Wednesday’s Open Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Teve says:


    I don’t have an opinion on “court packing,” but when the governor in Arizona expanded our Supreme Court and appointed conservative hacks, Republicans thought it was a swell idea then. Wonder why they hate it now?

  2. Teve says:


    My dog found a croissant on the ground one time, months ago, and he still drags me to that same spot every single day to check if there’s a new one. I may start occasionally hiding them there before our walks just to make his day

  3. Teve says:

    “You know we have to win both Nebraskas, you know that, right? You have two, you’re cut. We’re gonna win both.”

    -Donald Trump


  4. Bill says:
  5. Bill says:
  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Eric Feigl-Ding

    HUGE— A Flu Shot Might Reduce Coronavirus Infections, Early Research Suggests
    Hospital workers who got flu shot vaccinated were significantly less likely to develop #COVID19 than those who did not, early study shows.

    2) new preprint suggests that there could be another key reason to get a flu jab this year: it might reduce risk of COVID-19. flu vaccine against influenza virus may also trigger the body to produce broad infection-fighting molecules that combat the pandemic-causing coronavirus.

    3) “The paper is in line with some other recent studies published in peer-reviewed journals that point to similar effects. But researchers caution the research is preliminary and needs to be bolstered by more rigorous experiments.

    One more reason to get that flu shot this year.

  7. CSK says:

    I suppose he means North Nebraska and South Nebraska. Right?

    I notice the crowd cheered wildly anyway.

  8. Kylopod says:


    “You know we have to win both Nebraskas, you know that, right? You have two, you’re cut. We’re gonna win both.”

    My first thought was that he was alluding to the fact that NE splits its electoral votes, but forgetting that it has 3 districts, not 2. Or perhaps he meant NE-02 which is competitive vs. the rest which isn’t. But some of the responses in the thread suggested he might have been confusing NE with the Dakotas. I absolutely would not put that past him.

    Incidentally, 538 only mentions one poll of NE at large, the D- rated SurveyMonkey, but for what it’s worth it shows Biden behind by 6 points, which is astonishingly close. Even in 2008 when Obama won NE-02, he lost the state by 15 points, which is actually the best a Dem has done there since 1964, the last time it was won by a Dem. Normally Dems lose it by around 20-30 points.

  9. CSK says:

    The way he flapped his hand up and down, I assumed he was referring to what he thought were two separate states.

  10. CSK says:

    Clearly the dog must be a Bassett hound.

  11. Bill says:


    I suppose he means North Nebraska and South Nebraska. Right?

    And Interstate 80 is the border, right?

  12. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: The way he worded it did sound like he was alluding to its method of allocating electors, but not only are there more than two divisions, they go west to east, not north to south. He’s confused about something regarding the state’s divisions, that’s for sure.

  13. Jen says:

    @CSK: When he said “you cut, we gotta win both” I think he meant that Nebraska apportions its electors.

    That said, I don’t speak Trumpian so…. {shrugs}

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: The division in NE is east and west. The panhandle has been threatening to secede for decades and join WY.

  15. CSK says:

    @Bill: @Kylopod: @Jen:

    I think he’s too simple-minded to understand the apportionment of electors. He probably confused Nebraska with the Dakotas. The audience loved it, in any case.

    We’ve always been enjoined by Trumpists to watch what Trump does, not listen to what he says. Who knows?

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jeff Paul

    Thousands of people left out in the cold and stranded in #Omaha, #Nebraska after a #Trump rally. I’m told the shuttles aren’t operating & there aren’t enough busses. Police didn’t seem to know what to do. Some walked. I saw at least one woman getting medical attention.
    The above video & this one were taken around 10:15pm. The #Trump rally ended around 8:45pm. Some just gave up and walked from the airfield, back to wherever they parked. It was about 32° out at the time. Many had already spent hours outside as they waited for POTUS to arrive.

    A perfect encapsulation of the trump presidency.

  17. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: I’m pretty sure his handlers have gotten through to him that Nebraska isn’t a single entity electorally, even if he’s fuzzy on the details. There does seem to be some strategy in his visiting Omaha, as a way of shoring up the electoral vote, perhaps with the hope that local media may help strengthen his position in nearby Iowa. But it seems like an absurdly marginal thing to spend time on in the final week of the campaign when he has much bigger parts of the electoral map to worry about.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Their campaign strategy is rather puzzling.

  19. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Its taken me 4 years but Ive finally figured it out.

    Donald Trump is simply a surrogate Phallus for emasculated men.

    Thats the be all and end all of his appeal. It explains why he’s lost female support (they obviously relate differently to Phallus’ than men do) and why his male supporters often have the personality we all know and love.

  20. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    He sees himself as a Big Swinging Dick and so do his male fans.

  21. Kylopod says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I remember noticing in 2016 that most of his celeb supporters consist of some the biggest dicks (are, not have) in show biz: Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Charlie Sheen, Mike Tyson, and so on.

  22. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What is also interesting is that the Southern Hemisphere had a mild flu season which some attributed to so many people wearing masks cutting down on the virus transmission.

  23. Bill says:


    I think he’s too simple-minded to understand the apportionment of electors.

    I was being sarcastic before when I said I-80 was the border between North and South Nebraska.

    Seriously, people make geography related mistakes all the time. I have. In 2014 as I neared completion of my first ebook*, I realized Boise and Moscow Idaho were in different time zones. Corrections were made before publication.

    In another ebook of mine, mostly set in Iowa and Missouri, I had the evening news coming on at 11 p.m. It comes on at ten in Central Standard Time and I didn’t catch the mistake till after I published that ebook.

    To err is human. Didn’t Obama once refer to the 57 United States?

    *- That ebook of mine was almost entirely set in those two places.

