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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Partisanship and COVID Stay-at-Home

IDefying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  Our next book, title TBA, discusses the 2020 race, which unfolded in the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic.  The latest vaccine news is good.  Other COVID news is bad.

J. Clinton, J. Cohen,  J. Lapinski and M. Trussler have an article at Science Advances titled: Partisan pandemic: How partisanship and public health concerns affect individuals’ social mobility during COVID-19." The abstract:

Rampant partisanship in the United States may be the largest obstacle to the reduced social mobility most experts see as critical to limiting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Analyzing a total of just over 1.1 million responses collected daily between April 4th and September 10th reveals not only that partisanship is more important than public health concerns for explaining individuals’ willingness to stay-at-home and reduce social mobility, but also that the effect of partisanship has grown over time – especially among Republicans. All else equal, the relative importance of partisanship for the increasing (un)willingness of Republicans to stay-at-home highlights the challenge that politics poses for public health.

From the article:

While our analyses do not identify the source for the partisan differences we identify, they do rule out some important plausible explanations. In particular, the fact that partisan differences we identify persist regardless of the partisanship of the governor, differences in the regulatory environment of the state, regional differences, local differences (at the zip code level) and media consumption suggests that they are due to either national stimuli (e.g., cues being provided by national partisan leaders such as President Trump and/or partisan-related differences in the beliefs and values of partisans. In either case, it is clear that national leadership seems required to help bridge the partisan differences we identify.