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KFF’s national analysis matches TIGC’s Georgia findings on the Red-Blue Covid-19 divide

Research spotlighting the differences in how Red and Blue America are responding to virtually every aspect of Covid-19 continues to pile up: the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) went up yesterday with a report declaring that its polling had found “that political partisanship is a stronger national predictor of vaccination than other demographic factors.”

I haven’t attempted to do an analysis that looks at the full spectrum of demographic factors — race, gender, age, etc. — but I certainly don’t doubt KFF’s findings. Its national polling and findings are very much in line with what TIGF has been watching take shape here in Georgia for well over a year, although there are a couple of minor differences.

KFF reports that, nationally, the vaccination gap between counties that voted for Democrat Joe Biden over Republican Donald Trump has widened slightly from about 12 percent toward the end of last year to 13.2 percent as of January 11th. Nationally, KFF found, the Biden counties were 65 percent vaccinated as of that date versus 52 percent for the Trump counties.

Here in Georgia, as of data published yesterday (January 19th) by the state Department of Public Health (DPH), the split was right at 10 points — 51.9 percent in the Biden counties to 42.0 percent in the Trump counties — and that’s about what it’s been for the past few months.

In terms of raw numbers, however, the Biden counties continue to grow their advantage of vaccinated and virus-resistant residents. As of yesterday, the Biden counties had fully vaccinated just shy of 875,000 more people than the Trump counties — 2.97 million to 2.09 million. Lately the gap has been widening by an average of just over 850 people a day. If that pace continues, the difference will hit one million in mid-June.

Another difference involves booster shots. KFF found that nationally “the share of fully vaccinated individuals who have received a booster dose is the same (37%)” in the Biden and Trump counties. Here in Georgia, the Biden counties are doing better in this category as well: 40 percent of the fully-vaxxed residents of the Biden counties have gotten boosters versus 37.4 percent in the Trump counties.

As regular readers of TIGF know, I’ve been watching a broad range of Covid data through a political prism for more than a year now (see stories here, here, and most recently here). The obvious question is whether the differences between Red and Blue Georgia in vaccination and death rates — which increasingly favor Blue Georgia — will be sufficient to have an impact on this fall’s election outcomes.

Watch this space.

(c) Copyright Trouble in God’s Country 2022

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bill Hendrick #

    Excellent work, Charlie. Keep it up.

    January 24, 2022
  2. Karl Scott #

    Charlie Kuck, Regarding the Political Rewind panel discussion of 3/1/2022 on the Rivian deal: I found your remarks yesterday on “Political Rewind” about the Rivian debacle to be dismissive and uninformed. There are plenty of valid objections to this shady boondoggle – the lack of citizen input, the steamrolling of the local zoning process, the immense negative environmental and social impacts, the taxpayer-funded “incentives”, and the viability of this struggling but wealthy upstart EV manufacturer. Jobs and growth can be good, but unchecked, destructive growth is not welcome by many here. Gov. Kemp and the Joint Development Authority have failed us! I am pro-EV, but the sheer scale and impact of this unwise mega-industrial development is wrong for the area – too big, too dirty, and too risky. I wish Rivian was the green corporation they claim to be and had demanded a previously designated industrial or brownfield site. Many are available and begging. The taxpayer cost to attract Rivian may well exceed a billion dollars, yet we may be left with the irreversible damage and none of the promised benefits if they fail, or if they are swallowed up by competitors in the global EV gold rush.
    Please look at this issue in more depth, and don’t dismiss our objections as ravings from the lunatic fringe. I know Perdue and Jones have given voice to our opposition for political purposes, and I fear our rural communities have become a football teed-up for their desperate playoff in the governor’s race. We have a lot more to lose than they do.

    March 2, 2022

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