Which Counties Performed Better During the Pandemic – Republican or Democrat?
In our earlier analyses we compared unemployment, with Republican states doing better, COVID deaths, with Democratic states doing better and performance, combining unemployment and COVID deaths into a single score, which showed Republican states performed better overall.
In this analysis we repeat the above analysis but from the county level rather then the state level.
First, we collected the monthly unemployment numbers for every county from the beginning of the pandemic. We then collected the data for the party of each county based on who the county voted for in the 2020 presidential election. We took the average and population-weighted average of both Democrat and Republican counties and plotted them on a time series.
Then, we collected the monthly death per million numbers for every county from the beginning of the pandemic We then collected the data for the party of each county based on who the county voted for in the 2020 presidential election. Finally, we took the average death per million of both Democrat and Republican counties and plotted them on a time series.
Then we created a grading system that would help to compare the differences in strategies employed by different counties. To do this we took our monthly results from both of the above analyses and multiplied them by each other.
Results – Unemployment
When comparing the county level unemployment to state level unemployment by party we do find that Republican counties did vary slightly higher than it did when compared using state values. However, the overall trend is nearly identical. Republican counties had much less unemployment.
Results – COVID
With death per million on a county level basis we do see a similar trend as we did with states – but a much larger variance among Republican counties. Democrat counties led early in the pandemic with Republican states having a slightly higher deaths per million during the Winter of 2020 wave and most recently during the Fall 2021 wave. The largest different we noticed was the 2020 Winter wave – this waive started two months earlier when we review the data on a county level. This suggests that this difference is due to Republican counties in Democrat states. This wave also seemed to be slightly higher in Winter of 2020 for Republican counties vs Republican states.
Results – Score
When comparing county and state performance scores we also found a similar trend between counties and states. Similar to Deaths the trend was similar but there was more variance and Republican counties performed worse than Democrat counties during the wave of Winter 2020. Interestedly, Republican counties performed nearly equal to Democrat counties during the Fall 2021 wave in performance.
Similar to the state results, the county results show that Republican counties outperformed Democrat counties. When reviewing results at a county level Republican counties outperformed Democrat counties by 20%, on a state basis they outperformed by 30%.