A data-driven blog that uses chart, maps, cartograms, and other visualizations to understand important societal issues.

Elections, Health

COVID-19: Red Tide on the Rise in America!

The headline: The first three high-impact COVID-19 months—March, April, and May—were dominated by Blue states. However, June is the time for Red!

The chart:

  • Each line in the chart is one of the 50 US states and the District of Columbia.
  • The series represent the average weekly COVID-19 case rate for each day from March 3rd to June 30th. For example, the data for June 30th represents the average weekly case rate between June 24th and June 30th.
  • Each line is colored by the 2016 presidential election result. Red lines are states that voted for Trump, where dark red represents a higher Trump vote and light red represents a lower vote. Whereas blue lines are states that voted for Clinton, with higher-Clinton votes being dark blue, and lower votes being lighter blue.

Key highlights:

  • March, April, and May were dominated by Blue states including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. For example, in late April, the nine states with the highest COVID case rates were all Blue states.
  • Notable exceptions include peaks from Louisiana (related to New Orleans and Mardi Gras) and South Dakota and Nebraska (likely meatpacking plants).
  • June was the emergence of the red states! For example, on June 29th, the states with the nine worst rates were all Red, and ten out of eleven on June 30th. Nevada is the only Blue state in the top ten currently.

The data: COVID-19 data were collected from USAFacts (https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spread-map/).Election data were collected and compiled by Charted Territory.


  1. Hey Richard, I’ve been following your posts. I’m looking at similar things in my free time, but by country rather than the detail you provide. (https://carlcarman.com/2020/07/04/covid-19-update-july-2-2020-mortality-rate/).

    I’ve been using ECDC’s dataset… Do you happen to know of any “good” global datasets? It’s been hard to find them, I suspect because it’s often just more difficult to share such data consistently, honestly, and completely, across international borders.

    • Comment by post author

      Richard Middleton

      Hi Carl. Good to hear from you and really glad to see another CCS scientist working on COVID! What software do you use for your animated map? Looks good.

      I have not looked at global data for COVID, though my inclination would be to look at the Johns Hopkins data. I think the global data has many issues for a variety of reasons – the US data has enough issues! – so you probably have to make do with what you can find.

Leave a Reply