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.
“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”
You were going to get one-click access to the full text of nearly every book that’s ever been published. Books still in print you’d have to pay for, but everything else—a collection slated to grow larger than the holdings at the Library of Congress, Harvard, the University of Michigan, at any of the great national libraries of Europe—would have been available for free at terminals that were going to be placed in every local library that wanted one.
At the terminal you were going to be able to search tens of millions of books and read every page of any book you found. You’d be able to highlight passages and make annotations and share them; for the first time, you’d be able to pinpoint an idea somewhere inside the vastness of the printed record, and send somebody straight to it with a link. Books would become as instantly available, searchable, copy-pasteable—as alive in the digital world—as web pages.
The early results out of a Boston nonprofit are positive.
You saw the pictures in science class—a profile view of the human brain, sectioned by function. The piece at the very front, right behind where a forehead would be if the brain were actually in someone’s head, is the pre-frontal cortex. It handles problem-solving, goal-setting, and task execution. And it works with the limbic system, which is connected and sits closer to the center of the brain. The limbic system processes emotions and triggers emotional responses, in part because of its storage of long-term memory.
When a person lives in poverty, a growing body of research suggests the limbic system is constantly sending fear and stress messages to the prefrontal cortex, which overloads its ability to solve problems, set goals, and complete tasks in the most efficient ways.
In the age of the digital hermit, a psychologist explains what it means to avoid other people—and what to do about it.
People today might not actually be avoiding social interaction any more than they did in past decades, but they’re certainly more vocal about it. The rise of digital communication seems to be spawning a nation of indoor cats, all humble-bragging about how introverted they are and ordering their rides and groceries without ever talking to a human.
Sometimes reclusiveness can be a sign of something more serious, though. Social anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses, but it’s still poorly understood outside of scientific circles. The good news is that it’s highly treatable, according to Stefan G. Hofmann, the director of the Social Anxiety Program at Boston University.
I recently talked with Hofmann about how social anxiety works and what people who feel socially anxious can do about it. An edited transcript of our conversation follows.
Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer.
As Christmas approached in 2015, the price of pumpkin-pie spice went wild. It didn’t soar, as an economics textbook might suggest. Nor did it crash. It just started vibrating between two quantum states. Amazon’s price for a one-ounce jar was either $4.49 or $8.99, depending on when you looked. Nearly a year later, as Thanksgiving 2016 approached, the price again began whipsawing between two different points, this time $3.36 and $4.69.
We live in the age of the variable airfare, the surge-priced ride, the pay-what-you-want Radiohead album, and other novel price developments. But what was this? Some weird computer glitch? More like a deliberate glitch, it seems. “It’s most likely a strategy to get more data and test the right price,” Guru Hariharan explained, after I had sketched the pattern on a whiteboard.
A professor of cognitive science argues that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses.
As we go about our daily lives, we tend to assume that our perceptions—sights, sounds, textures, tastes—are an accurate portrayal of the real world. Sure, when we stop and think about it—or when we find ourselves fooled by a perceptual illusion—we realize with a jolt that what we perceive is never the world directly, but rather our brain’s best guess at what that world is like, a kind of internal simulation of an external reality. Still, we bank on the fact that our simulation is a reasonably decent one. If it wasn’t, wouldn’t evolution have weeded us out by now? The true reality might be forever beyond our reach, but surely our senses give us at least an inkling of what it’s really like.
Inside Walmart’s curious, possibly ingenious effort to get customers to build up their savings accounts
Late last summer, Dawn Paquin started keeping her money on a prepaid debit card from Walmart instead of in a traditional checking account. The wages from her factory job—she works from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., inspecting blades on industrial bread-slicing machines—now go directly onto the Visa-branded card, which she can use like a regular debit card, though unlike most debit cards, it is not linked to a checking or savings account. She made the switch after a $4 check she wrote to buy coffee for herself and a friend tipped her checking account below the required minimum and triggered $100 in overdraft fees.
This was before she got the factory gig, and she wasn’t working full-time. Paquin lives in Salem, Illinois, where, she told me recently, if you don’t have a college degree, your job choices are “fast food or factory.” Money was extremely tight. “I kind of had a bit of resentment about banks after that,” she said dryly.
Online communities like those on Tumblr are perpetuating ideas of "beautiful suffering," confusing what it means to be clinically depressed.
A few months ago, Laura U., a typical 16-year-old at an international school in Paris, sat at her computer wishing she looked just like the emaciated women on her Tumblr dashboard. She pined to be mysterious, haunted, fascinating, like the other people her age that she saw in black and white photos with scars along their wrists, from taking razor blades to their skin. She convinced herself that the melancholic quotes she was reading—“Can I just disappear?” or “People who die by suicide don’t want to end their lives, they want to end their pain”—applied to her.
The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted a society so prosperous that people would hardly have to work. But that isn’t exactly how things have played out.
How will we all keep busy when we only have to work 15 hours a week? That was the question that worried the economist John Maynard Keynes when he wrote his short essay “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” in 1930. Over the next century, he predicted, the economy would become so productive that people would barely need to work at all.
For a while, it looked like Keynes was right: In 1930 the average workweek was 47 hours. By 1970 it had fallen to slightly less than 39.
But then something changed. Instead of continuing to decline, the duration of the workweek stayed put; it’s hovered just below 40 hours for nearly five decades.
So what happened? Why are people working just as much today as in 1970?
The Piano Man hasn’t released a new pop album since 1993. How does he continue to sell out stadiums?
For those of you who are sick of wondering, this is what happens at a Billy Joel concert: A mother tries to cajole her reluctant young son to twist with her to “Only the Good Die Young.” A 45-year-old man in a Billy Joel-themed softball jersey, sitting third row and visible to all, hoists aloft a New Jersey vanity license plate that reads “Joel FN” and uses it to air-drum to “Pressure.” Three 20-somethings on a ladies’ night out shoot a Boomerang of themselves swaying to “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.” A sexagenarianin business attire uses a lull during Joel’s Perestroika-era ditty “Leningrad” to crush some work emails on his BlackBerry Priv. A 19,000-strong congregation—carpenter jeans and Cartier watches, Yankee caps and yarmulkes, generationally diffuse and racially homogenous—all dance, terribly and euphorically, to “Uptown Girl.”
The Supreme Court has ample reason to avoid deciding a case that could erode the Establishment Clause.
During argument in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer last week before the Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan mused that the case poses “a hard issue. It's an issue in which states have their own very longstanding law. It's an issue on which I guess I'm going to say nobody is completely sure that they have it right.”
The court did not pay much attention to a question that logically flows from Kagan’s concern: Is this trip really necessary?
Does the court really need to jump into this dispute between a church and a state government—or is it a case where the two parties basically have already kissed and made up?
Missouri’s Constitution, as written in 1875 and readopted in 1945, contains a provision that “no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion.” The Missouri courts over the years have interpreted this provision quite literally. As a result, a church named Trinity Lutheran in Columbia, Missouri, was denied a state grant to resurface their daycare playground with recycled rubber tires. (The daycare would have been eligible if it had been run by a separate church-affiliated non-profit; but because in this case the money would have gone directly to the church, the provision applied.) The church sued, and the case has wended its way to the Supreme Court.