Mitt Romney has polled well ahead of Rick Santorum in Illinois the last few days, but his campaign told the Huffington Post that they expect the race to be closer than the polls predict. Santorum doesn't appear to agree, though: he's flying to Pennsylvania tonight. His speech after polls close will be delivered from Gettysburg, which the Associated Press says is Santorum's symbolic nod to Illinois' Abraham Lincoln. However, the town is also the site of the worst mass slaughter of the Civil War, in which Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North was crushed. That's less pleasant symbolism for an insurgent candidate.
The primary by the numbers:
Delegates: 69. Only five states award more. But only 54 will be selected today.
Unbound delegates: 12, selected in June at the state party's convention.
Delegates Santorum can't win: 10, because he didn't fill out delegate slates in all the congressional districts. He had a similar problem in Ohio.
Money in: In February, Romney raised $11.5 million, Santorum raised $9 million, Paul raised $3.3 million, Gingrich raised $2.6 million -- and has $1.5 million in debt.
Polls: Romney is averaging a 10-point lead over Santorum, according to Real Clear Politics. But Santorum has consistently performed better than polls predict.
We'll be liveblogging the returns starting at about 7p.m. Eastern time, an hour before polls close. Be sure to join us in the comments!
10:01p.m.: Romney did what he has so far had not been able to do tonight. No, not win evangelicals -- he still lost those guys. But his campaign managed to not make a victory look lame by declaring he'd win big in advance. With 61 percent reporting, Romney has 48 percent and Santorum has 35 percent. (Paul is beating Gingrich for third.) Romney finally looked a little relaxed -- he even let through some real smiles -- during his victory speech. He was surrounded by women, but exit polls showed that unlike in earlier states, he actually performed better among men. Santorum was his angry self, though he did steal a line from Newt Gingrich: that this is the most important election since 1860. (Not everyone shares this analysis.) Santorum has turned to campaigning in Pennsylvania, while Romney has turned, for what feels like the millionth time, to going after Obama. We'll see if it sticks. Louisiana votes March 24, and Santorum is polling 13 points ahead.
9:58p.m.: Santorum vows to fight till his homestate, where he says he'll win lots of delegates. While he revived his campaign by winning in the Midwest, he's lost several big states there recently: Michigan, Ohio, and now Illinois.
9:53p.m.: "Low turnout tonight. A nominee that depresses turnout won't beat @BarackObama. Still time for a conservative," Newt Gingrich tweets. As polls come in, he's slipping below Ron Paul. With 56 percent of precincts reporting, Paul has 9 percent and Gingrich has 8 percent.
9:48p.m.: If Santorum were a little older, he'd be the mean old man in the neighborhood who won't give you your baseball back when you it into his yard. In the bottom right corner, that's his face after he tells a joke that gets huge cheers.
9:42p.m.: Santorum's scrappy campaign is known for its bad lighting at campaign appearances. It looks really bad tonight on C-SPAN:
And better, but not much, on CNN:
9:37p.m.: "Romney unable to break through with key constituencies tonight, like voters who do not like Mitt Romney," The New York Times' Nate Silver tweets.
9:35p.m.: With 47 percent of precincts reporting, Romney has 50 percent and Santorum has 33 percent.
9:32p.m.: But Romney still looks uncomfortable sometimes during his applause lines. Here, he said he would make the military so strong no one would try to test it. How big would that have to be? The U.S. military is already better financed that most of the world's militaries combined.
9:30p.m.: Romney's giving a better speech than usual -- he even got the crowd to laugh twice. He's ignored Santorum and only criticized Obama, using some classic conservative lines like mocking Obama's past as a law professor.
9:22p.m.: Romney always looks more genuine on nights he wins.
9:16p.m.: A marital moment as Ann introduces her husband.
9:07p.m.: With 31 percent of precincts reporting, Romney has 54 percent to Santorum's 29 percent.
9:01p.m.: Santorum's new theme is "Freedom." That is reportedly why he's going to riff on Abraham Lincoln from Gettysburg tonight. This will include freedom from government intervention into healthcare. But any Ron Paul fan will tell you Lincoln has a mixed record on freedom -- he freed the slaves but was a gross violator of habeas corpus.
8:50p.m: Romney's victory party crowd is filling up, and he's expected to speak in about 10 minutes.
8:47p.m.: With 20 percent of precincts reporting, Romney has 56 percent to Santorum's 27 percent.
8:43p.m.: NBC and CNN join Fox in projecting Romney as the winner. Fox has been first in most of these primary races, going back to Iowa, when Karl Rove had the inside scoop on what was in the missing vote tallies.
8:41p.m.: With 8 percent of precincts reporting, Romney has 54 percent, Santorum 28 percent, Paul has 10 percent, and Gingrich has 7 percent. The New York Times' map indicates most of the ballots counted have come from cities and suburbs, which is where Romney does well.
8:34p.m.: Fox News declares Romney the winner.
8:33p.m.: With 1 percent of precincts reporting, ROmney has 54 percent, Santorum has 29 percent, Paul has 10 percent, and Gingrich has 6 percent.
