March 1, 2016

Tracking Super Tuesday: States Won — Clinton 7, Sanders 4; Trump 7, Cruz 3, Rubio 1

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:26 pm

MARCH 2 UPDATE: SUMMARIZING —

  • Trump took 7 states, Cruz took 3, and Rubio got 1.
  • Clinton took 7 states, Sanders took 4.
  • Trump underperformed in AK (lost), AR (eking out a victory), MN (finished third), OK (lost to Cruz by more than expected), TX (walloped by Cruz), and VT (Kasich gave him a scare). He’s the frontrunner, but NOT the automatic “it’s over” frontrunner a lot of people thought he’d be by this morning.
  • Clinton underperformed in CO (lost by 19), MA (only 2.5-point win), MN (lost by 24), and OK (lost by 10). She did not knock Sanders out, and is also NOT the presumptive nominee.

(Real Clear Politics results link)

Intro at 8:25 p.m.: I suspect this is going to be a relatively uneventful night which will see Hillary Clinton wins almost every Democratic Primary and Donald Trump win almost every Republican primary.

The states at stake are AK (GOP), AL, AR, CO (Dems), GA, MA, MN, OK, TN, TX, VA, VT.

State win tallies (updated continually):

  • Clinton — AL, AR, GA, MA, TN, TX, VA
  • Sanders — CO, MN, OK, VT
  • Trump — AL, AR, GA, MA, TN, VA, VT
  • Cruz — AK, OK, TX
  • Rubio — MN

The timeline continues below, with the latest items at the top.

The biggest news is something which I won’t assess until the dust has entirely cleared tomorrow morning. That would be changes compared to 2012 turnout for the GOP and changes vs. 2008 for Democrats. I’ll comment on that if the changes are significant, as I suspect they will be.

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11:25 p.m.: Signing off. Thanks to all who stopped by. Update, March 2: Ted Cruz won the AK caucuses. Trump was 2nd, Rubio a distant 3rd.

11:16 p.m.: As to Trump, he had a strong night, but was thumped in TX by far more than expected, lost what was supposed to be a competitive race in OK by 6 points, and as of now is on track to finish third in MN. Though Trump is clearly still the frontrunner and well ahead of everyone else, I don’t think it’s correct to call him the prohibitive frontrunner or the presumptive nominee by any stretch.

11:09 p.m.: Drudge says Sanders has won MN and CO. Sanders’ win in CO, a key swing state, is especially significant. Of Clinton’s wins tonight, only VA has been a swing state in recent years, and her slim 2.5-point win in MA shows there are huge numbers of died-in-the-wool Democrats who are dissatisfied with her. Of course, Trump’s presence certainly upends the electoral map in a lot of ways. But the bottom line is this: Hillary Clinton did NOT deliver a knockout blow tonight.

11:03 p.m.: Drudge says Rubio has won MN. 

10.58 p.m.: VT has been declared for Trump since the polls closed, and it’s still awfully close. With 77 percent counted, Kasich trails Trump by 722 votes and 1.5 points, and to his credit hasn’t lost more ground than an hour ago. But to catch up, he has to beat Trump by 54-46 in the remaining votes expected to go to either of those two. That’s highly unlikely. Update, March 2: Trump did win (up by 1,400 votes and 3 points with 93 percent counted).

10.55 p.m.: Cruz will take second in AR.

10:49 p.m.: With 53% of the votes counted, Rubio has a 9-point lead on Cruz (37-28), and Trump is in third with 21 percent. I suspect the Minnesotans remember another celebrity politician who didn’t do so well once in political office (Jesse Ventura, who was the state’s governor from 1999 to 2003).

10:47 p.m.: Cruz has slim leads over Rubio for second place in AR and GA, but they’re still too close to call.

10:45 p.m.: Sanders is ahead in early counting in MN and CO by 18 and 12 points, respectively.

10:42 p.m.: Clinton will take MA. With 78 percent counted, Sanders would have to win the remaining votes by 10 points to make up his 2.9-point deficit. I don’t see that happening.

10:33 p.m: Real Clear Politics has called MA for Clinton. I think that’s premature, but just barely. She has a 3.3-point lead with 68 percent counted. Sanders is gaining, but probably not fast enough to make up all of the lost ground.

