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THE LID: Is Joe Biden Catching Fire?

Image: Joe Biden attends Allegheny County Labor Day Parade

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden walks in the annual Allegheny County Labor Day Parade Monday September 7, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Biden has been subject of speculation about whether he will run for the U.S. presidency. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…. Perhaps inspired by “The Hunger Games,” Mike Huckabee essentially volunteered as tribute to go to jail in place of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. It was a bold move, especially considering Huckabee’s bow skills aren’t even cracking the top five in the GOP field right now.

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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND

The toplines from our new NBC News/Marist polls out Sunday were certainly interesting, but here’s one data point inside the numbers that shouldn’t be ignored. Biden is siphoning supporters from BOTH Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. With Biden out of the race, Clinton stands at 48 percent in Iowa, while Sanders gets 37 percent. Add Biden into the mix, and BOTH Clinton and Sanders drop 10 points apiece. In New Hampshire, a hypothetical Biden candidacy costs Clinton eight points of her support, while the vice president shaves six points from Sanders. It’s pretty counterintuitive; after all, both Biden and Clinton are well-known mainstream Democrats with close ties to the current administration and not a lot of daylight between themselves and the White House, while Sanders is a non-traditional pol who’s functioned outside the two party system for most of his career. But it could underscore something deeper, too. We’ve been wondering for a while now how close Sanders has been to his ceiling. If a real chunk of his supporters are peeling off in favor of a candidate who’s not even in the race yet, it’s possible that, outside of a hard core of die-hards, the top layer of Sanders’ support is softer than many folks had thought.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

  • Joe Biden edged out Bernie Sanders in a new Monmouth University poll.
  • Marco Rubio said he is “open” to allowing a certain number of refugees from the Middle East enter the U.S., NBC’s Shaquille Brewster reports.
  • They’re back! Congress is back after a month-long recess. Alex Moe and Frank Thorp preview the big fights looming for lawmakers.
  • And from Frank Thorp: Forty-one Senate Democrats have announced that they support the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by six world powers and Iran, potentially avoiding what could have been a bitter veto showdown between Congress and the White House.
  • NBC’s Hallie Jackson reports on how Ben Carson is quietly shaking up the GOP race.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

CLINTON: In an interview with ABC News, Clinton said that using a personal email account was a “mistake” and that she’s “sorry” for doing it.

BIDEN: POLITICO writes about Biden’s South Carolina hopes, reporting that “top Democrats in the state are so unnerved by Hillary Clinton’s inability to get beyond her email controversy that they say Biden’s on-a-wing-and-a-prayer strategy isn’t hopeless.”

BUSH: He met with Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore, publishing executive Steve Forbes and CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow just before his planned tax proposal rollout Wednesday.

TRUMP: He told the Daily Caller that he’s “fine” with the normalization of relations with Cuba but that he would have “made a stronger deal.”

Also, Tom Brady called him a “great friend” when asked about his relationship with The Donald on Tuesday.

Elizabeth Warren says that she agrees with Trump on things like raising taxes on the very wealthy.

FOR THE RECORD…

“As you can imagine, she is an expert on politics and she predicts that whenever you decide to run for office, you will be a winner!”

  • Richard Nixon writing to Donald Trump in 1981 about his wife’s admiration for the real estate mogul

TOMORROW’S SKED

Hillary Clinton delivers a speech on the Iran nuclear agreement at the Brookings Institution.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz headline a rally on Capitol Hill protesting the Iran nuclear agreement.

Jeb Bush details his tax reform plan in North Carolina. Ben Carson continues to campaign in California.