  24. Jen says:

    This is the type of thing that frightens me.

    Emerson is an A-rated pollster.

    Biden has near-universal support among Democrats (99%), while 93% of Republicans are voting for Trump. Independents are breaking for Trump, 47% to 41%.

    Emphasis mine, from this polling data.

    This is nerve-racking. I’m wondering if I should cocoon myself for a week.

  25. Scott says:

    @Jen: 538 has increased its election prediction to 89 in 100 for the first time. What is different from 2016 is the stability in the polling numbers. Last time it seems to be a roller coaster that went up or down with the latest news.

    I’m like you, though, I avoid watching the news. If I do, it is BBC or some other service that actually has some international component.

  26. Kylopod says:

    @Bill:Seriously, people make geography related mistakes all the time. In 2014 as I neared completion of my first ebook*, I realized Boise and Moscow Idaho were in different time zones.

    And that’s supposed to be equivalent to thinking there are two Nebraskas?

    Didn’t Obama once refer to the 57 United States?

    He was talking about the 57 primary and caucus contests, and he inadvertently said “states.” That’s a semantic error, not a geographical one.

  27. Scott says:

    From the Emerson report:

    The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race and region based on 2016 voter turnout modeling.

    I wonder how different 202o is going to be from 2016. Turnout was down in 2016 if I remember right.

  28. Tyrell says:

    Dodgers win! Congratulations to world champion Dodgers!
    It’s about time!

  29. Jen says:

    Metaphor Alert:

    Hundreds of Trump supporters stuck in the cold for hours when buses can’t reach Omaha rally

    Most not wearing masks.
    Crowded onto buses.
    Left in the cold.
    At least seven taken to hospitals.

  30. Kylopod says:

    @Tyrell: Not a sports fan, but I saw it flash on my news feed that this is their first World Series win since 1988. Might this be a sign that a presidential candidate is about to break 400 EVs for the first time since 1988?

  31. CSK says:

    I can’t stand it. Frankly, I’m thinking of hitting the New Hampshire State Liquor Store to get me through this. Join me?

  32. Teve says:

    71 million early votes so far. And according to Rachel Bitecofer, a lot of them are people who didn’t vote in 2016.

    Hell’s Bells.

  33. Scott says:


    I noticed this from the Emerson report:

    Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines (n=403) and an online panel (n=718).

    36% landlines. Could that still be representative?

  34. Jen says:

    @CSK: I’m definitely thinking of making a run. Not sure if I want to pick up a bottle of bubbly, or if that’s premature. Whisky is probably a safer bet. And a case of wine.

    Wish they were carrying this at the NH state stores.

  35. CSK says:


    I notice the winery ships. I may order a case. Or six.

  36. Teve says:

    @Scott: you would think that would drastically oversample the elderly.

  37. sam says:


    I’m pretty sure his handlers have gotten through to him that Nebraska isn’t a single entity electorally, even if he’s fuzzy on the details.


    Handler: Mr. President, Nebraska has a unicameral legislature.

    Trump: They make candy in the legislature?

  38. DrDaveT says:


    The panhandle has been threatening to secede for decades and join WY.

    The frightening part is that this would moderate WY somewhat.

    Can anyone explain WTF is wrong with Wyoming? It is easily the most Trumpist state in the polls, but I don’t associate Wyoming with bred-in-the-bone racism, plutocracy, anti-immigration fervor, Fruitcake Pseudochristianity*, frothing anti-abortionism, or any of the other leading comorbidities of Trumpism that I can think of. Can someone explain this to me? Is it a libertoonian and anti-gay thing? What makes it so intense?

    *The Mormons in the SW corner are probably a moderating influence, given how much redder WY is than UT.

  39. DrDaveT says:


    Independents are breaking for Trump, 47% to 41%.

    I would love to see a graph over time of what fraction of the polled population has self-identified as Dem/Ind/Rep. I think that might be more informative.

  40. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott: 36% landlines. Could that still be representative?
    Land lines, and by robo-call. Whose responses would that capture? I’m thinking old people.

  41. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT: I don’t know a huge amount about WY specifically, but I do have the sense that the western US broadly speaking is where you find more of a libertarian bent among the conservatives. And keep in mind that WY, unlike more eastern states like WV which moved to the GOP relatively recently, is historically a Republican stronghold. Its strong support for Trump isn’t really a shift from the pre-Trump era or even pre-2000, it’s just a continuation of its historical partisan leaning.

  42. Teve says:

    ND has 51,348 Covid cases per million residents. By comparison, the whole US has 27,257, and Italy has 9,346.

    U-S-A! U-S-A!

  43. Teve says:


    New: Travis Co., TX (Austin) just hit 470,535 votes cast, surpassing its 2016 total of 468,720 a full week before Election Day.

    Gonna be A Loooooot of shocked, angry Trumpers next week 😀

  44. CSK says:

    We all need a laugh desperately. Go to


  45. Scott says:

    @Teve: That is against early voting turnouts. Total voting in 2016, including election day, was 477,588, or 65.24%. Still good but there is a way to go.

  46. Kathy says:

    Do you all not know East Nebraska, Old Nebraska, and Lower Nebraska?

    I knew a person from Nebraska once, long ago, through an old email list. She lived in South Sioux City, Nebraska. Their claim to fame lies in existing right to the south of Sioux City, Iowa, where a United DC-10 made a crash landing after losing almost all its controls.

  47. Mu Yixiao says:

    Has anyone else gotten the creepy “stay at home” robo-call?

    I got it last night. A vaguely female computer voice (like the ones in SF movies that say “three minutes to minimum safe distance)”.

    It says:

    This is a test call.
    Stay home.
    Time to stay home.
    Stay safe.

