I can’t imagine why so many on the right don’t trust polling companies, can you?
One of the cornerstones of the coverage of the Wuhan virus pandemic has been the relentless spin. Red states that have handled the outbreak with great results are trashed because people are daring to go outside without masks. Meanwhile, New York shoved sick people into nursing homes, killing thousands, and you can’t even get CNN to ask the Governor about it.
Pew Research apparently wanted to get in on the act.
COVID-19 deaths have declined in Democratic congressional districts since mid-April, but remained relatively steady in districts controlled by Republicans. https://t.co/NnUcKYt67w pic.twitter.com/R3mdZ1l8c4
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) May 27, 2020
This framing is just incredible. What you are actually seeing here is that Democrat districts have a death rate nearly 3x that of Republican districts, yet Pew chooses to present it as a victory for Democrats because their rate of decline is higher. Correct, when you do such an awful job that you end up with a much larger outbreak, you’ve then got a lot more room to decline.
This is the same fallacy often used to compare the Obama and Trump economies. Some will claim that Obama “created more jobs” or “had a steeper decline in the unemployment rate.” Logic tells you that if you start at 10% unemployment, you will see a steeper decline, as there are far more jobs to create in that situation vs. going from 6% to 4%. Eventually, you reach near full employment and things slow down even if the economy is roaring.
With this virus, the same dynamics are at play. Republican districts had far less ground to make up because they had far less serious outbreaks in the first place. Some of this is due to the urban nature of many blue districts. Some of it is due to the idiotic responses of people like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
I'm old enough to remember the near gleeful tweets from the likes of @JRubinBlogger about how Red states would take the big hit.
— mallen2010 (@mallen2010) May 27, 2020
And while people can argue over why there are these disparities, what can’t be argued is that this chart shows far better news for the red districts than the blue districts. To spin it the other way is laughable, yet completely expected in the current environment. We should just be handling this as Americans, but the media simply won’t allow there to not be red/blue divisions stoked.