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The Lid: Trump Effect Beginning to Show in Down-Ballot Races

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Between Donald Trump bragging about his endorsement from "Bobby Night" and Ted Cruz using the term "basketball ring," tomorrow's Indiana primary will be remembered as the 2016 turning point it became clear GOP presidential candidates should not talk about basketball...like…ever.

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'16 from 30,000

On this pre-primary day, don't miss this small but nonetheless significant development: Democratic Senate candidate Conner Eldridge in Arkansas is up with a digital ad compiling some of Donald Trump's most egregious comments about women and linking them squarely to his Arkansas opponent, incumbent Sen. John Boozman. Yes, it's a web ad without significant cash behind it, and yes, it's not one of the tippy-top-tier Senate contests in what promises to be a very hotly-contested downballot year. But you can bet that it still provides a very good template for what Democratic Senate and House candidates will spend the entire summer doing to their GOP rivals if Trump tops the ticket. With a possible presidential nominee disliked by seven-in-ten female voters, a lot of downballot Republicans will start the election season on the defensive, particularly on women's issues, and Democrats are going to have a field day linking every past unpalatable comment from Trump to their GOP opponents around the country.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

"Things are looking great, and the support of Bobby Night has been so amazing."

  • Donald Trump, misspelling the name of famed basketball coach Bobby Knight in a Monday morning tweet.

TOMORROW'S SKED

Indiana votes! Could this be Ted Cruz's last stand? And can Bernie Sanders eke out a victory in a tight race? We'll find out when Hoosier State votes on Tuesday -- polls close at 6 p.m. LOCAL.