  48. Joe says:

    Teve and Scott:
    My suddenly very political son shared with me some graph he came across comparing the number of 18-29 year-olds having early voted in, for example, Florida and Georgia. In each instance there were 4x to 5x as many in that demographic as of last week. I don’t know where he was getting that information, but I hope that is (a) correct and (b) a nationwide trend.

  49. I would expect that it’s Trump’s avowed love of coal that wins the hearts of Wyoming residents. There are some extremely large coal mines in the state. Also, they probably are part of the nativist movement, but I’m less sure about that. It’s a small state, and probably a bit suspicious of any outsider, let alone one that speaks a different language.

    Finally, I’m sure that they are completely convinced that Nancy Pelosi wants to take their guns away – facts be damned.

  50. Teve says:




    Young voters in Florida have almost doubled their share of the votes cast so far compared to this point in 2016. Voters 65 or older made up 50% of the early vote at this time four years ago, but only make up 41% now.

    Florida’s early voting electorate is slightly more diverse compared to this point in 2016. Both Hispanic voters and Black voters have increased their shares of ballots already cast, with Hispanic voters accounting for about 16% of the early vote (up from 14% in 2016) and Black voters at 13% (up from 12% in 2016).

    Democrats are leading in the pre-election turnout with 42% of the ballots cast to the Republicans’ 36%. A week before the 2016 election, they were tied at 41% each.

  51. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That sounded vaguely familiar so I googled the message. Apparently, a bunch of Canadians were getting similar calls back in August. No official agency, no real idea where the calls are coming from, apparently.

    That’s weird and creepy. No thank you.

  52. reid says:

    @DrDaveT: It’s also the least populous state. It has two four-year colleges. I live in New Mexico, and you probably think of it as a tiny state, but it has almost four times the population of Wyoming. It’s basically just a big rural area. We all know what that means.

  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    How does your state produce electricity?

    Here in Cow Hampshire, 60% of electricity used in the state comes from nuclear. Over the past few years, NIMBY’s defeated a transmission line right of way, Northern Pass, that would bring hydro electricity from Quebec. In fairness that RoW was a pass through for energy headed for Massachusetts.

    The Seabrook nuke plant was recently relicensed for an additional 10 years and at that time will be 50 years old, retirement of the facility is not far away. Being able to plug into Quebec hydro would be a nice option.

    Northern Pass opponents advocate wind and solar to replace the nuke plant and that’s fine, though there is much scrimshawing about the siting of solar collectors and wind turbines, not to mention the complaining about neighbors who set up 400-800 sq ft, collectors in their side yards. There will be some poetic justice if the NIMBY’s who opposed Northern Pass are stuck looking at ridge tops studded by wind turbines.

  54. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: Wow. I’m 60 and haven’t had a land line since 2011 and even then didn’t give it out. My kids have never had a land line.

  55. MarkedMan says:


    Handler: Mr. President, Nebraska has a unicameral legislature.

    Trump: Oh. Say, what do they call them when they have two humps? Dromedaries?

  56. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It is amazing to me how many “no, not that” people come out of the woodwork, no matter the project. Northern Pass literally would have passed us by, but we have the same issues with wind and solar–no one wants the infrastructure anywhere around. They like the concept, but don’t want the hardware.

    Scotland is chock-a-block full of wind turbines, but they’ve managed to site them in remote areas. I cannot fathom what Americans think they are gaining by the foot-dragging in developing new electricity sources; we are going to need that additional power SOON, and building in haste will cost more.

  57. Kathy says:


    The only reason I have a landline, is that it comes with the broadband connection.

    BTW, many years ago, a local cell provider was selling “landline cell phones.” They were cell phones, but big, non-portable, and hooked to a power outlet. All they did was make phone calls. They were meant to replace landline service, yet provide a home phone number.

    It kind of made sense, as cells then were still expensive and not much used yet. A family of four might have been able to afford one, not four to give each member a number.

  58. Teve says:
  59. Michael Cain says:


    I suppose he means North Nebraska and South Nebraska. Right?

    When Nebraska was becoming a state there was a proposal to move the capital from Omaha (the old territorial capital) to the town of Lancaster. Omaha businessmen paid off that town to change its name to Lincoln, after the former President, in hopes that Confederate sympathizers in the southern part of the state would vote against moving the capital. The ploy failed.

  60. CSK says:

    According to the White House science office has included “ending the pandemic” as Trump’s top accomplishment of his first term.


  61. JohnSF says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    I hope you will forgive a Brit buttinski trying to mansplain Wyoming, but in mitigation, following isn’t actually my explanation.
    Read it years back, and it’s stuck in my head, though I forget the source.
    The argument was that a lot of the “mountain west” massively resents federal regulation of water rights, public lands and land use, mining rights, forestry restrictions etc. and have come to see the Republicans as an “anti-Washington” party.
    Ironically, as it was Theodore Roosevelt who really began conservationist management of federal reserves; but IIRC was something about such regulation being expanded under FDR in the New Deal?

    Anyway, that, plus old fashioned rural conservatism, explained the “Red West”; which has changed in some states due to growth of urban areas (e.g. Colorado, Arizona) but still solid where less growth (e.g. Wyoming, Idaho)

    Anyway, that’s what I recall of his reasoning.
    How valid it is, or ain’t, you tell me 🙂

  62. Teve says:

    @CSK: There were only 75,072 new cases in the US yesterday. So it’s basically eradicated.

  63. Michael Cain says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I would expect that it’s Trump’s avowed love of coal that wins the hearts of Wyoming residents.

