It’s the End of the Republic as We Knew It

The presidential election system in the United States depends more on norms than rules. So when you remove the norms, there’s not much left. You’ll read all kinds of hyperbolic headlines about the just completed debate. “Trainwreck,” “Disaster,” “Chaos.” It’s worse than that. There’s a reason Chris Wallace couldn’t manage the debate, and it’s not […]

State of the States: Delaware

You can argue Delaware is the most anonymous state in the Union. The one people forget when listing the states. Rhode Island is the smallest, Wyoming the most sparse. This is the one they overlook. I’d suspect a good amount of Joe Biden supporters don’t remember what state he represented. He likes being called Scranton […]

State of the States: Nebraska

Nebraska is red. This is easy to picture. The Nebraska football team wears red and white. The electoral results match the reputation too. The state has favored Republicans by no less than R+13 in every election from 1940 to the present. Only one Democrat has won Nebraska in the past 80 years, Lyndon Johnson in […]

State of the States: South Carolina

South Carolina is currently the most consistent state in the Union. In the 8 elections between 1988 and 2016, the state was between R+14 and R+16 each time. Current poll averages are showing R+14. This is a place that knows what it is. Except when it changes its mind. From 1896 to 1944, South Carolina […]

State of the States: Indiana

During his 2020 primary campaign, (which now seems 1,000 years ago) Pete Buttigieg claimed electoral legitimacy because he won re-election being openly gay in “Mike Pence’s Indiana.” It’s a good setup. Pence isn’t exactly gay-friendly. Indiana is red. It’s a great David v. Goliath tale. It was also some quality political prestidigitation. South Bend does […]

State of the States: Vermont

Quick, what’s the state that has historically supported Republicans the most? That’s right! The home of Ben & Jerry’s and Bernie Sanders. The land of maple syrup and green mountains. The place with the progressive bastions of Burlington (where Bernie was mayor) and Brattleboro (pretend Berkeley was a giant B&B.) Yes, Vermont has given more […]

State of the States: Arizona

Looks like Arizona is front and center from now until November 3 (plus however long it takes them to count.) Of all the traditionally red states (AZ has voted for a Democrat only once since 1948), it looks like the best opportunity for Joe Biden to flip. He’s got a stronger lead there than in […]

State of the States: West Virginia

In 1996, Bill Clinton won West Virginia by 15 points. In 2016 Hillary Clinton lost West Virginia by 42 points. This wasn’t a fluke. It was the logical conclusion of a pattern: 1996: D+6 2000: R+7 2004: R+10 2008: R+20 2012: R+31 2016: R+44 In case you’re wondering, this isn’t normal. States and regions change […]

State of the States: Oregon

Even if you’ve never watched an episode of Portlandia, your political image of Oregon is likely very blue. It seems like a very liberal/progressive place, one beyond allergic to Donald Trump. Not quite. Joe Biden will win there in November. But by 12 points, maybe, maybe 15 or 16, not the 30+ in California or […]

State of the States: Alaska

Alaska is red, violets are blue. Some things just are. Until they’re not. In the case of the 49th State, the only one that can make Texas look mini, I was preparing to write a quick piece about how it’s definitely in Donald Trump’s column, with a quick aside about the old election that moved […]