The Lid: When Will the ‘Silly Season’ of 2016 End?

Image: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Keene

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Keene, New Hampshire September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl GRETCHEN ERTL / Reuters

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Google has released the top searches related to the 2016 race, which include questions about Hillary Clinton’s age, Chris Christie’s weight, and where Jim Gilmore gets his infectious charm and charisma from.

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It was only supposed to be “The Summer of Trump.” And though we’ve traded in our iced coffees for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Trump is still atop the primary polls, just as he was under the hot August sun.

The struggling candidates in the vast Republican presidential field continue to claim we are in “the silly season,” citing names like Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain as evidence that the candidate leading in the polls at this point is unlikely to ultimately capture the nomination. And there is plenty of truth to that. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from almost exactly four years ago had Herman Cain in the lead with a commanding 27 percent of GOP primary voters supporting him. (Bachmann, however, was near the bottom of the pack at just 5 percent.) But fast forward one month later -- to early November 2011 -- and the poll found that Cain was still just a point behind Mitt Romney at the top of the GOP field, though the wheels were quickly coming off for him. And if you look at an NBC News/Marist poll of Iowa just days before the caucuses, you’ll find Ron Paul nipping on the heels of frontrunner Romney, with eventual 2012 Iowa caucus winner Rick Santorum battling for third place.

The point is, low-polling candidates citing 2012 can find both solace and sorrow from the lessons of four years ago. But they should not anticipate the so-called “silly season” to come to some definitive end until primary voters actually caucus or vote.


GOP candidates’ positions on gun control was unchanged after yesterday’s shooting in Oregon, NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell writes.

John Kasich got another nice endorsement in New Hampshire, NBC’s Kailani Koenig reports.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be stepping down in December.

And from First Read: Obama politicized the Oregon shootings -- and admitted it.


BUSH: CNN talked to a number of Bush donors who said they are willing to wait, for now, for Bush to get some momentum.

KASICH: He says a pro-Bush super PAC is researching his congressional library because “they are getting nervous.”

TRUMP: He has hired aides in Virginia, Texas and Florida in an effort to show he is in it for the long haul.

CARSON: He took a scientific view to preventing mass shootings.


“He is my favorite partner in pickup basketball. The smartest player I know, even though he is very slow. And has no hops.”

  • President Barack Obama announcing the departure of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.


Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden address the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on Saturday.

Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, and Rick Santorum are in New Hampshire on Saturday. Donald Trump is in Iowa and Tennessee. Ben Carson is in New Orleans.

Donald Trump is on Meet The Press on Sunday.