    Wyoming has some of the premier onshore wind resources in the world. The outflow from the South Pass gap in the Rocky Mountains is incredible. Ask anyone who has lived in Casper, WY about the wind there. My normally mild-mannered daughter lived there for six months. On the phone one time she said, “Just one f*cking day when the wind doesn’t blow, that’s all I ask. Just! One!”

    Wyoming generates much more electricity than it consumes, selling the excess as far west as the Pacific Ocean. That market is drying up quickly because coastal consumers don’t want coal-fired electricity, are willing to pay to avoid it, and so the utilities are buying their way out of their long-term contracts. Wyoming is finally figuring out that with those wind resources, they can quite profitably sell wind power to those same customers. One wind farm that will eventually total 3 GW of capacity is being built. A big HVDC transmission line is in the final permitting stages that will enable a bunch of that wind power to be sold into the lucrative Southern California market.

  64. Jax says:
  65. Kylopod says:


    This is the type of thing that frightens me.

    Emerson is an A-rated pollster.

    It is, and 538 even considers them to have a slight Democratic lean. Yet throughout this cycle they’ve consistently produced some of the more Trump-friendly poll results. Maybe they’re seeing something the other pollsters aren’t, but they are an outlier.

    Comments like this are yet another symptom of 2016 PTSD–looking everywhere for the smallest signs of another surprise Trump victory sneaking up on us, despite the fact that most of the signs look very, very good for us. Biden is ahead by far more than Hillary was, and his lead has been more consistent and robust throughout this cycle. He also has the momentum on his side, and there’s no sign of a late shift toward Trump the way there was in the final week of 2016. Of course there are issues we didn’t have in 2016–the massive wild card of voting during a pandemic, as well as the Republican assault on the voting system. But that can go both ways. I think the pandemic calls into question the turnout models used by pollsters, which rely on past turnout patterns that may not apply this year. I absolutely think the Republicans are engaged in nothing less than an attempted coup, and that millions of votes are not going to be counted. But I also thinks Dems are motivated enough that it’s very plausible they’ll outperform the polls.

    Because of 2016 many people it seems have this superstitious belief that the polls are somehow eternally destined to underestimate Trump, even though there’s very little evidence for that. We just have 2016 as our sole data point, and only the general election at that (he actually did worse than the polls suggested during the primary). Partly this is based on the theory of “shy Trump voters” who lie to pollsters. 538 made what I consider a convincing case that shy Trumpers weren’t the reason for the 2016 polling misfire. I’m also dubious that a significant number of people care what anonymous pollsters think of them, enough to hide their true opinions. And if the theory had any truth back in 2016, I suspect it’s much less likely to be true today. My sense is that Trumpists have become emboldened since he got elected.

    Though many liberals believe in this theory to some degree, I’ve noticed it’s popular among Trumpists themselves because it goes along with their sense of aggrievement. It also fits some pre-Trump conservative criticisms of polling, such as the idea that conservatives are less likely to respond to pollsters (Arianna Huffington was making that criticism back in the ’90s when she was a conservative). There are individual instances when this criticism may be accurate; I believe it’s the consensus position of analysts for the failure of 2004 exit polls which showed Kerry ahead in several states he went on to lose. But overall, there’s no evidence that polls in general have any systemic tendency to underrate Republican chances. They underrate Democrats just as often. There are a variety of issues that can cause polls to fail in one direction or another, and it’s simplistic to lay the blame entirely on partisan bias. But Republicans engage in cherry-picking where they ignore the many times polls have been accurate or underestimated Democrats, and 2016 has now entered legend for them as the ultimate destruction of all those high-falutin eggheads who thought they knew what they were talking about but really didn’t. The trouble is, a lot of Dems themselves have adopted the same narrative.

  66. Kathy says:


    Is it right next to building a base on the Moon and landing people on Mars?

    Speaking of COVID-19, I wonder why it’s surging all over now, even in countries that had done a good job at containment.

    A few days back, WHO officials said European countries are failing at ensuring isolation of those exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

    I’m sure that’s part of it, but I think there’s more. For instance, I’ve seen lots of people who think wearing a mask makes them impervious to the virus. a mask helps, of course, but it’s just one layer of protection, which must go along with other layers like social distancing, hand washing/sanitizing, avoidance of crowds, ventilation, etc.

    If you wear a mask but go to restaurants or bars, and attend reunions with friends, or spend lots of time close to other people, etc., the mask won’t be enough protection. This is especially so if other people who gather where you do don’t wear masks, or don’t wear them properly. Or worse yet, at restaurants and bars, where people wear them intermittently.

  67. Michael Cain says:


    Anyway, that, plus old fashioned rural conservatism, explained the “Red West”; which has changed in some states due to growth of urban areas (e.g. Colorado, Arizona) but still solid where less growth (e.g. Wyoming, Idaho)

    The West has always been much less rural than portrayed by the media. In 2010, using the much more accurate “built area” measurements, the West’s population is narrowly the densest of the Census Bureau’s four regions. Think of it as seven or eight big metro areas with vast empty spaces in between.

    One of the great under-reported political stories is the conversion of the West over the last 30 years. 30 years ago, even California was a Republican stronghold. Today, 7 of the 13 states are Democrat state government trifectas. Come January, the most likely outcome is 17 of 26 US Senators will be Democrats (with an outside chance of 19). There is a possibility that Biden will get more EC votes from the West than he does from the BosWash urban corridor states.

    Take it from me, it is a strange time to be a Democrat in the Mountain West.

  68. Jax says:

    Kylopod is probably right in that Wyoming has always just “been” Republican, but yes, Dr. Dave, there is still a lot of racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and all of those other things here. Kids that grow up here tend to leave as soon as they are able, the people that move in are usually in the energy sector and lean Republican. Not much education is needed to get a good job in the energy industry. The people here are stubborn and resent change of any sort. Even if renewable energy is our best way out of our current budget shortfalls, they’re gonna have to be dragged into it kicking and screaming. Maybe if you threaten them with an income tax, they might argue about it less, but they are determined to believe that coal is king.

