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The Lid: Spotlight on Carson Heading into GOP Debate

New GOP Frontrunner Ben Carson Surges Past Donald Trump in National Poll 2:33

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… John Kasich ripped into his GOP rivals on Tuesday, saying he has “had it with these people.” Which could certainly make for a pithy communications strategy: “Kasich 2016: #SMH, America.”

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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND

Our big sibling publication First Read wrote this week that all eyes are on Jeb Bush heading into tomorrow’s debate, as the pressure grows on the onetime GOP frontrunner to turn around campaign momentum that’s been heading in the wrong direction. But - especially after days of the drumbeat about Ben Carson’s new spot at the top of the GOP field, the former neurosurgeon is also going to be in the hotseat like he hasn’t been before.

Of course, you might remember we had similar things to say about Carson ahead of the second GOP debate on September 16. Back then, his candidacy had first begun to gain traction, and the consensus was that he needed to keep the momentum up to continue his rise. Pundits judged after the debate that Carson generally fell short of those expectations, but which - perhaps predictably - didn’t put a dent in Carson’s upward trajectory. But the difference now is that Trump is no longer the undisputed frontrunner, and Carson will receive even more scrutiny from both the moderators and his rivals on stage. Plus, a deeper look at New York Times/CBS News reveals Carson’s support is pretty soft. Of his supporters, 80 percent said it was too early to say for sure if they would support him when the go to the polls. That’s why Carson needs to view his performance as a chance to put the hard sell on GOP primary voters.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

FIORINA: The Wall Street Journal reports that Carly Fiorina’s speaking firm sent prospective clients a message advertising that the former HP chief has “limited availability” for paid speeches even though she is running for president.

CLINTON: The Washington Post examines some of the reasons why new polls are showing Clinton with a 40 point lead in Iowa.

CARSON: In an interview with The Hill, he said he would not sign any budget deal that raised the debt ceiling.

SANDERS: WMUR reports that Sanders, who is an independent running for president as a Democrat, is making moves to clear up questions about his eligibility to appear on the New Hampshire Democratic primary ballot.

RUBIO: Buzzfeed notes that he’s getting plenty of attention from the media -- but that might not be good for him.

FOR THE RECORD…

“Do you know how crazy this election is? Let me tell you something. I’ve about had it with these people.”

  • Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, on his own party.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Hillary Clinton participates in the famed Politics and Eggs breakfast in New Hampshire. She will later attend a dinner hosted by Carroll County Democrats.

Bernie Sanders holds a student town hall at George Mason University in Virginia.

CNBC hosts the third Republican presidential debate in Boulder, Colorado.