Tuesday night was bad for Democrats, good for the GOP establishment and great for incumbents of both parties.
Going into the latest round of primaries, top Republicans feared that Sen. Thad Cochran would fall in Mississippi, immigration hard-liner Tom Tancredo could win their gubernatorial nomination in Colorado and GOP Rep. Richard Hanna would lose a primary in New York because he had endorsed gay marriage.
Such a scenario would have kept one of the country’s reddest states on the map of competitive Senate races through the fall and badly damaged the Republican’s Senate challenger in Colorado — not to mention spurred days of negative coverage presenting the tea party as ascendent and the GOP as intolerant.
But the Republican nightmare didn’t happen: Cochran and Hanna won, Tancredo lost and Rep. James Lankford trounced his Ted Cruz-backed rival in an Oklahoma Senate primary, avoiding a widely expected runoff.The Wall Street Journal reports on a development that is much worse for Democratic prospects:
The U.S. economy contracted at a worse pace than previously estimated in the first quarter, marking its sharpest pullback since the recession ended five years ago.
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, contracted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.9% in the first three months of the year, according to the Commerce Department's third reading released Wednesday. That was the fastest rate of decline since the first quarter of 2009, when output fell 5.4%.
Commerce had previously estimated output fell by 1% in the first quarter as manufacturers drew down inventories rather than produce new goods and as unusually harsh weather kept consumers at home and shut down work sites. Exports also declined after a surge late last year.
In its third GDP reading, based on newly available data, Commerce said first-quarter consumer spending and exports were even weaker than previously estimated.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted Wednesday's report would revise GDP growth down to a 2% decline.