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The Lid: Political Pundits Eat Crow Following Trump Victory

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… John Kasich suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, meaning Bernie Sanders has officially become the guy at the party who starts pouring another margarita after the hosts start conspicuously yawning and saying "Well, gosh, look at the time."

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'16 from 30,000

It's a day of crow-eating, finger-pointing and those shruggy emojis as the Beltway class collectively comes to the realization that Donald Trump has succeeded in doing what was once deemed impossible: captured the Republican nomination. But in retrospect, a look back at nearly a year's worth of polling shows that, as much as Trump doesn't fit the mold of past party standard-bearers, he hardly came out of nowhere to grab the GOP crown. In fact, he led our NBC/WSJ poll from the get-go, starting in July 2015, the first NBC poll conducted completely after his entry into the race. From then until now, Trump has only relinquished the top spot twice, and for brief periods of time. In late October 2015. he fell six points below Ben Carson. Then, in February, he was in a statistical tie with Ted Cruz, trailing him by two. But other than that, folks, GOP primary voters have mostly been telling us that Trump was their guy for almost a year now. Does that mean that super-early primary polls should always be believed? Ask Presidents Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson (and Hillary Clinton!). But while it's fair to say Trump defied all expectations, we can't look back and say no one could have seen him coming.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

"I am anticipating he will ask me to be vice president. [pause] I have nothing serious to say."

  • Joe Biden asked his reaction to Donald Trump becoming the likely GOP nominee

TOMORROW'S SKED

Hillary Clinton holds an evening event in California.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both campaign in West Virginia.