Consider the situation in West Virginia in recent decades. Democrats considered West Virginia a safe state for years; thus, the state probably saw less post-nomination campaign activity from 1960-2000 than it might have otherwise. However, in 2000, the Bush campaign recognized an opportunity to gain a foothold in the state due to concern about the impact of Gore's environmental policies on the coal-mining industry and his support for gun control. 39 Bush took advantage of this discontent, and he spent more than $2 million communicating his message to West Virginia's voters. 40 When election results were tallied, Bush became the first Republican since 1928 to win an open race for the presidency in West Virginia. 41 In 2004, West Virginia is no longer considered a safe state for Democrats.
Imagine a brain in which the visceral sense of knowing is disconnected from centres for logical thought, yet stuck on a given idea. No matter what contrary evidence or line of reasoning is presented that the idea is wrong, that brain will continue to generate a feeling of rightness. We’re all familiar with this behaviour in its most extreme form – those intractable ‘know-it-alls’ entirely immune to contradictory ideas. We must at least consider the possibility that know-it-all behaviour is a problem of neural circuitry, much like dyslexia.