10:20 p.m.: Sanders is running out of time to catch Clinton in MA (3.8 points behind with 61 percent counted). He has to finish about 6 points ahead with the remaining votes. Update, 10:29 p.m.: With 66 percent counted and Clinton with a 3.6-point lead, Sanders has to win the remaining votes by 7 points.

10:03 p.m.: There is little doubt, thanks to his crushing win in TX and his smaller but still impressive win in OK (with Rubio a distant third, that Cruz will end the night with far more popular votes than Rubio, and that Kasich and Carson are both serious laggards. Update, 10:18 p.m.: Rubio will probably finish at least 400,000 votes behind Cruz in TX.

9:56 p.m.: Though he has been the projected winner almost since the polls closed there, Trump’s VT victory isn’t absolutely assured. He’s 600 votes and 2 points up on Kasich with 58 percent counted. The odds are definitely in Trump’s favor, especially when contemplates how silly it seems to believe that there might be huge pockets of uncounted hardcore Kasich support hiding out there somewhere.

9:53 p.m.: MA’s Clinton-Sanders battle has tightened. Clinton is now up by only 4 points with almost half of the votes counted.

9:51 p.m.: Drudge has Trump winning AR, which is far enough counted (7-point lead, 41 percent counted) that it should hold.

9:47 p.m.: Given that the Trump camp made noise about taking TX and that some polls seemed to give him a chance, it should be noted that Cruz is taking his home state by miles (40-28, with almost half counted).

9:44 p.m.: Trump seems to be on the way to winning AR (6-point lead with 29 percent counted).

9:40 p.m.: Cruz’s lead on Trump in OK is big enough (5 points with 75 percent counted) that it’s not going to change the outcome.

9:34 p.m.: An hysterically funny email from Team Kasich claims that his running close to Trump in VT is a big deal, and that he is “already positioned to be the only Republican able to stop Donald Trump and win the White House in November.” Good heavens.

9:31 p.m.: Seems like Sanders would pull off a bit of a coup if he could win MA. Right now, Clinton has a 6-point lead with 33 percent counted.

9:25 p.m.: In the “who can finish second to Trump” sweepstakes, here’s the rundown:

  • VA — Rubio, who gave Trump a bit of a scare (35-31 at the moment). Cruz was a distant third (17 percent).
  • VT — Kasich is a pretty, no very, close second (33-30, with 42 percent counted), to the point where this one could possibly change, despite Trump’s being declared the winner. Rubio 19 percent, Cruz 9 percent.
  • MA — Rubio and Kasich are almost neck-and-neck. Update, March 2: Kasich took second in MA.
  • TN — Early indications have Cruz taking second. Update, 9.49 p.m.: Cruz will take second.
  • AL — Early indications have Cruz taking second. Update, 10.35 p.m.: Cruz will take second.
  • AR and GA — Too close to call between Rubio and Cruz. Update, 10.55 p.m.: Cruz will take second in AR. Update, March 2: Rubio took second in GA.

9:15 p.m.: Sanders has been declared the Democratic primary winner in Oklahoma. This one’s in the bag, with Sanders having an 11-point lead with almost half the votes counted.

9:11 p.m.: Cruz has been declared the winner in Oklahoma. I wouldn’t be so sure just yet.

9:10 p.m.: NBC News also shows Sanders with a 51-41 lead on Clinton in OK with 38 percent counted. I believe that will also be seen as an upset if it holds, though polling has consistently been pretty close.

9:09 p.m.: NBC News shows Cruz with a 34-30 lead on Trump in OK with 35 percent counted. I believe that’s going to be seen as an upset if it holds.

9:01 p.m.: Hillary Clinton barf-inducing statement of the night, via a USA Today email — “What we need in America today is more love and kindness.” This from Ms. Politics of Personal Destruction herself.

9:00 p.m.: It appears that the press election callers appear to have declared TX for Trump and Clinton before all of the polls closed at 9 p.m. ET in the Lone Star State. If so, that’s a big, big no-no. Update: Can’t rule out the possibility that Drudge, who believes we should see them when they arrive, got hold of exit polls beforehand.

