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The Lid: Is Ted Cruz Losing Momentum?

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump on Tuesday, which could be helpful for Trump to shore up conservative support in Iowa AND win over the still undecided “binge reality television watchers” voting bloc.

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‘16 from 30,000

So Ted Cruz had a bad day. Not only did Sarah Palin endorse Donald Trump, but Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said a Cruz victory in the Iowa caucuses would be “damaging” and “a big mistake.” The comment is striking coming from Branstad, who in recent presidential primaries has stayed neutral. The country’s longest-serving governor said he will not endorse any candidate, but the non-endorsement of Cruz is great news for Donald Trump, who trailed the Texas senator by three points in the most recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll. If you throw in Palin’s Trump endorsement, plus the blowback Cruz received from his “New York values” attack, all the sudden it’s looking like a rough stretch for the Iowa frontrunner less than two weeks before the caucuses. No one of these events (which unfolded while he was in New Hampshire) are insurmountable, but taken together, it looks like Cruz is losing momentum at a critical point in the primary. But just how much is what matters.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

“"It'll keep you hoppin! Get it?”

- John Kasich brewing beer during a stop in New Hampshire

TOMORROW’S SKED

Trump is joined by Sarah Palin for campaign stops in Iowa and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio make morning stops in New Hampshire. John Kasich, Chris Christie and and Jeb Bush are also in the state.

Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum are in Iowa