Thursday Numbers

Every election is determined by the people who show up. ― Larry J. Sabato

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include unemployment claims, COVID-19 cases/deaths, fireworks complaints/citations, Election 2020 prediction, Russian bounties, Trump’s disapproval rating, abortion & voting, 2020 Census, George Floyd’s death, Mary L. Trump’s book, Steve Daines & The Lincoln Project, Lara Trump & vote by mail, plus much more!


In the week ending July 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 1,314,000, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 14,000 from 1,427,000 to
1,413,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,437,250, a decrease of 63,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 3,500 from 1,503,750 to 1,500,250. (DOL)


As of Wednesday evening, the U.S. had recorded 2,982,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 131,065 deaths. That is according to the CDC. (CDC)

Last Thursday the deaths numbered 127,299. There are some reports that confirmed cases topped three million in the USA.


That’s how many fireworks complaints were received by the Great Falls Police Department this year during the Fourth of July celebration. That is compared to 79 in 2019 and 60 in 2018. (GF Tribune)

It was also reported in the Tribune that Great Falls Police Chief Dave Bowen told commissioners that no citations had been issued in the past three years.

It’s no wonder people don’t obey the rules. I enjoy the fireworks; I just don’t enjoy them after the set hours to discharge them are over.


President Donald Trump is almost certain to win reelection in 2020 according to a political science professor whose “Primary Model” has correctly predicted five out of six elections since 1996. “The Primary Model gives Trump a 91 percent chance of winning in November,” Stony Brook Professor Helmut Norpoth told Mediaite Tuesday. (Mediaite)

Great googly moogly…


A majority of Americans (60%) believe that Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan last year amid negotiations to end the war according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday. Thirty-nine percent said they thought Trump “did know” about Russia’s targeting of the U.S. military before reports surfaced in the news media last month, while 26% said the president “did not know.” (Reuters)

Trump was told.


That is President Donald Trump’s disapproval rating. His approval rating is just 40.4%. (FiveThirtyEight)

Last week his disapproval rating was 56.1%.


Gallup reports that nearly half of U.S. adults (47%) polled in May, before the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion, say the issue will be just one of many important factors in their vote for a candidate for a major office; 25% do not consider it a major issue. At the same time, the 24% of U.S. adults who say they will vote only for a candidate who shares their views on the issue is, along with last year, significantly higher than most other years in the trend. (Gallup)


That’s Montana’s rank for the 2020 Census self-response. Last week Montana was ranked 46. Montana has a 55.7% response rate to rank #46. Last week Montana had a 55.5% response rate. Minnesota leads the nation with a 71.5% rating. The national average is 61.9%. (Census)

Fill out your forms, people!


Transcripts of police body camera video in the minutes leading up to George Floyd’s death show that he pleaded some 20 times that he couldn’t breathe and that one of the officers expressed concern about Floyd’s well-being, but was rebuffed by his superior. (NPR)

Rest in peace, George Floyd.


That’s the hardcover price of the book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D. (Amazon)

The book is about her uncle, President Donald J. Trump. It is set for release on July 14. It is 240 pages.


The Lincoln Project, a Republican super PAC, in a new ad slammed 14 of President Trump’s top GOP allies in the Senate, accusing a slate of Republican lawmakers of “cowardice” and “betrayal.” (The Hill)

One of the Senators is Steve Daines (R-MT).

Here is part of the transcript of the ad:

“Someday soon, the time of Trump will pass. This circus of incompetence, corruption, and cruelty will end. When it does, the men and women in Trump’s Republican Party will come to you, telling you they can repair the damage he’s done. They’ll beg you to forgive their votes to exonerate Trump from his crimes, ask you to forgive their silence, their cowardice and their betrayals as Trump wrecked this nation.”


While President Donald Trump has continuously railed against voting by mail, a Republican National Committee robocall in April voiced by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump said voting by mail could be done “safely and securely.” It was one of three RNC robocalls identified by CNN’s KFile in which Lara Trump and the President’s son Donald Trump Jr. urged voters to vote by mail-in special elections since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. (CNN)

Lara is correct; you can “safely and securely” vote by mail. I have been doing it for years.