Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Bernie Sanders is skipping high-stakes days of campaigning before New York's primary to address a conference at the Vatican, thus brilliantly identifying the ONE thing he could have done to make himself even more relatable to college kids who blew off a tough semester to study abroad in Italy.
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'16 from 30,000
When we woke up this morning and saw a 800 words under Donald Trump's op-ed byline in the Wall Street Journal - with not even one exclamation point or a "Sad!" - we thought we'd been transported to an alternate universe. But seriously, Trump has notably toned down the hottest of his rhetoric and allowed himself to be ghostwritten in a decidedly unTrumpian tone, but perhaps the most interesting thing he's done is transformed a narrative that was becoming about the incompetence of his campaign's delegate strategy into a conversation about the fairness of the nomination process and what he called Ted Cruz's "voter-nullification scheme." And he's likely to have plenty of sympathizers tired of lectures on "the rules," particularly among Republican voters who feel as though they've been disenfranchised before, particularly those voters who feel let down by congressional candidates whose promises were stymied by divided government. Trump is even explicitly soliciting a sympathetic ear from supporters of Bernie Sanders, who feel that their candidate has faced disproportionate headwinds because of "the rules." The RNC is 100 percent correct that delegate allocation was determined months before any votes were cast
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
- New poll alert! Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican presidential primary contest in New York, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich is solidifying his position as the second-place candidate in the state's race, according to a new NBC 4 New York/ Wall Street Journal/ Marist poll.
- Donald Trump and the RNC continued to spar Friday after the GOP frontrunner penned an op/ed slamming the delegate allocation process, NBC's Leigh Ann Caldwell writes.
- Bernie Sanders took his message of economic fairness to the heart of the Catholic Church on Friday, one of us wrote.
- Bernie Sanders' campaign is deploying its toughest TV ad yet targeting Hillary Clinton, MSNBC's Alex Seitz-Wald reports.
- And from First Read this AM: It was a status-quo debate, and that helps Clinton.
FOR THE RECORD…
"I'm the screwiest screwball here. I'll vote myself that."
John Kasich in Utica, NY
On Saturday:Hillary Clinton holds an event in Los Angeles. Trump holds two events in New York and Cruz campaigns in Wyoming. Sanders returns from Italy.
On Sunday: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory joins Chuck Todd on Meet The Press.Clinton, Sanders and Trump continue to campaign in New York.