8:55 p.m.: Earlier projections that Trump had OK in the bag appear to be wrong, and Cruz is neck and neck with him there.

8:50 p.m.: Only AK, AR, MN and OK remain on the GOP side. Only CO, MA, MN and OK remain for Dems.

8:45 p.m.: Cruz has held TX. Trump picks up OK, VA, VT.

8:30 p.m.: Drudge is reporting that Clinton has also won TX and AR.

Public Sector (+4.5 Pct.) Drives January 2016 Construction Increase of 1.5 Pct.)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:23 am

From the Census Bureau:

JANUARY 2016 CONSTRUCTION AT $1,140.8 BILLION ANNUAL RATE

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during January 2016 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,140.8 billion, 1.5 percent (±1.0%) above the revised December estimate of $1,123.5 billion. The January figure is 10.4 percent (±1.6%) above the January 2015 estimate of $1,033.3 billion.

PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $831.4 billion, 0.5 percent (±0.8%)* above the revised December estimate of $827.3 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $433.2 billion in January, nearly the same as (±1.3%)* the revised December estimate of $433.1 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $398.2 billion in January, 1.0 percent (±0.8%) above the revised December estimate of $394.2 billion.

PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION

In January, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $309.4 billion, 4.5 percent (±1.6%) above the revised December estimate of $296.2 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $68.8 billion, 1.9 percent (±2.8%)* below the revised December estimate of $70.1 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $110.4 billion, 14.7 percent (±4.3%) above the revised December estimate of $96.2 billion.

There’s obviously plenty of highway construction going on, even without President Obama’s vaunted “infrastructure” spending.

The private residential construction spending stat supports the new-home industry flatness seen in other stats.

Though January was certainly helped along by better than usual weather, construction spending has been a GDP bright spot for some time, and is continuing to be that.

February 2016 ISM Manufacturing: 49.5 Percent, Up from 48.2 Percent in January

Filed under: Economy — Tom @ 10:14 am

Predictions are for a fifth month of contraction, with a reading between 48.7 and 49.0, up from January’s 48.2.

HERE’S THE REPORT (direct link) — once again, defying several regional survey which report that the situation is far worse (bolds are mine, paragraphs breaks added by me:

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in February for the fifth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 81st consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

… The February PMI® registered 49.5 percent, an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the January reading of 48.2 percent.

The New Orders Index registered 51.5 percent, the same reading as in January. The Production Index registered 52.8 percent, 2.6 percentage points higher than the January reading of 50.2 percent.

The Employment Index registered 48.5 percent, 2.6 percentage points above the January reading of 45.9 percent. Inventories of raw materials registered 45 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points above the January reading of 43.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 38.5 percent, an increase of 5 percentage points above the January reading of 33.5 percent, indicating lower raw materials prices for the 16th consecutive month.

Comments from the panel indicate a more positive view of demand than in January, as 12 of our 18 industries report an increase in new orders, while four industries report a decrease in new orders.”

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, nine are reporting growth in February in the following order: Textile Mills; Wood Products; Furniture & Related Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Chemical Products; Primary Metals; and Paper Products. The seven industries reporting contraction in February — listed in order — are: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Transportation Equipment; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Fabricated Metal Products.

WHAT RESPONDENTS ARE SAYING …

  • “Low oil prices and reduced activity continue affecting our business.” (Petroleum & Coal Products)
  • “U.S. business demand is solid; international demand is soft.” (Chemical Products)
  • “Mobility spend is up.” (Computer & Electronic Products)
  • “Business has to get better. And it appears it is. Healthy backlog for 2016.” (Fabricated Metal Products)
  • “Very strong demand for product. Material availability very good and commodity pricing continues to be depressed.” (Machinery)
  • “Airlines are still ordering planes and spare parts for plane galleys.” (Transportation Equipment)
  • “Market is beginning to trend up with spring season on its way.” (Wood Products)
  • “Not seeing impact from global economic volatility or oil prices. Business is strong and growth projections remain the same.” (Miscellaneous Manufacturing)
  • “Orders are coming in stronger than expected.” (Furniture & Related Products)
  • “Still a bit sluggish.” (Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products)

The three primaru GDP drivers are now averaging above the 50 percent expansion point (Orders – 51.5, Production -52.8, Backlog – 48.5; average – 50.9). That’s up substantially from last month’s 48.2.