  69. DrDaveT says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Finally, I’m sure that they are completely convinced that Nancy Pelosi wants to take their guns away – facts be damned.

    Ah, yes — I was forgetting that part. That seems like a probable driver.

  70. DrDaveT says:


    BTW, many years ago, a local cell provider was selling “landline cell phones.” They were cell phones, but big, non-portable, and hooked to a power outlet. All they did was make phone calls. They were meant to replace landline service, yet provide a home phone number.

    I have a sort of land line cell phone. My cell plan is through my internet provider. When my phone is within wifi range of one of their hot spots (such as my home router), the phone uses that and my calls and data are free. (Calls are mostly free anyway.)

  71. Sleeping Dog says:


    I know. This spring a proposal surfaced, a trial balloon really, for a wind farm off shore on the Seacoast. While not fleshed out they talked about a few dozen turbines about 25 miles off shore. That’s far enough that I doubt we can see them from shore, but some opposition surfaced. Granted, we can see the highlands of Cape Ann most days and those are about 25 miles away, but the highlands are a lot broader than any turbine. Of course the commercial fisherman expressed concern as well as marine wildlife advocates and their interest is understandable, but those concerned with aesthetics of the view?

  72. DrDaveT says:


    The argument was that a lot of the “mountain west” massively resents federal regulation of water rights, public lands and land use, mining rights, forestry restrictions etc.

    This also makes perfect sense. Thanks. Though it doesn’t quite explain why WY is so much redder than (say) Idaho, Montana, or Nevada.

  73. dazedandconfused says:
  74. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: It’s rather telling that when I signed up for internet service this latest time, the difference between what I got – internet only- and internet plus landline plus basic cable was only something like $15 a month.

  75. CSK says:

    Italy was a model of containment, and now they’re having a terrible outbreak there. And the population is reacting violently to any further attempts at restricting their daily routines. This is not good.

    Speaking of the resurgence in general (not just Italy), I think a lot of it may be caused by young people who a) feel invulnerable, as they always do, and b) are simply sick of not being able to gather and go places and do things together.

    The town next to mine is in the red zone now, but that’s because over 100 people (mostly students)
    have tested positive at the local 4-year college.

  76. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I think this TPM article is outside the paywall due to Covid, and it provides some pretty interesting information in support of cloth* mask wearing, or at least living in areas with a mindset to mandate mask wearing in public places.

    This is the US so I assume the vast majority of masks are cloth.

  77. Sleeping Dog says:

    Cook is out with their latest election forecast, which has Biden winning 296 EV with 8 states as toss-ups, all places Trump won in 16.

  78. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Is it still a pandemic when the virus is endemic?

  79. Scott says:

    @Jax: In the 80s, I went to visit a friend in Gillette, WY. She was HR at a huge Shell Oil coal mine. There was so much money there at the time. Partied with blue collar guys/gals who were pulling down $25/hr at age 25. They would be 60/65 now and reminiscing about the good old days. Guess how they would vote.

  80. Teve says:


    “Our assumption should be that if it’s close, if there’s a colorable premise to intervene, the Court will intervene to stop voting and award the presidency to President Trump. In other words, don’t let it be close because the current Court is corrupt.”

    -Josh Marshall

  81. Jax says:

    @Scott: Yep. The boom and bust cycle is pretty common here. Now we’re in bust, and our state legislature’s looking around for more cuts (which usually happens with education/services). We gotta keep these rubes thinking “right to work” means their right to have a job, not their right to be fired, damn it!

    Yes, I’ve actually had to explain that to people.

  82. Michael Cain says:


    This also makes perfect sense. Thanks. Though it doesn’t quite explain why WY is so much redder than (say) Idaho, Montana, or Nevada.

    Idaho is nearly as red as Wyoming. Nevada is dominated by a large metro area and Harry Reid built a hell of a Democratic machine there. Montana has always been odd, with at least one Democratic US Senator continuously since 1911, the longest streak in the country.

    I’ve thought about a variety of hypotheses for why western states are turning blue in the order they are. Several of them sort-of fit. My guesses for why Wyoming will be trailing the pack include overall small population (smaller than Denver proper), no large metro (Cheyenne is ~64k people), and too close now to Front Range Colorado to ever develop a large metro.

  83. CSK says:

    A pandemic can become endemic. This one seems likely to do so.

  84. Michael Cain says:


    The boom and bust cycle is pretty common here.

    I’ve long said that nearby Denver is the king of boom-and-bust. Just in the 32 years I’ve lived in Colorado, metro Denver went through the late-1980s oil bust, a PC hard disk bust, the telecom implosion, the dot-com bust, and a couple of real-estate busts.

  85. Teve says:

    NBC News just moved Texas from lean Republican to tossup.

  86. gVOR08 says:


    Kids that grow up here tend to leave as soon as they are able

    There’s an old line, not quite true, but close enough, about my native ND that the biggest export is educated kids. There’s sometimes something of a reverse inheritance. The farm family supports the oldest son through college, then the next oldest, and finally the youngest son is stuck with the farm.

  87. gVOR08 says:


    Is it still a pandemic when the virus is endemic?

    I don’t know, but I chuckle at saying the U. S. is experiencing a pandemic. The world has a pandemic, the U. S. has an epidemic.

  88. sam says:

    Jeff Tiedrich@itsJeffTiedrich
    if we stop testing Trump supporters for hypothermia there would be less hypothermia

  89. inhumans99 says:


    I live in the Bay Area but grew up in the San Fernando Valley and fondly remember trips with my family to Dodger’s Stadium and chowing down on some Dodger Dogs, and usually the Dodger’s get close to victory but then they choke and lose the title. So happy to hear they pulled it off this time around, go Dodger’s!

