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The Lid: Rubio’s Gamble Underscores GOP’s Senate Uncertainty

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…Bernie Sanders on Wednesday finally acknowledged that it “doesn’t appear” he will be the Democratic presidential nominee. Sanders also conceded that the Golden State Warriors have an uphill battle ahead to come back from four games down and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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‘16 from 30,000

The “Marco 2016” t-shirts you’d consigned to the dustbin are ready for their second act, folks! Florida senator Marco Rubio, after insisting for months that he’ll be a “private citizen” come 2017, now says he’ll mount a re-election bid after all. As our colleague Perry Bacon Jr. writes, the move is about a lot more than just Rubio’s personal ambitions. Republicans in the Senate have a majority, with 54 seats, but they have to play defense this fall in a slate of swing states including Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The re-election bids for those GOP senators would have been hard even in a normal year, and they’re significantly complicated by Donald Trump’s presence at the the top of the ticket. Rubio is well-known in Florida and has a deep fundraising network, and it’s no surprise that the party pushed him to reconsider to shore up their chances of being competitive in the Sunshine State. But - by the way - it’s far from a slam dunk for Rubio to sail through the primary and win in the general. If he loses, his widely assumed presidential hopes for 2020 or 2024 will look a lot less sunny.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

“It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee.”

-- Bernie Sanders during an appearance on CSPAN.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Donald Trump travels to Scotland to visit his Turnberry golf course.

Bernie Sanders will deliver a “Where we go from here” speech in New York tomorrow night.