As discussed previously, this survey, when compared to the available regional manufacturing surveys, appears to suffer from a positive selection bias. So if it says that manufacturing is barely contracting, the reality is likely that it’s significantly contracting.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (030116)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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9:15 A.M.: Democrats with bylines covering for Democrat politicians“The New Republic’s New Owner (Win McCormack) Covered Up The Fact That Oregon’s Governor Was a Rapist.”

The 2004 article underlying Mark Hemingway’s Weekly Standard piece today is from Willamette Week. It’s a savage indictment of Oregon’s leftist coverup culture:

WHAT WOULD YOU DO

if you learned that the most influential person in the state had committed statutory rape?

Would it matter if he were your friend, your boss or someone you revered?

In May, WW published the story of former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt’s sexual abuse of a teenager when he was Portland’s mayor in the 1970s (see “The 30-Year Secret,” WW, May 12, 2004).

The revelation that for three years Goldschmidt had sex with the daughter of a neighbor and former employee, beginning when the victim was 14, shocked the state.

Nearly as stunning as Goldschmidt’s crime was that he’d kept it quiet for three decades, even while a member of President Jimmy Carter’s Cabinet, a senior executive at Nike, the governor of Oregon and, finally, the state’s consummate power broker for the past 14 years.

It turns out, however, that Goldschmidt’s secret wasn’t so secret after all.

During the past seven months, WW has established that dozens of Oregonians–many of whom today work at the highest levels of business, government and the media–knew something about Goldschmidt’s secret.

Some were friends, some were employees, some were even newspaper editors. To one degree or another, all of them had some knowledge of an almost unthinkable stain on the reputation of a man whose mayoral legacy includes MAX, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the death of the ill-advised Mount Hood Freeway.

When faced with the unthinkable, what did people do? Some say they didn’t believe what they heard; others took actions that led nowhere; still others simply did nothing.

None of those named in this story admit they knew about the sexual abuse while it was happening. And, certainly, no single person is responsible for keeping Goldschmidt’s secret.

But the three decades of collective silence is a testimony to the sway Goldschmidt, 64, has had over this city. As a leader, he dwarfed those who followed.

Placed almost unfairly high on a pedestal by the media and his supporters, Goldschmidt was so intertwined with Portland’s identity that acknowledging, let alone confronting, his crime would be an indictment of more than just him. His success belonged to everyone–and so, in a perverse way, would his failure.

To be clear, the following response to the final paragraph is not a criticism of author Nigel Jaquiss, who was simply relaying what the political and cultural elite thought — and who more recently exposed the sordid activities of Obama fundraiser Terry Bean, who also managed to dodge accountability for his sexually deviant actions.

With that out of the way, here’s the response to the “collective silence” for all of those who didn’t at least try to expose this monster: All of you were cowards in this. Your possession of power is obviously more important than anything. You should never be given any responsibility involving public trust.

And sadly, I know I’m p*ssing in the wind, and that Portlandia’s culture hasn’t changed a single bit — unless it has gotten even worse.

As to the New Republic, “journalists” who were so upset about their previous owner’s moves are complete hypocrites if they stay on board with Neil Goldschmidt’s admitted enabler Win McCormack in charge.

Positivity: Survivor praises Schindler for personally saving her life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:59 am

From Delray Beach, Florida:

February 29, 2015 2:50 PM

Like many Holocaust survivors, Rena Finder of Delray Beach moves children and adults alike with her testimony on surviving the Holocaust, recalling the pain of her relatives and friends being murdered by the Nazis.

But unlike other survivors, Finder has a positive story to share about a Nazi industrialist named Oskar Schindler, (whom she describes as “an angel”), who personally saved her from being murdered by the Nazis.

Finder’s talks on being a survivor and the role of Schindler in saving her life and that of 1,200 Jews has captivated hundreds of people who attended her talks during a speaking tour of Chabad congregations across Florida that are scheduled to continue through March.
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