Charted Territory

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

Elections, Health

The Red and Blue of Coronavirus in America

The headline: Coronavirus has impacted Red & Blue states & counties at different times and rates. It might not quite be what you think.

The chart:

  • The four charts show the progressions of Coronavirus rates across Red and Blue America.
  • The top two charts illustrate the Coronavirus case rate from March 1st to November 1st for US states (left) and US counties (right).
  • The bottom two charts illustrate the Coronavirus death rate from March 1st to November 1st for US states (left) and US counties (right).
  • Red lines represent Republican states or counties (i.e., states/counties that voted for Trump in 2016).
  • Blue lines represent Democrat states or counties (i.e., states/counties that voted for Clinton in 2016).
  • Dotted white lines represent the country-wide case and death rates.

The details:

  • Around 187 million people live in Red states and 141 million in Blue states.
  • Around 179 million people live in Blue counties and 149 million in Red counties.
  • America’s third COVID wave (https://chartedterritory.us/2020/10/17/americas-third-covid-wave/) is evident in the two case-rate charts (top two charts).
  • The Coronavirus case rates (top two charts) significantly undercounted cases in the first wave, as evidenced by the high death rate in that first wave (bottom two charts).
  • The first wave was concentrated in the northeast US in Blue counties (top-right chart) in Blue states (top-left chart).
  • The second wave was concentrated in the US South in Red states (top-left chart) but equally impacted Red and Blue counties (top-right chart).
  • The third wave is more concentrated in Red counties (top-right chart) in Red states (top-left chart).
  • Although more concentrated in Red states and Red counties, the third wave is impacting the entire country.
  • The death rate was substantially higher in Blue states in the first wave and higher in Red states in the second and third waves (bottom-left chart).
  • The death rate was substantially higher in Blue counties in the first wave, similar in Red and Blue counties in the second wave, and higher in red counties in the third wave (bottom-right chart).
  • In the third wave, Red counties are showing a slowly increasing death rate (bottom-right chart), whereas Blue counties have a flat or slightly declining death rate, even though the case rate is increasing quickly in Red and Blue counties (top-right chart).
  • How will these charts change with the 2020 election? For example, Coronavirus in states such as Florida, Arizona, and Georgia drove the second wave; thus, state-level changes are likely. There will likely be much less change in the country-level analysis.

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.

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