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The Lid: Trump’s Big General Election Problem

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Donald Trump is feuding on Twitter with Samuel L. Jackson over their golf skills. Which we can only assume with end with the two of them doing an elaborate re-enaction of the "Big Kahuna Burger" scene from Pulp Fiction.

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'16 from 30,000

Even though it might not feel like it in this crazy news cycle, (see: arguing about Marco Rubio's shoes), we're getting close to actual voters making actual, consequential decisions about candidates. Our big sib First Read wrote this morning about how *unacceptable* most of the establishment GOP candidates are to their own electorate. The flip side of that coin is just how much Donald Trump has traveled from being unacceptable to being, well, pretty okay, actually. In March 2015, only 23 percent of GOP voters said they could see themselves supporting Trump. Now? Fifty-eight percent. National Journal's Ron Brownstein makes a great point today noting how the "Trump Gap" is increasing. Meaning: As Republicans increasingly view Trump as a conceivable nominee, Democrats and independents view him as LESS acceptable. It sets up a scenario where, if Trump actually wins the party nod, he'll need to win back really significant ground with these groups fast to have a prayer of being successful in the general election. And he'd probably start in a deeper hole than any GOP nominee in recent memory.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

  • Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign this week is outspending Hillary Clinton's in terms of political advertisements, NBC's Mark Murray reports.
  • 2016 candidates weighed in on North Korea's claimed H-Bomb test, Russert Fellow Marianna Sotomayor reports.
  • Ted Cruz again responded to Trump's suggestion that he might not be eligible to be president because of his Canadian birthplace, saying "it's settled law," one of us(!) wrote.
  • Melania Trump says "I'm choosing not to go political in public because that is my husband's job."
  • Donald Trump may have met an adversary willing to go toe-to-toe with the GOP frontrunner.
  • He's back! Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is giving a White House run another try in 2016.
  • Ted Cruz said allowing a transgender student to use a faculty restroom amounts to "inflicting" the student on teachers but is a better alternative than "sticking him in the shower with the teenage girls."
  • Congress will send a bill repealing Obamacare to the president's desk. (Spoiler alert: He'll veto it.)

FOR THE RECORD…

"Don't like @SamuelLJackson's golf swing. Not athletic. I've won many club championships. Play him for charity!"

  • Tweet from Donald Trump

TOMORROW'S SKED

Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum are in Iowa.

Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Carly Fiorina are in New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton is in California for an "Asian Americans Organizing Event" and Bill Clinton campaigns on her behalf in Iowa.

Donald Trump holds a rally in Vermont.

Martin O'Malley is in Vegas.

Carly Fiorina is on "Morning Joe."