8:32p.m.: NBC News' Chuck Todd points out that Romney loses among the very conservative only because so many of them are evangelicals. He and Santorum are tied among very conservative non-evangelicals.
8:28p.m.: Protesters outside Santorum's rally in Gettysburg:
(Photo via Reuters.)
8:24p.m.: Romney won more than half of non-evangelicals -- 52 percent. Santorum won evangelicals.
8:13p.m.: One of these campaigns is better at setting up election parties than the other:
Santorum's above, Romney's below.
8:10p.m.: The only age group Santorum won was people in their 40s.
8:07p.m.: One of the odd things that's happened since contraception became part of the GOP primary is that while independent women have soured on on Republicans, Republican women have started liking Santorum -- the family values guy -- more and more. Tonight CNN exit polls show Romney has a tiny gender gap, even though for the first few primaries, he performed better among women. This time, he won 46 percent of men and 44 percent of women. Santorum won 32 percent of men but 38 percent of women.
8:02p.m.: Polls have closed. Romney is leading, but no networks have called.
7:55p.m.: Record low turnout tonight, the Chicago Tribune reports. At 2p.m. it was 15 percent; the current record holder is 1996, when turnout was 32 percent.
7:36p.m.: Santorum has been urged to smile a lot during this primary. It doesn't appear to come naturally. Here he is defending his line that he doesn't care about the unemployment rate:
Not smiley. But he looked like he was trying his hardest to smile Monday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. He made his usual angry face while answering each question, but when he quit talking, he'd smile awkwardly every time:
7:34p.m.: Romney outspent Santorum 7 to 1 in Illinois, but almost 60 percent of voters in the state say the ads played little to no role in their vote, The New York Times points out. Santorum's superPAC spent $530,111 on ads, while Romney's superPAC spent $4 million. All for nothing, if voters are telling the truth. Does anyone ever look at those numbers and calculate how many times that sum could have paid off your student loans? No? Just me? (The answer is: so many times.)
7:24p.m.: Romney's Secret Service protection while he speaks in Peoria, Illinois. His code name is reportedly "Javelin."
(Photo via Associated Press.)
7:19p.m.: Exit polls show Republican voters aren't tired of the primary at all. A third say they want the contest to keep going even if their guy loses; two-thirds they want it to go on for months as long as their guy wins. Well, we've got a little bit of bad news for them: ABC News' Michael Falcone reports that Santorum's campaign expects it to be an early night. As in the margin will be wide enough to declare the winner quickly.
7:10p.m.: It looks like Republican voters are splitting in familiar ways: exit polls show Romney winning urban areas, moderates, the well-educated and well-off, while Santorum winning the boonies, conservatives, and the less educated and less wealthy. More than 40 percent had "reservations" about their candidate, the Wall Street Journal reports.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
There were numerous attempts to establish contact with the campaign and the transition team.
In trying to fend off suspicion of collusion with the Kremlin, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner have recently provided the public with two very interesting documents. Shoving responsibility for any outreach onto the Russian side, the two men have given us with a partial account of Russian methods in approaching the Trump camp in 2016.
If the accounts are true—and, given that their accounts have changed in the past, these ones might as well—then, taken together, the Trump Jr. emails and Kushner’s statement show a Russian side that is experimenting with ways of getting the Trump team’s attention. They show a side that really is, as one former Obama administration told me, “throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what would stick.”
As Donald Trump’s troubles deepen, he keeps trying to shift attention to his old rival—but finds it no longer works like it used to.
Donald Trump’s brand-new communications director got a glimpse of the challenge he faces this weekend. As Anthony Scaramucci toured the Sunday shows, promising a new era of better relations and positive vibes, his boss was firing off his most active string of Twitter complaints in some time, taking shots at Democrats, Republicans, the press, James Comey, Robert Mueller, and—for the second time in less than a week—his own attorney general:
So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?
The president’s choice of words to describe Attorney General Jeff Sessions is bizarre, though the condescending mockery matches the tone he often uses for adversaries. To paraphrase Trump, somebody’s doing the beleaguering, and that person is Trump himself, who railed at Sessions during an interview with The New York Times last week, saying he wished he hadn’t appointed him, and that Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation was unfair to Trump.
Terminating the special counsel would show recklessness, imply corruption, and irrevocably damage the country.
Last week, President Donald Trump fueled speculation that he might work to oust Robert Mueller, the former FBI director appointed to probe Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump could do so today, or tomorrow, or three months from now; the news could be announced in a televised speech, through a spokesperson, or even in a late night tweet sent on an impulse after his advisers have gone to bed.
If Trump fires Robert Mueller, few will be surprised. But if that happens, as the Department of Justice is thrown into chaos, as the American public sees its clearly expressed support for the special counsel disregarded, as the vital inquiry into the integrity of American elections stalls, as protesters take to the streets in a show of outrage at the affront to the rule of law, as the 2018 midterms morph into a referendum on the administration, and as American democracy reels into unknown territory, the House of Representatives should immediately impeach the president.
Three Atlantic staffers discuss “Stormborn,” the second episode of the seventh season.
