Who will win? I am frequently asked who I think will win the presidential election. I really have no idea. I won't predict anything related to Trump. I've been wrong too many times about him.

A lot of Democrats and liberal media commentators are confident it's going to be a landslide for the Democrats. All my political instincts tell me Trump will lose. I believe the polls are generally accurate. I think reputable pollsters have tweaked their methodologies to capture the so-called "secret Trump voters." It seems to me that Trump has lost - unnecessarily so, in my opinion - a lot of mainstream Republicans.

But I still won't predict that Trump will lose. I didn't think Trump would win the Republican nomination in 2016 or defeat Hillary Clinton. I didn't think the economy would boom under his leadership prior to the pandemic shutdown.

The year 2020 has been far too wild, bizarre and capricious to be certain about anything. I've been watching politics for more than 45 years and I've never seen anything like it.

I do think Trump would have won absent the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy would have been roaring. And I think he could have won over mainstream conservatives and moderates had he just toned down the outrageous stuff over the last few years.

He would have been helped by the leftward tilt on the Democratic Party. Plenty of voters are repelled by Trump's personality and character, but also don't want to turn the country over to Biden, Pelosi and AOC.

So even though all signs point to a Trump defeat, I'm not counting him out.

SCOTUS confirmation hearings. Yes, it's all political theater because the outcome isn't in doubt, but it's still fascinating. I can certainly be an old, grumpy cynic about all the grandstanding and long speeches, but I think parts of the hearings have been truly fascinating. These are very smart people debating big, important issues and it's a terrific learning opportunity for young people.

Amy Coney Barrett is remarkable. She is among the smartest people I've ever watched in politics. I was pleased to hear her talk so eloquently about federalism and the role of states. All within the parameters of the U.S. Constitution, of course. Observers have called her calm, sharp, steely, compelling, studied, and disciplined - and brilliant in her no-notes legal analysis. And yet she also has a down-to-earth, suburban mom demeanor, grounded in family and faith. She's the smartest person in the room, but doesn't act like it.

She's going to make an excellent Supreme Court justice.

Reader Response. LaVarr, I am just dropping you a note to tell you how much I enjoy Webb's Wrap. It is nice to read something from a non-crazy Republican who understands how messy politics can be. I especially liked your advice for politicians to not take things personally. I have refused to watch any debates or any of the confirmation hearings as they are just theater with little substance. I tell my students that if they will view debates and hearings as theater designed to appeal to each speaker's base, as opposed to thoughtful discussions of policy they can be watchable. Also, POM will be "clean and sustainable?" As I assume you know, those are meaningless terms and the phrase is probably oxymoronic. Something is only sustainable if it makes a profit, not because it responds to the demands of some constituency. Enjoy your turkeys. I have a grandson who would gladly hunt them for you.
--Randy T. Simmons, President, Strata Policy

Parting Shot. Clark Ivory, of Ivory Homes, said in a Salt Lake Chamber board meeting that he believes part of the solution to defeat the COVID-19 virus is for employees to go back to work in their offices. Like most businesses, Ivory shut down its offices and model homes for two months in the spring. But the firm revamped office spaces and established protocols and brought everyone back by mid-May. For the most part, Ivory said, the virus is not being spread in the workplace. It's being spread at home and at social gatherings. "I do believe best way to control it is in the workplace," Ivory said. "Come back to work and develop good habits. Train people to have good habits, wear masks and social distance. They'll take those habits home." It has been a mistake to not have people in the workplace, Ivory said. "It's time for everyone to get back to work. It can be done safely." And it will pay off with less spread at home.

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