Counties With Worst COVID-19 Surges Overwhelmingly Voted For Trump

Written by on November 5, 2020

U.S. voters went to the polls starkly divided on how they see President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, with a shocking twist: In locations the place the virus is most rampant now, Trump loved monumental assist.

An Related Press evaluation reveals that in 376 counties with the best variety of new instances per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93% of these counties — went for Trump, a fee above different much less severely hit areas. Most had been rural areas within the Dakotas, Montana, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Paying attention to the distinction, state well being officers are pausing for a second of introspection. Whilst they fear about rising numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, they hope to reframe their messages and goal for a reset on public sentiment now that the election is over.

“Public well being officers have to step again, take heed to and perceive the individuals who aren’t taking the identical stance” on mask-wearing and different management measures, mentioned Dr. Marcus Plescia of the Affiliation of State and Territorial Well being Officers.

“I believe there’s the potential for issues to get much less charged and divisive,” he mentioned, including that there’s an opportunity a retooled public well being message would possibly unify People round reducing case counts so hospitals gained’t get swamped throughout the winter months.

The AP’s evaluation was restricted to counties wherein at the very least 95% of precincts had reported outcomes, and grouped counties into six classes primarily based on the charges of COVID-19 instances they’d skilled per 100,000 residents.

Polling, too, reveals voters who break up on Republican Trump vs. Democrat Joe Biden differed on whether or not the pandemic is below management.

Thirty-six p.c of Trump voters described the pandemic as fully or principally below management, and one other 47% mentioned it was considerably below management, based on AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of greater than 110,000 voters carried out for the AP by NORC on the College of Chicago. In the meantime, 82% of Biden voters mentioned the pandemic is under no circumstances below management.

The pandemic was thought-about at the very least considerably below management by slim majorities of voters in lots of pink states, together with Alabama (60%), Missouri ( 54%), Mississippi (58%), Kentucky (55%), Texas (55%), Tennessee (56%) and South Carolina (56%).

In Wisconsin, the place the virus surged simply earlier than the election, 57% mentioned the pandemic was not below management. In Washington state, the place the virus is extra in management now in comparison with earlier within the yr, 55% mentioned the identical. Voters in New York and New Hampshire, the place the virus is extra managed now after early surges, had been roughly divided of their assessments, much like voters nationwide.

Trump voters interviewed by AP reporters mentioned they worth particular person freedom and believed the president was doing in addition to anybody might in response to the coronavirus.

Michaela Lane, a 25-year-old Republican, dropped her poll off final week at a polling web site at an out of doors mall in Phoenix. She forged her vote for Trump.

“I really feel like crucial situation dealing with the nation as a complete is liberty at giant,” Lane mentioned. “Infringing on individuals’s freedom, authorities overrule, authorities overreach, chaos in plenty of points presently happening and simply giving individuals again their rights.”

About half of Trump voters known as the economic system and jobs the highest situation dealing with the nation, roughly twice the proportion who named the pandemic, based on VoteCast. Against this, a majority of Biden voters — about 6 in 10 — mentioned the pandemic was crucial situation.

In Madison, Wisconsin, Eric Engstrom, a 31-year-old funding analyst and his spouse, Gwen, voted absentee by mail in early October.

Trump’s failure to manage the pandemic sealed his vote for Biden, Engstrom mentioned, calling the coronavirus probably the most rapid menace the nation faces. He and his spouse predict their first baby, a lady, in January and worry “the potential of considered one of us or each of us being sick when the child is born,” he mentioned.

Engstrom known as Trump’s response to the virus abysmal. “If there was any likelihood that I used to be going to vote for Trump, it was eradicated due to the pandemic,” he mentioned.

The political temperature has added to the stress of public well being officers, Plescia mentioned. “Our largest concern is how lengthy can they maintain this tempo?” he mentioned.

For the reason that begin of the pandemic, 74 state and native public well being officers in 31 states have resigned, retired or been fired, based on an ongoing evaluation by AP and Kaiser Well being Information.

Because the election temper dissipates, rising hospitalizations amid colder climate create “a extremely pivotal second” within the pandemic, mentioned Sema Sgaier, government director of the Surgo Basis, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that labored with Harvard College well being specialists to develop a device for estimating vaccine wants in states.

“We actually have to get our act collectively. After I say ‘we’ I imply collectively,” Sgaier mentioned. Discovering widespread floor could turn out to be simpler if considered one of extra of the vaccine candidates proves protected and efficient and positive aspects authorities approval, she mentioned.

“The vaccine offers the reset button,” Sgaier mentioned.

Dr. Anthony Fauci could also be one other unifying drive. In accordance with VoteCast, 73% of voters nationwide approve of the best way Fauci, the director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, has been dealing with the pandemic.

Even amongst Trump voters, 53% approve of Fauci’s efficiency. About 9 in 10 Biden voters approve.

Johnson reported from Washington state. Deshpande reported from Chicago and Fingerhut reported from Washington, D.C. AP reporters Todd Richmond in Madison, Wisconsin, and Terry Tang in Phoenix contributed.

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