Every week for the seventh season of Game of Thrones, three Atlantic staffers will discuss new episodes of the HBO drama. Because no screeners were made available to critics in advance this year, we'll be posting our thoughts in installments.
Thirty-one-year-old Ezra Cohen-Watnick holds the intelligence portfolio on the National Security Council—but almost everything about him is a mystery.
Just 24 days into his tenure as Donald Trump’s national-security adviser, Michael Flynn was forced to resign, having reportedly misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials. When Flynn departed, the men and women he’d appointed to the National Security Council grew nervous about their own jobs, and with good reason. The new national-security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, promptly began clearing out Flynn’s people, among them Dave Cattler, the deputy assistant to the president for regional affairs, Adam Lovinger, a strategic affairs analyst on loan from the Pentagon, and KT McFarland, Flynn’s deputy, who was eased out with the ambassadorship to Singapore. Even Steve Bannon, among the most powerful people in the White House, was removed from the meetings of the NSC Principal’s Committee, where he had been installed early on in the administration.
Biology textbooks tell us that lichens are alliances between two organisms—a fungus and an alga. They are wrong.
In 1995, if you had told Toby Spribille that he’d eventually overthrow a scientific idea that’s been the stuff of textbooks for 150 years, he would have laughed at you. Back then, his life seemed constrained to a very different path. He was raised in a Montana trailer park, and home-schooled by what he now describes as a “fundamentalist cult.” At a young age, he fell in love with science, but had no way of feeding that love. He longed to break away from his roots and get a proper education.
At 19, he got a job at a local forestry service. Within a few years, he had earned enough to leave home. His meager savings and non-existent grades meant that no American university would take him, so Spribille looked to Europe.
Curiosity is underemphasized in the classroom, but research shows that it is one of the strongest markers of academic success.
When Orville Wright, of the Wright brothers fame, was told by a friend that he and his brother would always be an example of how far someone can go in life with no special advantages, he emphatically responded, “to say we had no special advantages … the greatest thing in our favor was growing up in a family where there was always much encouragement to intellectual curiosity.”
The power of curiosity to contribute not only to high achievement, but also to a fulfilling existence, cannot be emphasized enough. Curiosity can be defined as “the recognition, pursuit, and intense desire to explore, novel, challenging, and uncertain events”. In recent years, curiosity has been linked to happiness, creativity, satisfying intimate relationships, increased personal growth after traumatic experiences, and increased meaning in life. In the school context, conceptualized as a “character strength,” curiosity has also received heightened research attention. Having a “hungry mind” has been shown to be a core determinant of academic achievement, rivaling the prediction power of IQ.
Many point to unromantic 20-somethings and women’s entry into the workforce, but an overlooked factor is the trouble young men have in finding steady, well-paid jobs.
TOKYO—Japan’s population is shrinking. For the first time since the government started keeping track more than a century ago, there were fewer than 1 million births last year, as the country’s population fell by more than 300,000 people. The blame has long been put on Japan’s young people, who are accused of not having enough sex, and on women, who, the narrative goes, put their careers before thoughts of getting married and having a family.
But there’s another, simpler explanation for the country’s low birth rate, one that has implications for the U.S.: Japan’s birth rate may be falling because there are fewer good opportunities for young people, and especially men, in the country’s economy. In a country where men are still widely expected to be breadwinners and support families, a lack of good jobs may be creating a class of men who don’t marry and have children because they—and their potential partners—know they can’t afford to.
This was the first resignation of its kind in France in six decades, but it was enough to remind me how much Americans take healthy civil-military relations for granted. Unlike the French, for example, who have had some terrible episodes between their civilian and military leaders over the years, Americans have never had to disband a parachute infantry regiment because it literally threatened to drop onto the nation’s capital and depose the elected government.
That’s not to say we haven’t had our issues, but aside from Douglas MacArthur’s repeated (and successful) attempts to embarrass himself and his profession, Americans have rarely had to worry about the U.S. military and its leadership as a threat to the Republic.
Eighty-Sixed, a new web series from the HBO comedy creator’s daughter Cazzie David, taps into an uncomfortable brand of humor for a new generation.
It was pretty, pretty, pretty exciting to learn last week that one of cable’s favorite curmudgeons will return to television this fall. After six years off the air, Larry David—the Seinfeld co-creator known more recently for his Bernie Sanders impression on Saturday Night Live—will bring his hit HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm back for a ninth season on October 1. But if that release date seems too far off for those avid fans counting the days, there’s another comedy that could fill the void until then.
Cazzie David, the 23-year-old daughter of the Curb creator, has teamed up with a friend from college, Elisa Kalani, to make a web series called Eighty-Sixed. Though just six episodes have been released on YouTube this year, Eighty-Sixed already fits well into a new generation of shows channeling the mockingly self-centered humor that defines Curb. When it premiered in 2000, Curb Your Enthusiasm was unlike anything on television, though some of Seinfeld’s comedic sensibility came through. Shot in a cinema-verité style and largely improvised, Curb followed a fictionalized version of Larry David as he managed to alienate just about everyone he ran into. With his obnoxious nitpicking and disregard for basic etiquette, David’s character was comfortable being self-righteous and offensive at the same time.