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The Lid: Why the Dem Race Seems Closer Than It Is

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Donald Trump has hired the same D.C. power lawyer who vetted Sarah Palin in 2008 to conduct the legal review of his potential running mate. Democrats are hoping he does exactly as thorough a job as he did eight years ago.

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‘16 from 30,000

We’ve written before about how the cadence of the 2016 race has made the Democratic contest seem closer than it really is. But this week, as Hillary Clinton essentially declared herself the nominee while Bernie Sanders vigorously objected, we went and looked back at the numbers to better understand why that is. And here’s what we found: Yes,Clinton has a huge delegate lead and she’s up by about three million when it comes to the raw vote. But they’re evenly tied when it comes to the DAYS when they’ve won the most contests.

Here’s the breakdown: There have been 20 days total when Democratic voters have gone to the polls in 2016. In some cases, those were days when only one state voted - like New Hampshire, or Wyoming. And in others, a LOT of states voted, like on Super Tuesday. On nine of those 20 days, Clinton won more contests than Sanders. On another nine days,,Sanders won more contests than Clinton! (On two occasions, there were two contests on a given day, and Clinton and Sanders each won one of them.)

But here’s the difference: On the nine days when Sanders dominated the primaries, he only won a total of 383 delegates. That number is small because he did the best on days when there weren’t many contests or when the states that voted weren’t very delegate-rich. Compare that to Clinton, who won a whopping 1,362 delegates for her nine victory days. That’s why Clinton’s big wins in the early March contests were so important -- and put her so far ahead.

NERD ALERT: Tune in to Meet the Press on Sunday for the unveiling of brand new results from our NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Chuck Todd will also interview Hillary Clinton and Mark Cuban. Don’t miss it!

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

FOR THE RECORD…

“I'm not eating Oreos anymore, you know that. But, neither is Chris. You're not eating Oreos anymore. No more Oreos for either of us, Chris.”

  • Donald Trump seemingly poking fun at Chris Christie’s weight during a fundraiser Thursday night.

WEEKEND SKED

On Saturday: Bernie Sanders campaigns in New Mexico and California. Hillary Clinton is in Florida.

And on Sunday: Hillary Clinton will be on Meet The Press.