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Election Notes: Super Tuesday Eve
Whatever happens next week on Super Tuesday, the race for the Republican nomination is likely going to go on for a while. By winning the Arizona and the Michigan primaries on Tuesday and the Wyoming caucus last night Mitt Romney reaffirmed his status as the favorite to win the nomination. Political futures market Intrade now puts Romney’s chance of winning at 83%—up four points from last week. Romney leads Rick Santorum in the delegate count 147-84, with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul coming in a distant third and fourth. But Romney will need 1144 delegates to clinch the nomination. With less than half that number at stake on Tuesday—and with Romney trailing in some of the Super Tuesday states—there’s still a long way to go.
By pulling out a win in his home state of Michigan—after trailing Santorum in the polls—Romney managed to avoid what would have been an embarrassing defeat. But Romney’s three point victory in Michigan was hardly decisive. Romney’s close victory highlights his problem appealing to working-class voters. As Jonathan Cohn says, Romney won Michigan even though exit polls show he lost among voters who make less than $100,000 a year. Romney’s going to need to do better with those voters if he’s going to be able to beat Obama in the fall. Obama was able to win four years ago in spite of losing by a large margin among white working-class voters. As Michael Gerson says, “Romney may be the only candidate capable of herding working-class voters back toward the president.”
Meanwhile, the chance that Republicans will win back the Senate took a huge hit after relatively moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) announced that she won’t seek reelection. Snowe’s retirement gives the Democrats a good chance of picking up a seat in Maine, which in spite of having two Republican senators generally leans Democratic. On Intrade, traders still give Republicans a 63% chance of retaking the Senate, but that’s down 11 points from just a week ago.
Political Futures Markets
Chance President Obama will win reelection: 60.3% (Intrade)
Chance Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination: 83.0% (Intrade)
Chance that Republicans will win control of the Senate: 63.0% (Intrade)
Chance that Republicans will maintain control of the House: 63.0% (Intrade)
President Obama’s approval rating: 47.6% (Pollster)
Mitt Romney’s favorable rating: 32.5% (Pollster)
Republican advantage on a generic congressional ballot: 0.2% (Real Clear Politics)
“The question with Romney, at this point, is whether he’s a strong general election candidate who is ill-suited for the peculiar dynamics of modern-Republican primaries, or whether he’s a weak general-election candidate whose vulnerabilities are being exposed in the Republican primaries.”—Ezra Klein
UP NEXT: the Washington Caucus on Saturday, March 3, followed by Super Tuesday contests in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia on Tuesday, March 6
Mitt Romney image from Gage Skidmore
Join us at 2 pm ET tomorrow!
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>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.