Our View

We applaud U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, who said this week that every state should ensure that every legal vote gets counted.

“We have set all-time records for voter participation," Blunt said. "Every vote that was legally cast needs to be counted. America will once again serve as an example to the world."

Blunt, a Republican, issued the statement after President Donald Trump early Wednesday morning called on election officials in contested states to stop counting votes. Trump tweeted "STOP THE COUNT!" again Thursday.

The message from Blunt was plain enough.

Blunt chairs the Senate Rules Committee, which oversees election law, and is a former Missouri secretary of state, so he knows election law. We appreciate his stance on this.

Red-letter day

While a number of states shifted from red to blue Tuesday, in Missouri, Republicans "ran the table."

That's the conclusion of Jason Hancock, an astute observer of Missouri politics, who noted they did it with top GOP candidates each taking nearly 60 percent of the vote statewide.

Republicans held on to supermajorities in both the House and Senate. They held on to every state office, including that of governor. Mike Parson received 57% of the vote, Nicole Galloway received barely 40%.

Support was even stronger in Southwest Missouri, with 3 of every 4 voters supporting Parson in Jasper County, and 4 of every 5 in Newton County.

"And perhaps sweetest of all for Missouri Republicans — voters repealed a redistricting process they’d enacted just two years ago that was widely expected to result in much more competitive legislative districts," Hancock wrote.

It was a big win for the GOP.

We think the job of governing starts with COVID-19.

The Joplin metro area (Jasper and Newton counties) has seen its COVID-19 caseload grow by an average of 84 new cases per day — nearly 3,000 cases — since Oct. 1; we've recorded 50 deaths since then. At this rate, we'll add nearly 5,000 more cases and another 80 deaths by the end of the year. Just last week, hospital administrators around the state told Parson they are overwhelmed, with rural hospitals unable to transfer patients. Texas County Memorial Hospital CEO Wesley Murray wondered: "What is our plan to address the increased cases and hospitalizations?"

It's the right question, and the first order of business.

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