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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Political Geography of COVID-19

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well underway.  

Coronavirus presents unprecedented challenges to public policy and the electoral process.

Bradley Jones at Pew:
A new Pew Research Center analysis of data on official reports of COVID-19 deaths, collected by the John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, finds that, as of last week, nearly a quarter of all the deaths in the United States attributed to the coronavirus have been in just 12 congressional districts – all located in New York City and represented by Democrats in Congress. Of the more than 92,000 Americans who had died of COVID-19 as of May 20 (the date that the data in this analysis was collected), nearly 75,000 were in Democratic congressional districts.
BUT the pattern may change over time.

William Frey at Brookings:
In our weekly tracking, it became clear that the period after April 20 marked a change in the political orientation of new high COVID-19 prevalence counties. In each week prior to April 20, high-prevalence counties were home to populations that gave more votes to Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. However, for each week since April 20, Trump won more voters in new high-prevalence counties.
This is summarized in Figure 1, which shows Clinton besting Trump by a margin of 62 to 34 in high-prevalence counties as of March 29, and by a margin of 54 to 40 for new counties between March 30 and April 19. But in the 984 counties reaching high COVID-19 prevalence between April 20 and May 24, Trump bested Clinton by a margin of 49 to 45.

 Fig1