The littlest nope ever. pic.twitter.com/mJHclYBzVw
— Cats (@SpaceCatPics) March 25, 2015
Yesterday, eastern Massachusetts got its (unusually late) first plowable snow of the year — just under an inch in Boston. Twice that north and west of the Hub, in towns like Andover, where the first official Snow Rage incident of the season took place, per local news WCVB:
Police say Michael McCullon had been attempting turn onto North Main Street on Tuesday morning and nearly crashed into a snowplow. The 51-year-old Andover resident then followed the plow into a parking lot where the two drivers had an argument that turned physical.
McCullon pulled out an unloaded firearm and was arrested at the scene after a bystander called police.
He was arraigned on assault and battery and assault with a dangerous weapon charges.
The unidentified snowplow driver also faces charges including assault and battery…
Yeah, we’re still a little weather-shy, after last year’s record snow totals.
As for the blizzard of campaign bullshit striking especially hard in the early-voting areas, here’s some happy talk from numbercruncher Nate Cohn at the NYTimes — “This Is Where the Fun Begins”:
…[E]ven with that little time left until Iowa, the first contest of the 2016 race, there’s more than enough time for candidates with little or no support to surge to victory, for forgotten former front-runners to mount a comeback, or for strong and consistent poll leaders to collapse abruptly.
This phase of the race — the final stretch before Iowa and New Hampshire — can be the most volatile of the entire campaign, as early-state voters make up their minds, politicians and newspapers make endorsements, and candidates make strategic decisions to invest time and money in particular states.
In recent primary campaigns, going back to the 2004 Democratic primary, those candidates who have led in Iowa or New Hampshire polls with just one month to go have lost as often as they have won. On average, candidates’ share of the vote at this stage differed from their final share of the vote by around seven percentage points. With many candidates running, it was not at all uncommon for a candidate to move by more…
Perhaps the most striking thing about these huge, last-minute swings is that they often happen without anything huge triggering them. There were no epic debate performances or nationally televised implosions. Two of the candidates who entered the final month with the largest and most consistent leads over the previous few months — Howard Dean in 2004 and Mitt Romney in New Hampshire in 2008 — saw their leads evaporate without doing anything to get them in the history books. (The “Dean Scream” actually was emitted after he lost Iowa — by 20 points.) Instead, many of these huge swings occur in the course of a seemingly normal month of campaigning.
How can a race change so much? The answer is that most voters have still not made up their minds by this stage. After all, this isn’t a general election, when most voters invariably choose the candidate of their party. Most voters like most or even all of the top candidates.
Because of that, it doesn’t take much for voters to switch quickly from one candidate to another. It can start with something small — an outlying poll result, a newspaper endorsement or a particularly bad news cycle for a front-running candidate. The process tends to reinforce itself, because a show of strength — or weakness — results in a new wave of media coverage about the surging candidate, which helps the surging candidate yet again. Voters, not wanting their votes to go to waste, can even make tactical decisions to support a candidate who looks likelier to win…
So be prepared for another long, hard-fought six weeks. And props to Martin O’Malley for slogging on, polls and bad weather be damned [warning: Politico]:
Amid a vicious winter storm on Monday that forced some presidential campaigns to cancel their scheduled stops in Iowa, only Martin O’Malley decided to press on.
And one man at his last event, the only person to show up, in fact, “was glad to see me,” the former Maryland governor said. But he still would not commit to caucus for O’Malley.
“The very last event of the night, we actually had a whopping total of one person show up, but by God, he was glad to see me. So we spent the time with him,” the Democratic presidential candidate told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, speaking from Des Moines.
A tweet shared by a reporter who was present showed a bearded man, identified only as Kenneth, sitting at a table with O’Malley, who told MSNBC that he was “working on him” but also said people in Iowa “want to see the whole campaign play out” before deciding on a candidate…
Apart from all that slogging, what’s on the agenda for the day?