A vote for Trump in Illinois is utterly worthless

    In presidential elections, many Americans think their votes will be added to one of the big piles that determine the national winner. The theory is that if the pile of votes for Hillary Clinton is bigger than the one for Donald Trump, she’ll be the next president. But, of course, that’s not the way it works. Sixteen years ago, the pile of popular votes for Democrat Al Gore was bigger than the pile for Republican George W. Bush. But Bush, not Gore, was declared the winner and moved into the White House. You see, Bush...

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Does Trump favor the Cubs or the Indians?

  Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump is likely to conspicuously express favor for either team in the 2016 World Series, the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians. After all, any politician with an ounce of common sense doesn’t want to offend the fans of either team. But, of course, there are good reasons to infer that these two candidates privately have their respective favorites in the Fall Classic.  Clinton, for example, is a native of Chicago and is said to have been a Cub fan since childhood. And Trump probably finds cause to...

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Have Republicans backed-off on “family values” rhetoric?

    My own cursory examination of the situation suggests to me that we’re hearing a lot less talk in this election year about “family values,” which previously had been a favorite subject among Republican candidates. Perhaps Donald Trump’s concentration on wacky conspiracy theories and the politics of economic resentment has drowned out the stuff about family values. Perhaps, too, the legalization of gay marriage nationwide and, in a growing number of states, the easing of laws against marijuana have changed...

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Let’s find out what makes Trump’s hardcore fans tick

  In the wake of last night’s third and final presidential campaign debate of the current season, the overwhelming consensus among political experts is that Donald Trump is in for a drubbing in next month’s election. There will be lots of thumb-sucking analysis when that happens, but I’m wondering if it will include any serious academic study of the factors that have motivated die-hard supporters of Trump’s candidacy. And I fear that time is running out for the kind of analysis I envision. The findings will be...

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A hunch: Trump will try some crazy stunt at tonight’s debate

  I hope I’m wrong about this, but I can’t shake the feeling that Donald Trump will come up with some wild, unexpected strategy against Hillary Clinton at his debate tonight in a last-ditch effort to close the   big gap facing him in the polls. Trump realizes that time is running out for him. Some pundits, even a few of the conservative variety, sense the possibility that The Donald could get buried in a landslide in next month’s election. He could even hurt the chances of other Republican candidates in down-ballot...

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The story of how Northern Illinois almost became part of Wisconsin

  You may have noticed that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump have done much, if any, campaigning here in Illinois since prior to the state’s primary election last winter. The reason is simple: The  Democratic presidential  ticket is universally expected to carry the Prairie State by a wide margin in the general election, which means that spending time and money in this state would be a waste of resources for either candidate. That situation pleases me. As a Clinton supporter, I’m confident that my vote will be on the...

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