  90. inhumans99 says:

    I am going to be that guy again and repost a reply from another site (that pop culture site that also has an active Politics board that I have mentioned in the past) regarding someone who posted a story that had them slightly worried the “laptop” could still be the weapon to take down Biden.

    Please note, Dan is the guy I was replying too:

    Dan…no worries, it is not working. Politico has an interesting read on the laptop and how it might even be back-firing on the Trump campaign. What is interesting is that even some of the web sites like Breitbart will post about the laptop but are not really clamoring to declare it proves anything. When even sites like Breitbart are just doing the bare minimum of posting the story but not validating fringe claims that it proves anything you know Trump is in trouble next Tuesday. What a dud of an “October Surprise” the laptop turned out to be. Giuliani is as angry as a hornet that had its nest smacked around that the mainstream media is not going all in on the story. Basically, the fringe/right wing sites are just sharing the story with each other in a circular fashion keeping the story in a bubble.

    The WSJ still continues to refuse to go all in and if you have to rely on Tucker Carlson to try and make sure the story does damage to your opponent you are screwed. I am shocked that Trump tried to rely on yet another “but her emails” type surprise, this time lighting is not striking twice. In 2016 it was a perfect alignment of the FBI holding a presser, then Congress renewed their pearl clutching over Clinton’s emails, and the mainstream media just let the story overwhelm any other news so Clinton just got wrecked. Say what you will about Comey, but in 2016 the GOP arguably had the FBI on their side against Clinton, and that was a massive gift to Trump’s campaign at the time. This time he is relying on Tucker Carlson to play the role of Comey and get everyone to focus on the Biden story…yikes, Tucker C is no James Comey, lol….like I said, if you are relying on a guy who wears his biases on his sleeve to be your savior at the ballot box well, Trump should just stick a fork in himself right now as he is done.

    Seriously, we are 7 days out and over 70 million have already voted….Trump is going past the point of desperation as he runs around the country screaming the sky is fallin…I mean screaming Biden’s laptop, Biden’s Laptop, Biden’s Laptop at the top of his voice. No one but the fools who got abandoned by his campaign in Nebraska are buying what he is selling and thank God for that.

  91. Monala says:


    Lev Parnas & Igor Fruman LLCGem stone
    Replying to
    It’s only cold because there’s so many thermometers.

  92. Jen says:

    Completely silly, but here’s your daily time-waster:

    Quiz: Can You Tell a ‘Trump’ Fridge From a ‘Biden’ Fridge?

    I must be insanely neurotic because what struck me most was how messy some of these fridges are.

  93. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Talking Points Memo: 5 Points Of What To Make Of The Insane Early Voting Numbers We’re Seeing

    People are voting early in this pandemic election at volumes they have never voted early before. Late last week, with 11 days still to go before Nov. 3, the number of early votes cast surpassed the total early vote in 2016.

    It’s too soon to tell how much the of the early vote surge — which includes skyrocketing use of vote-by-mail, as well as a sizable increase in in-person early voting — is due to an increase in overall turnout, and how much of it is a product of the ways in which COVID-19 has affected Americans’ plans for casting ballots.

    And without knowing what total turnout will be — or even the party breakdown of early voters in some states — there’s only so much speculation that can be done about the final result.

    But already, looking at the data that is available, election experts are seeing some fascinating trends in who is using early voting and how they’re using it. Here are five points on the dynamics so far:

  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: I was wondering when you’d show up.

  95. Scott says:

    @Jen: I’m with you. Those refrigerators would drive me crazy. I hate food waste. I wouldn’t be able to go to the grocery store unless all the perishables have been consumed. It would make for some interesting meals.

  96. Teve says:


    In new petition, GOP candidates and state Rep. Toth ask Texas Supreme Court to REJECT Harris County votes cast in drive-thru lanes (100,000+ so far), calling it illegal curbside voting reserved for sick/disabled.
    A new argument after earlier bid to end drive-thru voting failed.

    Harris County is 59% minority.

  97. Teve says:



    UPDATE: 8.15 million Texans have already voted. That’s 91% of the total vote in 2016 and there are 3 days of early voting left and Election Day.

    Texas can send @JoeBiden to the WH and @mjhegar to the Senate and end this nightmare.

  98. Teve says:

    A funny thing happened. I actually voted for a Libertarian on Saturday. For tax collector in my county there are only two people running, one is a Republican and one is a Libertarian. The thing is, though, I graduated high school with the Republican. The entire time I knew him in the 90s he was a sleazy, two faced, manipulative bully. I had forgotten all about him until somebody told me last year that he was the manager of a local Taco Bell. So I voted for the Libertarian. Three days later I was talking to my mom and she said did you hear what the Libertarian running for tax collector said? He said “taxation is theft”. I said, “That’s because he’s a moron”. I didn’t bother to tell her that I voted for that moron 😛

    This county went 70% for Donald Trump so of course the Republican is going to win, but I still enjoyed voting against him.

  99. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: If you have to watch your blood pressure, don’t read this:
    What If They Held an Election and Everyone Came?

    How Texas’s 150-year history of voter suppression has brought us to this moment—and what we can do to save our elections.

    It’s long, but pretty damned thorough.

  100. Teve says:
  101. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: The Arkansas Senate race this year is between Tom Cotton and a libertarian, with no Democrat running.

  102. CSK says:

    Interesting. He came out with some trenchant criticisms of Trump this past summer. I think we may have talked about them on OTB.

