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By Andrew Rafferty and Carrie Dann

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Ben Carson paid homage to Detroit native Eminem during his announcement today by featuring a gospel choir’s rendition of the rapper’s hit “Lose Yourself.” Which is an unlikely anthem for a presidential candidate, but probably more politically palatable than other Eminem hits like “[Expletive Deleted] Like That,” “Just Don’t Give a [Expletive Deleted,] and “Love the Way You Lie.”

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’16 AT 30 THOUSAND: Two long shot Republican candidates for president officially entered the race on Monday, but don’t completely discount the significant role each can play in the primaries. Both Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina give the GOP presidential primary more diversity in terms of race, gender and background. Carson joins Hispanic Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as a non-white Republican running in 2016. Fiorina will likely be the only woman to run counter to Hillary Clinton. Already the field is more diverse than it was in 2012, and women and minorities are both key voting blocs the GOP will need to better appeal to if they want to have a shot at taking back the White House. Carson and Fiorina help advance the GOP’s argument that they are not a party made up entirely of old white guys. But message is likely to prove much more important than just diverse faces for the GOP to gain real ground among non-white voters; 2012 candidates Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann didn’t seem to move the needle much when it came to the electorate at large.

THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE: It’s both Star Wars Day and NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll day. For the results of the latter, keep an eye on NBCNews.com at 6:30pm ET for all the results. All the nerdy satisfaction, no risk of a Jar Jar Binks intrusion.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

A sneak peek at the poll out later this afternoon: 56 percent of Democrats say they aren’t worried about finding a primary challenger to Hillary Clinton.

Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson urged supporters to “use their brain” when he formally launched his presidential campaign in Detroit today.

Carson won’t win, but NBC’s Perry Bacon explores what impact he could have on the race.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina also announced Monday that she is running for president.

Fiorina’s role as the only woman in the GOP field could have a significant impact. Here’s why.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

The Des Moines Register suggests that the winning percentage in next year’s Iowa caucuses could be less than 20 percent because of the crowded GOP field.

CHRISTIE: A new Monmouth University poll finds that 69 percent of New Jerseyans think that Chris Christie has not been honest about what he knew about the Bridgegate scandal.

FIORINA: CNN reports on her role as a CIA adviser in 2007.

PAUL: Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., endorsed Paul for president on Monday, calling him a “once-in-a generation sort of candidate.” The libertarian was close with Paul’s father, Ron, when they served together in the House.

FOR THE RECORD…

“I should be careful because there is some media in here and their headline will be, 'Carson Admits He Beats His Wife.'"

  • Ben Carson on defeating his wife at billiards

TOMORROW’S SKED

Mike Huckabee is expected to announce his 2016 presidential run in Hope, Arkansas.

Hillary Clinton returns to the campaign trail in Las Vegas to address immigration and helping the middle class.

Carly Fiorina is on NBC’s TODAY show and then speaks at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference in New York City.