Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…Gary Johnson will lead a 70-mile bike ride this weekend to "emphasize healthy lifestyles." It's a brilliant move from Johnson, who knows that no reporter covering the 2016 race could possibly be fit enough at this point to make sure he doesn't hop into a Prius and head to Waffle House around mile 12.
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'16 from 30,000
It's less than four weeks until Election Day, but voters are already voting. A lot of them, in fact. Our NBC News data analytics team crunched the numbers and found that more than half a million votes have already been cast in the presidential election. That includes almost 90,000 in Iowa, 55,000 in Virginia, 31,000 in Florida and 22,000 in North Carolina. The early vote -- along with registration drives and Election Day GOTV -- is why reporters are so keen to understand campaigns' resources when it comes to the vaunted ground-games of both sides. And it's a big reason why, even though we're a month out, swing state polls and candidate visits really, really matter. It's worth noting that early voters are typically partisans who are far from undecided, but particularly in states where Democrats have a big advantage in the early vote (which includes some key battlegrounds), this is a time period where a well-organized Clinton campaign could run up the scoreboard long before November 8.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Scoop: NBC's Leigh Ann Caldwell reports major GOP donors want their money back.
- More than 500,000 votes have been cast nationwide in the 2016 presidential election as of Tuesday, according to new analysis by the NBC News Data Analytics Lab.
- The was a notable lack of enthusiasm for Mike Pence when he appeared at Liberty University on Wednesday, NBC's Vaughn Hillyard reports.
- NBC's Alex Jaffe reports on how Trump is making debate season tough for downballot candidates.
- Trump wondered why Paul Ryan didn't congratulate him after debate.
- Trump surrogate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that Hillary Clinton shouldn't be a part of the 9/11 "never forget" group because she wasn't in New York on September 11.
- And from First Read: Donald Trump unshackled.
FOR THE RECORD…
"They call me Lil' Kaine not Lil' Wayne."
-- Tim Kaine during an interview on Charlotte's 97.9 FM.
Donald Trump holds rallies in Florida and Ohio.
Biden campaigns for Clinton in Las Vegas.
Bill Clinton hits Iowa, while Chelsea Clinton campaigns in Maine.