  103. inhumans99 says:

    The more that I think about it, the Dodger’s winning the Championship deserves its own post. Of course, if you just read my post a few comments upthread you would understand that while I am clearly biased I still think it was a pretty huge thing to happen in sports today. Joyner is a sports guy, maybe he will put up a post.

    I had not realized that it has been so many years since the Dodger’s won…everyone usually talks about the Cubs and how long their Championship drought lasted for but damn, 1988 was the last time the Dodgers won?!? Yikes, I remember watching that game on TV and I was still a year out from graduating high school (Class 0f 89 Sherman Oaks CES) so it has been a minute since they took the title.

    I am not even a sports guy but I am genuinely proud of the Dodger’s today.

  104. JohnMcC says:

    I get a little ‘news’ feed on the BING face page. I had to share this:

    Costco “is the latest retailer pledging not to stock coconut products from Thai suppliers who have been accused of using monkeys as forced labor”.

    What a strange century. Some 40% or more Americans publicly admit supporting a president who cages children. But Thai monkeys? Can’t have that.
    (Yeah, I realize these are two different issues. Sort of….)

  105. Kathy says:


    Keep in mind he was part of the effort to cage children and separate them from their families.

  106. Teve says:

    @Kathy: everybody who took part in that should be in jail.

  107. Kathy says:


    I wonder if a case can be made for child abuse.

    Morally, if not legally, that was just what it was.

  108. charon says:
  109. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: I looked at it and thought – “yeah, I got nothing.” I just have no mental image of Trump or Biden supporters that would translate to what they have in their fridges

  110. Kathy says:


    Do not interrupt the enemy when he’s making a mistake.

    I’m surprised to see the “much less” trumps “somewhat less”

    (what pun?)

  111. Teve says:

    If you’re still in doubt that Trump is burnt toast, consider where the candidates are spending the last week campaigning. Biden is visiting Georgia and Iowa, while his running mate Kamala Harris campaigns in Texas. Meanwhile, Trump is going to Nebraska and Arizona, while Pence will visit North and South Carolina. In short, Democrats have a shot at painting the map blue, and Republicans are defensively trying to preserve their red bastions.

    -Martin Longman

  112. CSK says:

    @charon: @Kathy:
    Who’s showing up at these rallies but for people who were already going to vote for Trump, anyway? I really, really doubt that any “undecideds” are showing up to freeze to death waiting in line for hours on end, or while they’re hiking back to their cars.

    Trump’s not campaigning; he’s just feeding his insatiable need for attention while he can.

  113. Kathy says:


    I get the pandemic fatigue. I think this also leads to taking small risks, which add up to one big risk overall. Say you go to get coffee and drink it indoors when there are few people around. That seems like a small risk. If you do it every day, that’s a large risk.

    Let’s not leave out confirmation bias. If you do something risky, like going to a crowded bar or party, and don’t get infected, you may think the risk wasn’t that great (even in most super-spreader events, many people don’t get sick). So you do it over a few more times. Not every day, but enough to catch SARS-CoV-2.

  114. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: Exactly. My thoughts were along the lines of “I don’t care who you are voting for, but carve out time over the weekend to clean this fridge and organize it!”

    Eggs should be on the bottom shelf where it’s coldest. Crisper drawers exist for a reason. Cover your leftovers, and why TF are there spoons in bowls, uncovered in the fridge?

    I’m fortunate that my husband is equally tidy, I suppose, because some of those fridges would make me crazy. Not crazy enough to vote Trump, but still…

  115. Kathy says:


    Eggs should be on the bottom shelf where it’s coldest.

    Funny. I don’t refrigerate my eggs. I keep them in a dark, cool cupboard. None have ever gone bad within a reasonable time, say inside of a month (except when one breaks or cracks). But the fridge has little depressions for the eggs on a shelf on the door, the least coolest part of the fridge.

    On other things, does anyone else feels like October has been like eternal? Consider, we’re on the fifth week of October, and there are still four days to go (counting today). I rarely ever feel the same in other 31-day months, but often in October.

    Of course, this year it seems like October is just one extra month of agony before the election.

  116. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Kathy: Eggs in the US are thoroughly washed, but that also washes a waxy, protective coating. Without that coating, eggs need to be refrigerated, with that coating, they do not.

  117. CSK says:

    The Scots don’t refrigerate their eggs (nor several other things), either, or at least they didn’t when I lived in Scotland. The absence of central heating had something to do with it. And it never got very hot in the summer.

  118. Teve says:

    “It’s not an accident that, every cycle, the boogeyman of the Democrats is a woman. A couple of cycles ago, it was Pelosi. Then it was Hillary, and now it’s me.”


  119. Jen says:

    @Kathy: We didn’t refrigerate our eggs when we lived in Europe, but as others have noted, in the US eggs are required to be washed with a chlorine solution before grading and selling, which eliminates the protective cuticle that keeps the porous shell sealed.

    We get our eggs from a local farmer and do not need to refrigerate them, but we do out of habit from store-bought eggs. They last for weeks under refrigeration.

  120. Mu Yixiao says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, I make a point of reading news from sources based outside the US. I think it’s important to understand how the rest of the world sees us. My two main sources are BBC and Al Jazeera. They both have their biases, but are fairly neutral when it comes to the US.

    Al Jazeera has an article on “What to listen for during Trump’s speeches” which does a nice job of fact-checking his common claims.

    There’s a link to a primer video in that story that, IMO, does a very good job of explaining US elections (and some of the “quirks” of this one) to people who aren’t familiar with our process.

  121. Teve says:

    Vermont secretary of state’s office


    We have formally requested that #SCOTUS correct the erroneous claim by Justice Kavanaugh that #VT has not changed voting procedures for the #2020Elections due to #COVID19. When it comes to issuing decisions on the voting rights of American citizens, facts matter.

