By Philip Bump
One of the interesting and alarming aspects of the steady spread of the coronavirus across the country is the extent to which views of the pandemic differ by political party. Republicans consistently report less concern about the virus and that they’re taking fewer actions meant to slow the virus’s spread.
This partisan difference is clearly in part a function of President Trump’s approach to the emergence of the virus, an approach that has only sporadically deviated from unrealistically optimistic predictions and assessments of the administration’s efforts. It may also be a function of geography: Three-quarters of the coronavirus cases in the United States were confirmed in blue states. The virus has been slower to emerge in more rural states, which tend to vote more heavily Republican, though even smaller states are seeing exponential growth in confirmed cases.
This raises an interesting question. Are Republicans more skeptical of the effects of the virus because they’re Republicans or because they live in places where the virus isn’t as prevalent?