Daily Digest: Super Tuesday, Dayton shoots down gun bill and Rink-rat woes

by Kyle Potter

Here’s your Daily Digest for Tuesday, March 6:

(Kinda) Super Tuesday

Ten states today will host Republican presidential primaries or caucuses, in which more than 400 delegates for the nomination are at stake.

Front-runner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is on a roll, having captured key victories in Michigan, Arizona and Washington in the past week. He also locked up huge endorsements from Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and former attorney general John Ashcroft.

And despite the fact that nearly 30 states will hold their own contests after voting concludes tonight, political pundits Super Tuesday marks the beginning of the end: If Romney does well, as is projected, the nomination has his name on it. If Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul surge and steal some of Romney’s thunder, well … the nomination still probably has his name on it, anyway.

"Timing wise, it's gotten to the point that people are looking to coalesce around one candidate and take the fight to the Democrats," Romney supporter Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told the New York Times.

As always, New York Times’ Nate Silver put together projections on how the candidates will fare in each state in his FiveThirtyEight blog. The most likely scenario is posted below:

Courtesy of FiveThirtyEight and the New York Times

In this scenario, Romney adds three huge victories – Ohio, Virginia and his stomping grounds of Massachusetts – to his belt, not to mention another three or four wins. Gingrich, of course, is expected to dominate in his home state of Georgia. And several other, smaller contests will be squeakers.

Oddly enough, this election cycle’s “Super Tuesday” is not so super. More than 20 states held primaries or caucuses on Feb. 5, 2008’s Super Tuesday.

Dayton vetoes gun bill

It’s been called the “Castle Doctrine,” the “Stand Your Ground” bill and the “Shoot first” bill.

Whatever you call it, it’s done. Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill Monday that would have expanded Minnesotans’ rights to use firearms in self-defense when threatened.

In his veto letter, Dayton cited the concerns of state law enforcement organizations as reason for not signing the bill into law.

"When they strongly oppose a measure because they believe it will increase the dangers to them in the performance of their duties, I cannot support it," Dayton wrote in the letter.

Proponents of the bill, including chief author in the House and former sheriff Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, argued that the bill was a common sense way to help citizens protect themselves.

"The right of self-defense is fundamental, and has been recognized in law for centuries," Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, told the Star Tribune.

No more outdoor ice?

Canadian researchers studied climate patterns from the past 50 years and came to a chilling conclusion: Warmer winters may eventually kill outdoor ice rinks.

“It’s hard to imagine a Canada without outdoor hockey, but I really worry that this will be a casualty of our continuing to ignore the climate problem and to obstruct international efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions,” said one of the researchers from Concordia University in a statement.

What, no love for Minnesota, their brothers in (hockey stick-wielding) arms?

No rinks are currently open in Minneapolis, according to the Park and Recreation board. That’s not abnormal – they typically close in mid-February.

I’m sure some of you are ecstatic about the weather this winter, but it’s been brutal for ice skating in Minneapolis, too. After a few false starts in December, rinks finally started to open up after Christmas. Even after that, there were temporary closures due to soft, unskateable ice.

And there’s a high of 60 today. Sixty degrees in early March.

Last one in the muddy gulch brewing at the Van Cleve Park “rink” is a rotten egg!