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The Lid: Trump’s Rust Belt Supporters Remain Committed

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…Parts of the Congressional office building Rayburn flooded Tuesday after heavy rains in Washington, DC, giving totally new meaning to criticisms that the government is underwater.

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‘16 from 30,000

The litany of troubles facing Donald Trump’s campaign have not dissuaded his supporters in the Rust Belt, according to a focus group of working class voters one of us(!) observed Monday. The group of 11 voters – including six who support Trump, four who back Hillary Clinton and one who is weighing both Trump and independent Gary Johnson – described their view of a political novice whose draconian positions on immigration and terrorism could fortify a country that they feel has become destabilized and vulnerable. His backers argued that his constant controversies merely display his personal confidence as a successful businessman and his refreshing disregard of judgment by elites. Seven of the participants - including several Clinton backers – said they agreed with Trump’s plan to block Muslim immigration, although none expressed confidence that he would be able to execute his plan. Participants of all political stripes bluntly acknowledged Trump’s flaws –- a pair of avid supporters described him as “childish” and “hot under the collar” — but also lauded Trump’s bombast as a sign that he “speaks his mind.” Interestingly enough, many in the room nodded in agreement when one participant said the real estate mogul will be able to grow into the job as president. And in another key takeaway, the focus group is a good reminder that the incremental developments of the campaign don’t always mean much for working class voters four months before Election Day.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

  • Trump’s “family is fully in charge” of his campaign after the release of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Kelly O’Donnell reports.
  • Clinton said Trump would “bankrupt America” like one of his casinos during a speech Tuesday, Alex Seitz-Wald writes.
  • Trump said people don’t know anything about Clinton’s religion during a closed door meeting with evangelical leaders, Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.
  • Here are seven takeaways from Trump’s FEC report released late Monday.
  • And from First Read: The Trump Campaign is in critical condition.

FOR THE RECORD…

“We’re going to be the LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers of the campaign. They were down 3-1 and came back and won.”

-- Trump surrogate Steve Cortes prediction that the campaign will turn things around like the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers did after trailing the Golden State Warriors 3 games to 1.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Donald Trump will deliver a speech targeting Hillary Clinton in New York City.

Hillary Clinton holds a closed door meeting with House Democrats in the morning, then heads to Raleigh, N.C. for an afternoon event.