Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…Statues of a naked Donald Trump popped up in a handful of U.S. cities on Thursday in what was just the latest example of something we hope never happens again after this election.
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'16 from 30,000:
Here's some good news for Republicans: Ticket splitting ain't dead yet. Despite the increasingly polarized electorate, some Americans are still making voting decisions based on candidates and not simply casting ballots going by party affiliation, our colleague Dante Chinni writes. Chinni notes that in 2012, six states selected presidential and Senate candidates from different parties: Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and West Virginia.
So why is this particularly helpful to Republicans? Well, the polls (Most of them. All of them?) have Donald Trump down in key states where GOP incumbent senators are facing tough re-election campaigns pivotal to Republicans maintaining control of the upper chamber. The most important races are shaping to be New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- each states where Hillary Clinton is currently leading. And the biggest issue each of the Republican senators are facing is how to navigate questions about their potential support for Trump. The fact split-ticket voters still exist is encouraging for the GOP, who will need support from voters who don't back Trump if they want to win. And one thing to watch for, especially if Trump is unable to turn things around, will be Democrats ratcheting up their attempts to tie vulnerable Republicans to all things Trump. But because Trump is such a unique political figure, there is a chance some voters don't even associate him with Republicans. For some, Trump is just Trump.
Programming Note: No Lid tomorrow. See ya back on Monday.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- Ticket-splitting could be key for vulnerable Republican incumbents hoping to keep their jobs in the Senate, Dante Chinni writes.
- Trump's campaign chairman was a key player in multi-million-dollar business propositions with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs — one of them a close Putin ally with alleged ties to organized crime — which foreign policy experts say raises questions about the pro-Russian bent of the Trump candidacy, NBC News' Tom Winter and Ken Dilanian.
- A pro-Trump super Pac is fundraising off fellow Republicans, NBC News' Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.
- Jill Stein may help Hillary Clinton, according to NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald.
- John McCain tried and failed to avoid questions about Donald Trump during an event today.
- Donald Trump is finally on the TV airwaves with a $4 million ad buy.
- And from First Read: The one way Trump's shake-up makes sense.
FOR THE RECORD…
"NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small."
-- New York City Parks Department response a nude Donald Trump statue placed in Union Square on Thursday.
Donald Trump campaigns in Michigan.