Counties with surges in COVID-19 cases overwhelmingly voted Trump: report
Voters in counties seeing a surge in coronavirus cases overwhelmingly picked President Trump over challenger Joe Biden, according to a new report.
The Associated Press looked at 376 counties with the highest number of new COVID-19 infections per capita — and found that 93 percent of them went for Trump, a rate above areas that were less severely hit by the virus.
Most of the counties were rural areas in Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin, according to the AP analysis.
Polling also showed that voters who differed on Trump vs. Biden were also split on whether the pandemic is under control.
Among Trump supporters, 36 percent said the pandemic is completely or mostly under control, while 47 percent believed it was somewhat under control, according to AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of more than 110,000 voters.
Meanwhile, 82 percent of Biden backers surveyed said the pandemic is not at all under control.
When asked what they believed was the top issue facing the nation, about half of Trump voters said the economy and jobs. Less than a quarter cited the pandemic, the survey found.
That was in sharp contrast to Biden supporters, with about 60 percent saying the pandemic was the most important issue.
Some state health officials said the divergence was pushing them to reframe their messaging on the virus.
“Public health officials need to step back, listen to and understand the people who aren’t taking the same stance” on mask-wearing and other control measures, said Dr. Marcus Plescia of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Plescia said there was a chance that a reworked public health message would unite Americans around lowering case counts to prevent hospitals from being overloaded in the winter months.
“I think there’s the potential for things to get less charged and divisive,” he said.
With Post wires
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