He’ll still be behind on the evening of 11.3.

By the way: A few minutes ago I was quizzing myself on the states in the above CNN map. Unlike Al Franken, I can’t draw the U.S. map on a state-by-state basis but since grade school I’ve been fairly solid on which state is where, etc.

So I felt…well, slightly thrown when I couldn’t remember which state is north of Iowa and east of the two Dakotas. I also drew a blank on the state below South Dakota; ditto the one below Iowa. The respective answers are (a) Minnesota, (b) Nebraska and (c) Missouri. Franken and the Coen Bros are from Minnesota so that should be easy to remember; ditto Nebraska and the legend of Alexander Payne. No solid connection with Missouri other than Harry Truman and staunch skepticism, even though I once visited “KayCeeMoe.”

I know my maps a lot better than any of those geographical doofuses Jimmy Kimmel or Jay Leno have talked to on the street, but otherwise I’ve no excuse. I only know that I eyeballed the above three and racked my brain, and the names just wouldn’t come. Truth be told I’ve always had a certain feeling of distance and disconnection when it comes to the Midwestern breadbasket region. New England, Mid-Atlantic, Deep South, Rocky Mountain states, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest rainforests and California…no problem. But the breadbasket is hazy.

I guess I’m basically saying that it’s the breadbasket states’ fault, not mine. Too flat, not distinctive enough, lacking in personality. Plus the ones I couldn’t remember all end in vowels.