  122. Kathy says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Aside from obvious things like meats, cheese, butter, and leftovers, I refrigerate or not out of habit mostly. We’ve never refrigerated eggs.

    Curious thing, though, at work we don’t refrigerate open jars of mayo, but at home I do.

  123. Mikey says:


    We didn’t refrigerate our eggs when we lived in Europe

    I’ve mentioned before my wife grew up in Germany. We married and moved to the States in 1993, and she became an American citizen in 2005.

    But we didn’t end up getting back to Germany for a visit until 2012, almost 20 years after she left (long story, but all fixed now). We went to the local Edeka supermarket to get some groceries and needed some eggs. And neither of us could find them. We looked all over the coolers and the dairy section and neither of us remembered the Germans don’t refrigerate eggs.

    We found them, eventually. We had a laugh about it, her especially because she grew up there and had been gone so long she’d forgotten.

  124. JohnMcC says:

    @Kathy: Just a little more on the egg topic: Before refrigeration became common on small sailboats cruising sailors without access to farm-laid eggs would lightly coat them with vasoline. Without the shell being permeable the eggs would last months. One little thing with keeping eggs that long — they have to be turned periodically or the yolk lodges permanently at the dependent side.

  125. Mu Yixiao says:


    We’ve never refrigerated eggs.

    This depends on where you get your eggs. Farm-fresh eggs don’t require refrigeration. Ones bought from the grocery store probably do. Part of the process that “factory eggs” go through strips off a protective layer which can make them more likely to go bad at room temperature.

    I never refrigerated my eggs in China (though during a few very hot months, that turned out to be a bad choice). I always do in the US (until I pick a local farm to get my eggs from–which I really need to do).

  126. Mu Yixiao says:


    A funny thing happened. I actually voted for a Libertarian on Saturday.

    You are officially no longer allowed to pick on libertarians. It’s in the rules.

  127. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    From your link:

    Unemployment has come down from its pandemic April high of 14.7 percent and currently stands at 7.9 percent. But that is still more than double February’s rate of 3.5 percent, putting Trump on track to possibly leave office with the most job losses on record of any president.

    Nemesis really has it in for the guy.

    I’m not forgetting all those hit hard by these unemployment numbers. I blame Trump, who can’t even pass a COVID relief bill to help his meager electoral chances.

  128. Teve says:
  129. Mu Yixiao says:


    Eggs should be on the bottom shelf where it’s coldest. Crisper drawers exist for a reason. Cover your leftovers, and why TF are there spoons in bowls, uncovered in the fridge?

    For the protection of your own sanity, don’t ever look at the coolers in your favorite restaurant. And never peek in when they’re actually cooking.

    I worked at restaurants ranging from “fine Victorian dining” ($75/plate w/o wine or coffee (adjusted for inflation)) to a bar & grill with “all you can eat fish-fry for $10”.

    The latter was orders of magnitude cleaner than the former.

  130. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Eggs are not sold refrigerated in grocery stores down here. My usual store, Comercial Mexicana (aka La Comer), has them both at the produce section, and at the milk and dairy section.

    Egg whites in a carton, which are marked as being pasteurized, are in a refrigerated area.

  131. CSK says:


  132. Teve says:

    @CSK: I don’t know why that link didn’t work. here it is

    The first son-in-law bragged to Bob Woodward that Trump was “getting the country back from the doctors” at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and that the U.S. was at the start of a “comeback” in April.

  133. Kathy says:


    Ah, he’s just following in the footsteps of the best leaders of the greatest democracies.

  134. CSK says:

    Donald and Jared: Two peas in a pod.

  135. An Interested Party says:

    @Teve: Hell, you didn’t have to include a link for us to know how true that statement is…

  136. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen:I just go with the knowledge that no matter who wins the election and whatever day that victory is validated, the sun will rise the following day. Election night, November 4th, later than that. Doesn’t matter. The sun will rise. If the sun stops coming up, nothing else will matter.

  137. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Here’s what NPR has to say on why eggs are refrigerated in the US. Basically, a decades old choice about washing eggs, and salmonella.

  138. Jax says:

    Sal Monella. I can’t remember which series of books I read as a kid that made this happen, but salmonella was always the gangster boss that made you throw up.

  139. Jax says:

    From my own chickens, I always refrigerate eggs that I’ve had to wash. I make sure that those eggs go to places that have refrigeration while they’re being sold. Specific eggs to specific clients and all that. I was horrified when I thought I was selling eggs for personal family use and saw them for sale, un-refrigerated, as door prizes at the local rock club monthly gathering.

  140. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: The grocery stores that I shopped at in Korea didn’t refrigerate their eggs, but I did when I brought them home. Old habits die hard. The 3 big chains–Emart, Lotte Mart, and Home Plus sold refrigerated eggs though. In foam cartons, too. My eggs from the regular store came in thin plastic cartons.

  141. Gustopher says:

    @Jen: Currently at 75% on the Refrigerator Identification game.

    If there is a lot of soda, in prime real estate, it’s Trump. If there are plenty of vegetables, Biden.

    I just looked at my fridge, with its aspirational vegetables that will likely go bad before I cook them, and said “yup, that’s a Biden fridge.”

  142. Barry says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “I just go with the knowledge that no matter who wins the election and whatever day that victory is validated, the sun will rise the following day. Election night, November 4th, later than that. Doesn’t matter. The sun will rise. If the sun stops coming up, nothing else will matter.”

    I’ve heard great things about Siberian summers, and I’m sure that there were stunningly gorgeous dawns in the Gulag.

    And if we had a full-on nuclear war, after the dust cleared, the few survivors would see that the sun had kept rising the whole time.