Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… For those who celebrate, The Lid wishes you a very happy Easter weekend. As for us, we kicked off this time of thankfulness and reflection by having to ask our editors how to handle a presidential candidate using the words "rat" and "copulate" in the same sentence.
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'16 from 30,000
If you can't beat him, join forces? There's quite a bit of punditry out there about how John Kasich is functioning as a spoiler in the Republican primary contest by holding down Ted Cruz's delegate haul and allowing Donald Trump to get ever closer to the 1,237 magic number. However, as David Wasserman points out today, the #NeverTrump crowd's last best shot at stopping Trump might actually be a coordinated effort between Cruz and Kasich to rob the frontrunner of delegates. Here's how it could work: "There are a handful of places — mostly well-educated lefty hangouts — where Kasich appears better-positioned than Cruz to deny Trump delegates. Cruz could cede all these places to Kasich. In exchange, Kasich could lay off winner-take-all states where only Cruz has a chance to beat Trump:Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota," Wasserman writes. Of course, as the author points out, a team effort against Trump would play directly into the frontrunner's narrative about the Big Bad Washington Establishment fighting the will of the people. But as our big sis First Read has written before, without a coordinated strategy, the folks who want to halt Trump's march aren't winning the battle so far.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Ted Cruz forcefully denied a tabloid story of alleged extramarital affairs, calling it "utter lies" pushed by "Donald Trump and his henchmen."
- Two of the most prominent outside groups funding efforts to prevent Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination will spend heavily in Wisconsin, the next primary state, NBC News has learned.
- NBC's Katy Tur and Ari Melber report on Trump's plan to stop a contested GOP convention.
- A new stop Trump campaign is aiming to hit Trump supporters where it could really hurt, NBC's Alex Jaffe writes.
- And from First Read: As GOP race gets nastier, Clinton is pivoting to the general election.
FOR THE RECORD…
"Donald Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him."
Ted Cruz responding to a National Enquirer story about alleged extramarital affairs
Democrats caucus in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington on Saturday.
Bernie Sanders and John Kasich join Chuck Todd on Meet The Press.