’s followers.

FOR THE RECORD…

“It’s given me a chance to show off an extraordinary wardrobe. I’ve worn seersucker twice on CNN!”

  • Onetime Trump adviser Roger Stone Jr., on The Donald’s rise

TOMORROW’S SKED

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and other Democratic presidential candidates address the Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Minneapolis.

Donald Trump speaks at Ernie’s Summer Bash, a fundraising event in the Boston area.

Scott Walker delivers a policy address at the Citadel in Charleston, SC.