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By Carrie Dann

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… As our wise Founding Fathers intended, we’ve reached a point in American politics where an extremely effective way to respond to a personal attack is to DESTROY A TELEPHONE IN A BLENDER. #USA! #USA!

THE LID: JULY 23, 2015

’16 AT 30 THOUSAND: With the first nominating contest a mere 193 days away (we kid) -- we have a LOT of questions. Will any on-the-debate-bubble candidate’s strategy to boost their name ID actually pay off? Will GOP primary voters reward or punish Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry for warring with Donald Trump? Who exactly are the Trump voters, and which candidate has the best chance to make a grab for his base? (Ted Cruz certainly seems to think it’s him, and we’re inclined to think he’s right.) Is Hillary Clinton really in trouble in key swing states, or was the Q-poll that showed her trailing Republicans in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia a little off? How exactly do you report costs associated with chainsaw-related stunts on an FEC fundraising report?

The good news is: Particularly with news organizations vying to get their poll used as part of FOX News’ criteria for determining the GOP debate participants, we’re going to be getting a lot of fresh national numbers over the next two weeks to help us start to answer (most of) those questions. AND we’re going to have two piping hot STATE polls for you on Sunday, when Meet the Press will unveil exclusive new surveys of Iowa and New Hampshire voters. The potential downside? Everybody can strap in for a big nerdy fight about sampling error and polling techniques as we approach FOX’s August 4 deadline for polling organizations to publish their findings.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

Donald Trump spoke to reporters in Laredo, TX, but wouldn’t provide specifics on what he’d do to address the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country.

In South Carolina, Hillary Clinton called for Americans to “dig deeper” to address structural racism.

A local border patrol union pulled out of hosting Trump’s visit to the border.

NBC’s Perry Bacon Jr. reports that Republican candidates are wrestling with how to pitch immigration policy. More like Bush, or more like Trump?

Iran deal negotiators John Kerry, Ernest Moniz and Jacob Lew defended the agreement in front of a key Senate committee. NBC’s Halimah Abdullah has all the details

And First Read examines why Trump’s threat of a third-party run is no laughing matter for the GOP.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows the Republican Party’s image taking a notably negative turn.

BUSHIn video captured by Democratic organization American Bridge, Jeb Bush says that "Black Lives Matter" is "a slogan, I guess."

CRUZ: He talked to the New York Times about his campaign, but actually mostly Star Trek.

PAUL: His father went a little off-script in his new book, writing that “military personnel who march off to war are more victims and dupes than heroes.”

RUBIO: He clashed with John Kerry over the Iran deal

FOR THE RECORD…

“I can affirmatively say that I have made out with far fewer space aliens.”

  • Ted Cruz, on what he has in common with Star Trek’s Captain Kirk.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Hillary Clinton delivers remarks in New York City about “shifting corporate culture to achieve long-term economic growth and lasting prosperity”

Ted Cruz speaks at ALEC in San Diego

Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Bernie Sanders, John Kasich and Martin O’Malley all campaign in Iowa.