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Election Notes: Doubting Romney
Mitt Romney is looking more and more like the inevitable Republican nominee. Romney won 6 of the 10 Super Tuesday states, including the crucial state of Ohio. He won the majority of the delegates at stake. He now has more delegates than the rest of the field combined, and more than twice as many of his closest opponent, Rick Santorum. Kris Broughton points out that it’s a larger lead than Obama had at this point in the nominating process four years ago. As Jonathan Bernstein says, the bottom line is that Romney won “the most states, the most votes and the most delegates; and he has a solid lead in the national polls, money and endorsements.”
But Romney’s victory nevertheless wasn’t compelling enough to convince his rivals to drop out of the race. As Larry Sabato says, “If anything, Tuesday’s results confirm that Romney still has some big problems with the base of his party.” Romney still hasn’t won a Southern state besides Florida—which is very different from the states in the so-called “traditional South”—and will probably lose the upcoming primaries in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
In addition, Romney’s victory didn’t do much to dispel doubts about his ability to beat Obama in the fall. He won in Ohio by just a single point, and exit polls show that once again he lost both among voters without a college degree and among voters who make less than $100,000 a year. It may be, as Ezra Klein suggests, that Romney will be a better candidate in the general election when he can tack back to the center. But Romney’s larger problem is that the very idea that someone could be excited about his candidacy seems to be a joke.
Intrade now gives Romney an 84% chance of winning the nomination. That’s up a slightly from last week, but it’s actually less chance than traders gave Romney in the middle of February. The reason that figure is not higher is that traders have begun to speculate that someone else—Jeb Bush is their leading candidate—will be recruited in Romney’s place. That seems unlikely at this point. But Republican party leaders still aren’t ready as a group to end the race by steppping in and endorsing Romney.
Romney is winning the nominating race because he is a consistent, capable campaigner, and has a much better national organization than any of his rivals. Romney probably does represent the Republicans’ best chance of retaking the White House. But winning the Republican nomination against this particular field of candidates is like hitting a lot of home runs in the minor leagues. It’s impressive, but it doesn’t mean you’re ready for big league pitching. Consider that Romney’s chief opponents weren't even able to get their names on the ballot in every state, or—in Santorum's case—able to field a full slate of delegates in Ohio. But in Obama, Romney will be facing someone who has an organization and resources that more than a match of his own.
Political Futures Markets
Chance President Obama will win reelection: 60.7% (Intrade)
Chance Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination: 84.1% (Intrade)
Chance that Republicans will win control of the Senate: 60.0% (Intrade)
Chance that Republicans will maintain control of the House: 65.0% (Intrade)
President Obama’s approval rating: 47.7% (Pollster)
Mitt Romney’s favorable rating: 31.7% (Pollster)
Republican advantage on a generic congressional ballot: 0.0% (Real Clear Politics)
UP NEXT: caucuses in Kansas, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Saturday, March 10, followed by the Alabama and Mississippi primaries and the Hawaii caucus on Tuesday, March 13
Mitt Romney image from Gage Skidmore
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.